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Fix the date, Gordon

The Tories want it, Labour will probably go for it, but the Liberal Democrats have rightfully focused on whether it is Gordon Brown's to give. Granted, the polls look bad for Menzies Campbell, but this is not to take away from his party's point: no individual should have that kind of power.

Even George W Bush, the most imperial of presidents, had to face voters at a time of the constitution's choosing, instead of his own. Yet Thatcher was able to strike while the iron was hot after victory in the Falklands, and Blair always has an impeccable sense of timing.

An election should not be callled at the convenience of the leader of the largest party in Parliament, but held at fixed term intervals. Naturally, ministers make the case that it is tradition - the prime minster has always had this power. The same such arguments were used to deny women the right to vote. Just because it was tradition to do so didn't make it right.

Fight for what you belieive in, Mr Brown

The Tories can win