Uncertainty In Great Britain

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 7, 2010

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The shake financial situation worldwide will likely not be helped any by the hung Parliament that has been elected in Great Britain, the machinations that will follow in order to create a new government, and the fragility of any minority government that emerges. It was my understanding that per the British constitutional system–in which there actually is no written British constitution–Gordon Brown, as the incumbent Prime Minister, would have the first crack at creating a government, but apparently, it will be David Cameron and the Tories who try first. The Liberal Democrats appear to be unwilling to make any kind of deal with a Labour party headed by Brown, who is despised by Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Dump Brown” movement begins eventually in order to entice the Liberal Democrats to deal with Labour. But it may not come to that; Clegg has said that as the largest vote-getting party, the Tories may have earned the right to govern, and that sentiment may affect his own dealings in the process of creating a minority government.

I suppose that there is a lot of disappointment on the Tory side that the party did not attain an outright majority, and there may be something to the critique that Cameron’s own efforts to soften the Tories’ philosophical appeal may have turned off voters who didn’t want to vote for a party that seemed to shy away from taking strong stances on certain issues; whatever else one might say about the Tories of Thatcher’s day, it is incontrovertible that the party stood for something. But it must be remembered that the party was starting from a very low base of parliamentary representation when the election was called, and that it would have taken a truly massive swing in order for the Conservatives to have achieved an outright majority in this election. All things considered, while the Tories may be displeased that they did not win outright, they have to be happy about the fact that their party has come a long way since the elections of 1997, and 2001; elections that seemed to consign the Conservatives to political oblivion.

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