UK Elections 2010

So I’m a political junky of sorts. I tend to be focused on the US stuff, but it has definitely been quite infuriating the last untold years or so. Well, the UK has been having an election season and it’s been quite interesting. First of all, the ‘season’ lasts one month. Yes, one month. The whole system is, just like a lot of the UK, a bit chaotic and anachronistic, although not as much as you might suspect (it’s basically if the House of Representatives ran everything and the Speaker of the House became president). A bit odd, but not insane as the Brits might have you think.

So, in the UK, you have two big parties – Labour (the current traditional centre-left party), Tories (the centre-right folks). But there’s a splinter of sorts on the left and that consists on the tradition liberals and the former Social Democratic Party which became the Liberal Democrats. Now, Labour has been in power for the last 13 years, largely by pulling a Bill Clinton and taking the ‘third way’ which was basically a pro-business, semi-progressive stance on things, under Tony Blair. Now, Tony Blair got out before people ran him out of office and left the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the UK’s secretary of the Treasury), Gordon Brown, to run things and see the end of Labour’s reign. The Conservatives, traditionally stodgy and backwards looking, have tried to make themselves look a little less far-right and have David Cameron as their ‘fresh’, new face. Now I’m biased and think the Conservatives are the same old thing and just put an empty suit as their leader. I think Labour have run things poorly and need a massive shakeup or a little time in the wilderness to rethink things. Now the Lib Dems, courtesy of voter distrust of the major two parties and a photo-genic debate by their leader, Nick Clegg, have made a run of things. But they just don’t have enough power to do much.

In my perfect world, as the returns come in, Labour loses a bunch of seats but it’s close with the Tories. Enough that Labour cleans house and get some fresh leadership and Clegg and the Lib Dems make a coalition and run things. But that ain’t happening and never would cause Labour is too proud and stuck in their ways and people are too sick and tired of their 13 years of sucking up to the bankers, so the Tories will have a go of it and probably make things worse. In the meantime, I wish people gave the Monster Raving Loony Party more of a look. 🙂

Caveat, we’re watching the election returns right now, only three seats (out of like 100000 of them) have been declared. It is a ton of fun to watch. Our favourites so far:

1)  In the BBCs list of voting dos and dont’s included this question “I’ve been in the pub and feel drunk. Can I vote?” (apparently you can!)

2) This picture of Big Ben with the exit polls projected on it:


3) The votes are all in paper boxes and the first polling stations to bring in the results were raced in by teenagers eagerly trying to beat their time from the last election (Houghton and Sunderland).

4) All the MPs who were involved in the expenses scandal being shown as dominoes and being knocked down if they didn’t run for election this time.

5) When the BBC, with honest outrage, called the British National Party (who isn’t much to the right of the Republican Party in my mind) a right leaning party with racist tendencies. In the US, the BNPs surrogates would be on the air immediately trying to muddy the waters and hide the reality of their views.

6) The biggest issues in the election seems to be the economy and immigration. Being immigrants, it’s a little odd to sit and watch us be slagged on as stealing people’s jobs. It’ll be interesting, if the Tories win control, to see what happens to visas that we have. It’s also weird to not be able to have a voice in this since we live here and are impacted by it.
That’s our political silliness for now. Tomorrow, we’ll likely have a new government. How it’ll shape out, we’ll see. And by we, I don’t mean we, since we can’t vote.

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