Who Does That Sound Like?

07May10

“Britain voted for change yesterday, but it also voted for a new politics. It did not vote for party-political bickering, grandstanding and point-scoring,” Mr Cameron said.

“Our country’s problems are too serious, they are too urgent for that. So we must all rise to this occasion, we must show leadership.”

In a swipe at the Prime Minister, the Conservative leader added: “The outgoing Labour government has left this country with terrible problems.

“The new government will face the worst inheritance of any government of the last 60 years.”

More here. The more I read about British politics, I get really depressed about American politics. For one, even though there are obviously different approaches offered by each party, they all seem to want to grapple with real issues. David Cameron, the UK conservative candidate, doesn’t even bother with abortion rights, and has taken the party in a more progressive direction on gay rights. Of course this is a good thing for me as a liberal American, but it also goes to show these two lightning rods don’t have much to do with conservatism. And then there’s this idea of coalitions, which are absolutely impossible in America now.

It’s funny too, because people are saying the elections were a disaster over there because the polls closed too early, they ran out of ballots, etc. These are standard issue occurrences in American elections, in fact, we take it far beyond these problems. Wait til the UK gets a load “hanging chads” and electronic voter fraud.

(But seriously, Cameron has to stop dickridin’ Obama)

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2 Responses to “Who Does That Sound Like?”

  1. 1 Andrew Pasternak

    The reason that Britain does not grapple with abortion rights and (most) other social issues is because they’re society is more progressive. It has nothing to do with their form of politics being more civil, but the outlook by society being much more progressive (hence Cameron’s Support of NHS).

    In a sense, this election makes me happy there are only two parties here in the US. The chances are very good one is going to see another election within the next year! Given that in mind, there is no incentive for someone like the Conservatives to make the hard decisions that need to be made over there (i.e. tax increases, spending cuts). One great benefit they have is that if a party wins an election, then they can hold on for 5 years without another one, allowing them to make tough decisions early on and still hold on to power, but a hung Parliament changes everything. This situation can make them act even worse than US politicians, all talk and no substantive action. For what Britain needs to do, this is truly just awful.

  2. 2 poliology

    I think you’re a little off here. For one, Cameron has proposed a new tax on big banks–I think it’s a fair point to say this won’t be enough (it won’t be), but it sure beats the nihilism of the GOP, who have taken god knows how many counter-productive populist positions over the past year and a half. On the issue of a hung parliament–it does seem likely that a coalition will happen, and not only that, it will involve some sort of carrot of representational voting. I’ll believe it when I see it–but you’d just never see parties discussing things in what has been a relatively civilized way.

    The two party system in America is problematic in that the stakes are just so damn high. Look, I don’t think Martha Coakley deserved to win that election, and I didn’t vote for her in the primary (I went Capuano). I don’t particularly like a lot of her positions. But when the alternative is to basically guarantee little if any legislative progress nationally, I have no choice.

    Perhaps it’s just the times we are in, with the party I oppose. But you know as well as I do that one party (with the exception of Paul Ryan and Bob Bennett, one of which is being primaried) are not remotely concerned with making tough decisions. They passed Medicare Part D. They went to two wars they refused to pay for. They had, essentially, 6 years to make hard choices, and they fed the country legislative junk food.

    And of course, as soon as a relatively conservative (deficit neutral) health care plan passes, it’s socialism, and they want to repeal it. Like, repeal is actually being talked about like its an actual strategy, like they’d ever get 60 votes (66 with veto) in the senate, like they have anyone that can actually challenge Obama while surviving a primary. So in the face of that, yeah, I’m going to look fondly upon attempts to form coalitions between parties, even if it’s just posturing for now.


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