The British Are Coming ... not really

I was up half the night last night watching UK election returns on the BBC News Web Site. Very interesting.

The House of Commons is like our House of Representatives. And I guess they all stood for re-election yesterday. I'm really just a little fuzzy on how that whole Parliamentary System works, but that's what I understand from what I have seen.

The Conservatives (Tories) are roughly equivalent to the Republicans - without the religious fervor. Labour (the Liberals) are like the Democrats - without Hyannis Port. And the Liberal Democrats are like our Libertarians. Yup. Just like 'em.

Typically, smaller parties in the UK don't get a lot of play, it's generally a two horse race (Like here). There ARE other parties seated in the House of Commons, but out of 650 seats, I think they hold a total of 30. Or did, anyway. They are usually fringe groups from isolated areas - or distinct urban areas with distinct problems and therefore, agendas.

It seems to be playing out like this - as of midnight.

The Tories are set to become the largest party in the House of Commons, but not, it appears, the ruling party. They will, apparently, NOT win enough seats in the election to establish a majority and if not, they may not be able to unseat Gordon Brown, the current Prime Minister.

Labour, on the other hand, knowing that they were going to lose seats, began negotiations with the Liberal Democrats, as soon as the polls closed, in hopes of establishing a coalition. If successful, Gordon Brown will probably stay in office.

Personally, I hope he does. Gordon Brown has done an admirable job in times not of his doing. In fact, these times have been OUR doing. WE have handed him a hard row to hoe. If he loses his job, it will be a direct result of OUR regulatory policies, and their ineffectiveness.

Somehow, it doesn't seem fair to me that the gamblers and the crooks and the greedy Corporate Heads may well have cost a good world leader his job.

On the other hand - he may yet keep his job. *looks around* Hey! Somebody go sell that man some Derivatives.



Mrs F with 4 said...

Golly, Lou, I think for the first time, we're going to disagree! I can give you a quick lesson in the (unwritten) UK Constitution, Parliamentary system and political parties if you like, but.... perhaps not.

Don't forget that Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer for the TEN years before he slithered into the role of Prime Minister (so the current financial mess in the UK is of his making)- and that he has never actually been ELECTED Prime Minister!

Oh, I could go on - but I won't, because I am riveted to my BBC news ticker....

Hockeymandad said...

What's really interesting about the voting process in England is you vote for the party. The logic behind it is whatever party wins the election, gets the majority of the seats. They are of the mindset of "why put a leader in place that cannot pass any of their objectives due to a minority of support." What a novel concept, no lame ducks running things.

On a side note, your Hawks look good in round 2! Cubbies, not so much.

Mrs F with 4 said...

Hockeymandad - you actually vote for your member of parliament, who can be of any party, or none. The party with the most MP's is the winner. Usually.

Big Mark 243 said...

I haven't really been paying attention to what is what in England so I will defer to Lou's judgment on this.

The little I have gathered from England has been crime and grime is rising in the major cities and it is extending out to the fringe areas as well. Civic stagnation and too few jobs that help earn a living wage is causing a crisis in the social world.

Tara R. said...

Trying to understand British Parliament for me is like trying to understand Cricket... I just watch and am entertained.

Lora said...

I'm trying to follow along with all this (the process, not your post!) and it's just as dizzying as everything that goes on over here.

Such a mess, right? Gah.