Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quick Thoughts on the UK Election

It is all over except for the shouting. David Cameron has jumped into  bed with Nick Clegg and anyone with a weak stomach had best turn their heads whilst the two politicians consummate their political marriage.

There is a sordid logic to these goings on. As the party with the most MPs the Tories had the easier path to Governance. The maths never did work for a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Still the election was not a rousing mandate for any of the parties involved. For the Tories to miss an absolute majority in a election  that had Gordon Brown front and center as main point of contention is amazing. The man was a super-toxic, shambolic mess of candidacy begging the public to please,  please, please put it out of its misery. After fourteen years of Labour governance the Party was running on fumes, totally devoid of new ideas. Despite this, Cameron failed to seal the deal. He found ways to put off the voters in odd ways.

The Liberal Democrats did not exactly cover themselves in glory. With the two-party duopoly laying eggs, Nick Clegg had a golden opportunity to emerge as a true third force in UK politics. Instead of gains his party managed to loose two seats. Talk about systemic problems for the Lib-Dems, they managed to face-plant even after Clegg had a barn-burner of a performance in the first televised UK debates.

Basically all three major parties in the UK managed to loose.  Not the best of all possible outcomes.  Lurking in the background is the economy and the brutal business of righting the UK's ship of state. The government in power must now raise taxes and cut services to return the UK to fiscal sanity. Lots of pain for an electorate already in a foul mood.

The present coalition is a patchwork affair, a thing made of strips of rags, bits of string, fragments of wood, sealing wax, bubble gum and bailing wire. It is not going to survive the pressures of hard choices that need to be made.  Nine months or so from now the voters in the UK will go to the polls again. Labour, with a new leader, may come roaring back.

It is anybody's guess how this will all play out. One thing for sure UK politics is going to be very interesting for the next year or so; very interesting indeed.