The Liberal Democrats have been seeking advice on how to cope with their new partnership from some former party leaders on the continent. A former Democrats 66 leader from the Netherlands, Lousewies van der Laan, gave them the following analogies, according to The Independent:
Marriage of convenience with pre-nup
* Don’t mortgage the marriage with negative party resolutions at the start.
* Achieve at least some of your programme; save the rest for the next coalition (or absolute power).
The honeymoon: how to set up house, and the first common projects
* Do let each other shine – grant each his moment of glory.
* Presentation is part of the equation, but mutual trust and atmosphere should be the determining factors.
* Don’t hang out your dirty linen, and don’t gloat when the others stumble.
* Don’t begrudge the other-half’s victories.
* Don’t (publicly) ask for compensation when you don’t get your own way.
The irritation of living together
* Keep the other party on board.
* Stay relaxed, even with bad opinion polls – it’s all par for the course.
* Don’t try to raise your profile at the expense of your partner – it will lead to exclusion from real decision-making.