May 4, 2005

British Politics

TPM has a primer up on the upcoming British Election. British Elections go down very fast. Number one factor in the Election:

The absolutely single-biggest liability for Tony Blair is that voters think that he is George W. Bush's "poodle" and that he lied about Iraq.

The British Election is just the latest in a series where a winning political issue is opposing the US and Bush. Spain, Germany even the the Ukraine all had winners that based their campaigns in part on anti-Bushism. It's not always enough to swing an election. It won't be in the British elections but nowhere in the world will backing Bush win you more votes than bashing him. This is not good. The countries we need help from in the world respond to their own domestic politics. If helping the US is political suicide we won't get any help. Try to argue that Anti-Americanismis a good think if you want, but losing allies is never a good thing.

1 comment:

Chris said...

The British election is today. Labor is expected to keep its majority, but it will be weakened. The interesting thing about British politics is the perception that there is not a viable opposition party:

The Tories are considered by most to be either far too conservative (people fear they will cut public services and deport poor would-be immigrants like me), or conversely that they wouldn't do anything different than Labor (they would still have invaded Iraq and would have elimintated free university eductation). New Labor's center / rightward shift under Blair has captured much of the Torries' vote.

The Liberal Democrats have never had a majority, nor been close to it, and are thus usually viewed as a marginal opposition party. They are the only anti-war party and generally seen as representing the things that Old Labor used to stand for: strong social services, incuding free education and health. And they are the only party that opposed the war, and the introduction of very scary anti-terrorist legislation (you can now be detained and never charged in the UK).

My prediction is: Labor 50%, Torrie 25%, LibDem 25%.