Clegg has been offered a deal by the Conservatives, who have executed a massive u-turn on their pre-election "no coalition" position. Mathematically, this is the only coalition possible, the so called "Progressive Majority" coalition is non-starter in terms of votes in the House of Commons.
So Clegg has to decide what he wants to do, and then persuade the Lib Dem party that this is viable. Note, as a democratic party, there are strict rules on this. ( Details, and my strong opinion )
I'm completely, utterly, committed to reforming our political and electoral system. It's the reason I got involved in politics, the reason I rejoined the Lib Dems, and the reason I've become very active within it. My long-expired membership of the Lib Dems was renewed
at a time when Labour were riding high in the polls and passing legislation I abhorred
. The party is committed to genuine reform of the constitution, and official policy is to call for a citizen's convention, a policy passed (with my vote in the conference chamber) significantly after I a argued that Britain needs a constitutional convention
. We need electoral reform
, but many in the Tory backwoods instinctively oppose it.
Jennie argues, and I agree with her, that they shouldn't oppose it, and sets out how we could sell STV in multi member constituencies to tribal Tories
. But a citizen's convention is almost certainly the best way to acheive this.
The country needs stable government. The only viable stable government possible is a Tory/Lib Dem coalition. It's either this or another election in 6 months time. While I, personally, don't object to more elections (apart from the exhaustion, I really enjoyed the last few weeks), and a fresh election would favour the LDs in a lot of seats they only just came 2nd in, I don't think that's a good thing for the country.
LDs do not hold the balance of power
The Lib Dems do not hold the balance of power. They don't get to choose between parties. They can only choose between forming a stable Govt with some reform, and an unstable Govt with another election soon. That's not a nice choice. And Clegg has to make it, and and it's possible that I might have to go to a conference and vote on that choice.
That's not a nice position to be in.