Theresa May Wants a Majority of One’s Own.. Britain heads to the polls June 8th. In the words of swinging 1960s Londoner Alfie, “What’s it all about?” Fear not, Boblius is here to answer all of your questions…
Didn’t they just have an election in England? Over that Brexit thing?Yes but that was a plebiscite about whether to leave the European Union, not who to send to Parliament. The government put this divisive policy question directly in the hands of the voters who chose to leave the E.U. [caption id="attachment_5927" align="alignleft" width="190"] Tories are famous for their victory eye-nuzzles.[/caption]
Was deciding Brexit by putting it to the voters an example of principled direct democracy or a republican government punting a decision back to the masses?Meh, you decide.
But didn’t the Brexit vote kick that guy out of office? You know, the guy who looks like a boarding school headmaster?Most British politicians look like boarding school headmasters but I think you’re referring to David Cameron. Second of all, he wasn’t technically voted out of office. He campaigned so vigorously to remain in the E.U. that when the country voted to leave, [caption id="attachment_5923" align="alignright" width="171"] Prime Ministers David Cameron, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Alec Douglas-Home, and Harold Macmillan all look like principals who would have gladly fired Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society.[/caption] he basically HAD to resign as Prime Minister.
Why did he resign if neither he nor his party actually lost Parliamentary seats in the Brexit vote?Being on the losing side of such an important vote turned him into a political eunuch overnight. It would have been like Robin Williams continuing to take care of his kids dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire after they discovered his ruse. Time for everyone to move on. David Cameron now spends his days waiting for a knighthood.
But didn’t Britain THEN have an election to decide that lady who looks like a posh grandma should be Prime Minister?Her name’s Theresa May and no, she’s not a grandmother although she is relatively posh. She was chosen by the Conservative Party to be the next Prime Minister, not British voters. [caption id="attachment_5924" align="alignleft" width="129"] James Callaghan, John Major, and Gordon Brown all became Prime Minister without winning a popular vote. Only Major looks happy about it.[/caption]
That sounds flagrantly undemocratic!That wasn’t a question but I’ll respond anyway: In parliamentary democracies the party or coalition with the most seats takes power after an election and that party’s leader becomes Prime Minister. If the party leader/Prime Minister leaves office before the next election, the party chooses a new leader thus choosing a new Prime Minister without having a full blown election. It’s happened before in Britain. Most recently in 2007, 1990, and 1976.
So after becoming Prime Minister without an election, Theresa May was able to call for an election willy nilly?Who says “willy nilly” anymore? But I digress. Until a few years ago the Prime Minister could call elections [caption id="attachment_5921" align="alignright" width="118"] The last Prime Minister to solidify his position with an election after his predecessor resigned early? House of Cards‘s Francis Urquhart.[/caption] whenever he or she wanted. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011 limited this power by requiring a 2/3 vote from Parliament to approve early elections. Parliament readily voted for May’s snap elections.
Why do they call them ‘snap’ elections?Because England loves a good “Yo mama” joke. No really, it means the elections were called in an impromptu fashion. As in a “snap decision.”
Got it. So why would Theresa May want an early election after Britain had a general election barely 2 years ago and that huge Brexit vote in 2016? Aren’t they sick of elections there?Yeah, probably. Britain now has elections at the same rate Disney puts out Star Wars movies. I would be worried about audience fatigue if I were them. Perhaps the most frequent attack on May so far in the election has been her reneging on a promise not to call early elections. [caption id="attachment_5926" align="alignleft" width="241"] Sci-fi fans can now remember when Star Wars movies came out by which U.K. election happened the same year.[/caption]
So why’d she do it?!Two words: Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is the Labour Party’s intentionally hapless leader. He’s so far in the left wing that neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown let him serve in their governments during 13 years of Labour Party rule. In American terms it’s as if Michael Dukakis and the ghost of George McGovern had a baby then Labour chose it to be their leader. Corbyn’s so out of touch with British voters [caption id="attachment_5929" align="alignright" width="157"] Tony Blair & Gordon Brown both thought Jeremy Corbyn was too goofy for government and too crazy for cabinet.[/caption] and he was so impotent during the Brexit vote last year that his own MPs tried to sack him. Conservatives are currently 20 points ahead in most surveys. To preserve this advantage, May has refused to debate Corbyn. In short, why would Theresa May pass up the opportunity to have the election now?
So Theresa May called for elections since she’s likely to increase her majority? And this is all thanks to the Labour Party straying so far to the left?Bingo. [caption id="attachment_5931" align="alignleft" width="132"] “Is it over yet, love?”[/caption] What does the Queen have to do during all this? Not a damn thing.
Who will play Theresa May in season 8 of The Crown?Probably some chick from either Game of Thrones or Downton Abbey. [caption id="attachment_5925" align="aligncenter" width="306"] Like it or not, one of these ladies will end up playing Theresa May one day.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_5922" align="aligncenter" width="308"] Some painful electoral math for the Labour Party.[/caption] fin]]>