Liberals and Liberal Democrats have traditionally believed in the devolution of power to the lowest possible level, and the Conservatives say that that is now their belief. It is therefore anomalous that the coalition proposes to hold the next general election on the first Thursday in May 2015, local government election day.
Elections for local government are often used as a substitute for a referendum on the government of the day, but this is surely a trend to be resisted. Council candidates of all parties and none deserve a campaigning period in which they can promote their local policies with the minimum of competition from the national scene.
Hence, if the coalition partners are serious about increasing the powers and independence of local government they should move the general election to a different date. Since June 2015 would prolong the parliament beyond five years and produce accusations of malpractice I suggest the second Thursday in June 2014, thus producing a four year fixed term for this parliament, and establishing a precedent for future ones.