As Iain reminds us, he has often been the one to defend Mark Oaten against his critics. (They are former colleagues on Watford council.) So criticism coming from him has more weight.
if you are a Lib Dem who wants a coalition your best way of achieving it is not to talk about it too loudly. In the two occasions where the Lib Dems have allowed themselves to be portrayed as potential kingmakers – 1987 and 1992, this has led to a fall in support as the election approached.
The electorate are unlikely to respond positively to an uppity third party trying to imply that they can choose between and lay down terms to the other and larger parties. Such presumption will make a hung Parliament, and therefore a coalition, less likely.
I had deleted Eaten by Missionaries from my blogroll under my strict "If I notice you haven't written anything for a month or so I may consider deleting you" policy for links. I have now restored it, but it has been sent to the bottom of the list as a punishment.