The General Election is almost over – for the first time in months we’ll be able to venture onto Twitter without being flooded by pictures of gurning activists and would-be MPs claiming to have received a universally warm reception on the doorstep.
We’ll also be spared the relentless hysteria and faux outrage every time an opponent misspeaks or another party’s activists dare heckle a candidate or their supporters.
And, most blessed of all, we’ll no longer be insulted by Labour and Conservative figures insisting they can form a majority government despite all polls showing otherwise.
Less satisfactorily, the last of these is likely to mutate into private, backroom talks as David Cameron and Ed Miliband try to secure the support they need to claim victory.
When a system designed to produce “strong” majority government fails to do so at two consecutive elections it’s fair to say the system needs to be overhauled.
Like many Londoners, I believe we need a more proportional voting system which ensures the allocation of seats in Parliament reflects the votes cast.
Though not perfect, the Additional Member System (AMS) used to elect members of the London Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly achieves this in a way which is reasonably easy to understand.
The fact that most UK and regional parties have stood under the system means adopting it for Westminster should be fairly uncontroversial.
But as well as reforming how we vote, we need our would-be leaders to change how they approach the prospect of hung parliaments and mixed-party governments.
Instead of denying deals will be needed in the hope of scaring voters into backing them, parties should be up front and say who they’re prepared to work with to deliver shared values.
Voters could then use their second (AMS) vote to ensure the election of MPs who’d serve as a restraining influence on whichever of the two larger parties looked likely to dominate the next government.
This would force Prime Ministers to schmooze other parties’ backers as keenly as they seek to galvanise their own activist bases.
We already have a form of this in London where anyone wanting to win the Mayoralty needs to win 50.01% of votes cast.
To secure their respective victories, Ken and Boris had to make deals with voters before they headed into the ballot box, not rely on cosy, post-election backroom stitch-ups with the leaders of City Hall’s Green and LibDem groups.
They did this by shaping their manifestos to have the widest possible appeal, not merely excite the party faithful or provide ammunition for bitchy Twitter-spats.
If this kind of open, one to one coalition building is fine for regional government, why not at national level?