Stakes Are High in British Election, But Outcome Is Up in the Air
In a month, Britain will have its third election in four years. Once more the reason is Brexit, or rather the lack of Brexit.
I’ve argued before that Britain’s departure from the EU is accelerating a breakdown of the two-party system. The upcoming election is like a kaleidoscope. Every time you shake it, a new pattern appears.
Yet the stakes are simple enough. For the Conservatives, all that matters is winning a majority. The other parties merely have to stop this from happening to claim victory.
Already we can say the new Parliament will be more partisan and less experienced. Sixty lawmakers with 750 years of combined legislative experience are not seeking reelection. Many blame the coarse political discourse of recent years. Read more
After Week of Turmoil, What Next for British Politics?
Tuesday was an historic night in British politics, and one whose outcome could reverberate through the coming months and years.
Lawmakers voted 328 to 321 to take control of the parliamentary agenda from the government in order to demand that Boris Johnson, the prime minister, ask for an extension of Britain’s exit from the European Union if no withdrawal agreement is in place by October 17.
Johnson, who currently has a 100-percent loss rate in Parliament, and is the first British prime minister since William Pitt the Younger in 1793 to lose his first vote, refuses to delay Brexit and called for an early election instead.
But that too failed. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, a two-thirds supermajority is required to call an early election. Many opposition lawmakers, who fear an early election is a government trap to bring about a no-deal Brexit, abstained. Read more
The latest victim of this obsession is parliamentary democracy.
In the battle between popular and parliamentary sovereignty, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sided with the former and suspended Parliament, so it will have almost no time to prevent the United Kingdom from crashing out of the European Union without an exit agreement. Read more
Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both
Center-right leaders in Britain, Spain and the United States have put the interests of their parties ahead of the good of their countries. Both their parties and their countries have suffered as a result. Read more
Election of Britain’s Next Prime Minister Feels a Little Ridiculous
The contest to succeed Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and prime minister of the UK is about halfway through. A field of more than two dozen candidates has been whittled down to two by parliamentarians. The final contenders are Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
The entire thing has an air of ridicule to it. Many in the country have watched the televised debates between the candidates setting out their policies on not just Brexit but controversial domestic issues, such as social care and high-speed rail. But out of millions, only 150 to 160,000 party members have a vote.
On top of this, to spend the better half of two months choosing a new leader, who will be the new prime minister by default, when the country faces perhaps its greatest crisis in half a century seems rather like rearranging the deckchairs on a sinking ship — futile and even a little insulting to those who suspect more could have been done with the six-month Brexit extension granted by the EU in April. Read more
Boris Johnson and the Brexit Ultras Deserve Each Other
When Boris Johnson’s last bid for the Conservative Party’s leadership failed, I argued here that the former mayor of London’s many flipflops had finally caught up with him.
“You can only change your mind so many times before people start to see you for the political opportunist you are,” I wrote.
My mistake was to think the British right cares about principle and integrity. Read more
Johnson Warns Brexit Delay Will Benefit Labour
Boris Johnson has finally put his head above the parapet and launched his bid to become Britain’s next prime minister.
At a well-orchestrated event on Wednesday, which saw the former foreign secretary joined by a number of Conservative Party heavyweights, Johnson warned that his party faces an existential crisis if it fails to deliver Brexit.
“Delay means defeat, delay means Corbyn,” he warned.
Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31. Read more