Its not often I find myself agreeing with former Lib Dem AM Peter Black but he makes a somewhat convincing case against Plaid joining Labour in the Assembly in a Coalition
According to the BBC Plaid Cymru is "actively considering" whether to seek a coalition with Labour,.
The big disadvantage from my point of view would be inadequate scrutiny of Welsh Government policies and legislation. At the moment the opposition is fairly diverse, with the Tories and UKIP opposing from the right and Plaid Cymru largely from the left. The only liberal voice has been subsumed into the government but Dafydd Elis Thomas himself may be able to provide that in future.
To have the government solely scrutinised from a right wing perspective may well suit some members of Labour and Plaid but it would severely diminish the quality of debate in the chamber and committee rooms. We would lose a plurality of representation within the opposition that currently benefits our democratic process.
That was not a problem during the 2007-2011 One Wales Government of course because the Welsh Liberal Democrats provided that left-leaning, liberal input into debate and scrutiny. It would not be available in the fifth Assembly.
The second disadvantage of such a coalition is that it would give the Government a free pass on the work of building a consensus for their work within the chamber and in the country.
At the moment, if Carwyn Jones wants to get something through he has to work with others and achieve a sort of consensus. In a mega-coalition that debate would be internalised, it would become less of a discussion and more of a whipping exercise.
That is not healthy for democracy nor does it help to advance the cause of devolutuion in a country that prides itself on a more consensual approach than Westminister. Having to win support for your policies from your opponents so as to get them through can bring a type of democratic discipline to government that is discarded by those Ministers who can rely on an automatic majority to get things through.
Of course Peter may considering the position of the sole Liberal Democrat (Kirsty Williams) in the Assembly. Currently Education Minister in "Not a Coalition" whose unconvincing claim to have an influence would be even more diminished.
and it its somewhat hypocritical for someone from a Party that joined the Tories in pushing through the austerity program in the last Westminster Governmentto lecture others on any coalition agrrement.
But Peter main argument is valid, Such a coalition would be composed of eleven Tory and six Ukip AMs leaving an opposition on the right and as the Tories seem to be moving into Ukip territory moving further to the right , There would be no alternative Left or even centrist view fro the Opposition benches.
Oh hang on I forgot about Dafydd Eis Thomas who as a "Independent" might ironically find himself the sole Centre -Left AM on the opposition benches criticising the coalition government.
Of course there is a strong argument which the Lib Dems tried to make when in the Tory Lib Dem coalition that you can moderate or even change the majority party's proposals within such a coalition.
But even it is true we the electors will not see this.
I would suspect that Labour AM who would have to give up at least three Cabinet seats or ministerial posit would not be happy to make room for Plaid.
At the moment Labour have the possibility of a slim majority and Plaid can take the opportunity of using a supply and demand pact with Labour as the recent budget negotiations claims from them proved.