Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Weeping Statues

If you're not interested in British politics, this will likely be confusing, boring, or both. I could probably comment extensively about politics of a few other nations, but there would be even less likelihood of it being anything more than me pretending to have conversations. For some time, the Labour government has been suffering in the polls (being what I am, I am tempted to say that Blair moved the party so far from its roots that nobody was sure what it stood for), and people were reasonably sure that David Cameron would be next PM - given that his coalition (despite his claims otherwise) is far from being Thatcherite, this almost seems like a good thing (Gordon Brown managed to drop his party's values, and fair values for parliament in general) on the floor and seeing him out is worth a few sacrifices.

British Democracy is healthier than American Democracy (not as healthy as German, Israeli, or Canadian, but..). A recent debate put the leader of a dark horse party, the Liberal Dems, Nicholas Clegg, into the spotlight - the difference between his speaking ability and his competitors is not as amazing as Obama's speaking advantage - while Gordon Brown is a fairly bad speaker (ha ha), David Cameron is more in line with what Brits expect of their leaders in that quality. It looks like Nick Clegg combines being a few notches better yet with having a perfectly aimed message - after that debate, Labour (which currently forms the government) is behind both the Tories (which it has trailed fairly consistantly for quite some time) and the Liberal Dems. There's a good chance that the Liberal Dems will either lead the next coalition or win a simple majority come election time.

It will be interesting to see how their party might function should it actually gain power given its history and philosophical makeup - it's one thing to advocate broad reforms (for starters, they want to remove the house of lords!), quite another to actually move from being in opposition to running a government. Also, while Nick Clegg's talk of ethical reform in parliament is worthwhile, he's been using his position as a gravy train. When politicians would both reform themselves and the system they're in, we might have some sympathy if they have to tread water in a system they don't create, but some of Clegg's abuses were unrelated to that and were simple personal advantage. Still, such is politics, and maybe things will progress despite things not being as promising as they might be in an ideal world.

For people who want something interesting to do, I suggest comparing Clegg's background and positioning in British politics and society with Obama's. The similarities and dissimilarities are a rich topic.

Tags: politics

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