a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

More comments on the UK’s new game in governance

Posted on the May 8th, 2010

My favorite insider Washington D.C. read is Steve Clemon’s international politics blog, The Washington Note. Yesterday he posted a Russia Today news video, recommending it as a favorite (short) commentary on the UK’s freshly new, hung parliament.

I checked it out. I like the video report especially because it offers a chance to get opinions firsthand from some of the British voters.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on More comments on the UK’s new game in governance

Something startling and new under the British sun: 2010 election results

Posted on the May 7th, 2010

Yesterday’s general election in the UK resulted in a “hung parliament,” as you know if you’re following the news. The Conservative Party, led by David Cameron, won the most votes but still fell short of winning a majority of seats. The British are now faced with the entirely unfamiliar prospect  — to them — of a coalition government.

Writing for Spiegel Online International, Michael Sontheimer explains what happened and why the mixed election result is making the British so nervous (“A Very Un-British Election Result” May 7, 2010).

Excerpt:

In the eyes of the Brits, coalition governments have been regarded, at least up until now, as an excessively complex invention by those continental Europeans. Such governments were seen as incapable of action, and coalitions were thought to promote haggling between parties and political corruption.

The British are accustomed to having a single government party and a large opposition party in their parliament. The government — which, thanks to the undemocratic first-past-the-post system, usually had a comfortable majority — dictated their policies; the opposition railed against them. Once the ruling party had run out of steam, the roles were reversed.

Somewhat like the USA system, in fact, where third parties aren’t so very, very popular either.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on Something startling and new under the British sun: 2010 election results

UK general election tomorrow up for grabs?

Posted on the May 5th, 2010

Tomorrow is the big day for British voters. They will be casting their ballots in the UK’s 2010 general election. The three leading candidates are the current Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Labor Party), David Cameron (Conservative Party) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats).

A headline in the Guardian says each party is claiming the election is “still up for grabs.”  The newspaper has a live blog underway if you want to follow the action to the finish.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on UK general election tomorrow up for grabs?

A close-up look at the British election race

Posted on the April 29th, 2010

If you’re interested in how things are turning in the UK’s current election race, there’s a lively round-up (with videos) on the Gulf Stream Blues blog (“The Anti-American vs. the Anti-European” April 23, 2010).

For those who haven’t been paying much attention, the race is being shaken up considerably by the surprise surge to the front of Liberal Democrats party leader, Nick Clegg. Nice.

Reader Comments (0) Comments Off on A close-up look at the British election race