Friday, May 07, 2010

UK elections

Dearest UK readers who have opinions,

Can some of you please explain what the recent election means in terms of your country? I've been reading lots of news coverage, but I'm a little lost on how this impacts the regular people of the UK. Thanks much in advance!

With hugs and anticipatory knowledge and elucidation,
Jenny

4 comments:

Keren David said...

We're all completely baffled! Waiting for the politicians to decide among themselves who can do business with whom. Most likely outcome seems (today) to be a Conservative government of some sort, which would mean spending cuts, public sector job losses and a 'big society' policy of getting communities more involved in running hospitals and schools. But they might have to broker a deal with the Liberal Democrats who want electoral reform to make our elections fairer.
I predict confusion, weak government and a new election within the year.

Neil said...

It means they will have a hung parliament or what is commonly referred to as a minority government. There are over six hundred seats in parliament - the first past the post electoral system means that in order to win a majority government and thereby control the legislative process for the next five years, your party needs to hold the most seats. The leader of the party with the most seats is generally the Prime Minister and answers to the sovereign. With a minority parliament or a hung parliament, it means that a coaltion can be cobbled together to create a coalition government or, the Queen can ask Mr. Cameron to form a government and it will have to consult with the opposition parties as it tries to put through its agenda. There are votes on bills, many of them are considered to be confidence votes - an annual budget is a confidence vote. If the minority government loses a confidence vote, the government falls and everyone is back on the election trail for about four weeks when they can vote again.

Koneko said...

Mostly it doesn't.

The bureaucracy set in place will keep turning, things will keep happening, and until they've gotten their heads far enough out of their asses to get along with one of their opponents, that's the way it's going to work.

It does mean that things are going to stay exactly the same until people can sit on the parliament benches, though.

Jenny Rae Rappaport said...

Thank you all for the comments! I understand it, sorta, although not really well. I need an entire college course on parliamentary politics, I think. =)