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Oh, god — do I have to?

This is so unfair. I get to be depressed by politics in TWO countries!

Okay, here’s what happened: David Cameron’s party won more votes than the others — by a lot — but the next two main parties combined have more seats than he does. And they’re both leftist parties.

There was talk about the two leftist parties joining forces to shut Cameron out of government. Under their system, it might just be possible. Politically, it’s a natural. But, as so often happens with internecine fights, there’s mucho personal and historical animosity between the two. So that fell apart.

Cameron could have just said screw it and formed a government, which is what the righties in his party wanted him to do. Yes, there are still real, honest-to-god righties in the Tory party. The danger is that the other parties, because they outnumber him, could force another election any time they wanted.

Both Labour and the LibDems are likely to do even worse if another election were held soon. I doubt either wants another shot at it until they can do some housecleaning. A bold leader would take that gamble.

But Cameron didn’t.

He decided to form a true majority by making a pact with the further left of the two parties he beat. The one that did really badly. Much worse than expected. Won almost no seats at all.

And by “pact” — well, nobody really knows yet. He has to bring up some of their pet issues. Let some of them onto his cabinet. Maybe even make the leader his Deputy Prime Minister. This from a party whose agenda was just soundly rejected by the electorate.

And all this could’ve been avoided if he had been willing to talk to the party to the right of him. All he had to do was make some noises about immigration and Europe. Analysis of seat-by-seat results show if UKIP’s votes had gone Tory, he would have had 20 to 40 more seats. A comfortable ruling majority.

But no. Years ago, Cameron publicly labeled those nice old biddies a bunch of ‘fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists.’ Now the Tories are really flexed that they didn’t get the fruitcake-loony-racist vote and thinks it should be really, really ashamed of itself.

And if this whole rickety Rube Goldbergian contraption starts to burn oil, there could still be a new election called at any time.

Okay, I think I’m going to have to put this in terms of a really fucked-up alternate reality hypothetical.

Imagine it’s now in the United States, with everybody all wadded up about the collapsing economy and falling jobs and immigration. And by some sadistic twist of fate John McCain — no, Lindsey Graham has just been elected president. But it was a real squeaker because — well, Lindsey Graham. So he takes totally the wrong message from his narrow win and decides to move left and make Nancy Pelosi his Vice President. And give her a veto over anything he proposes. And if he pisses her off, she can throw the election out and make us do it again.

That’s kind of where we be at here.

I have seen the happy place, and this isn’t it.

May 11, 2010 — 10:01 pm
Comments: 35