Wednesday 27 June 2007

New Prime Minister

Today England has a new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

Not long after I moved here, Tony Blair took over as Prime Minister from John Major. I was all a bit confused. I wasn't very familiar with the political process and it seemed very odd that one day power could pass from one person to another without an election and without a coup d'etat, neither of which has occurred.

10 years on and I am only slightly more familiar with the political process. I know that in elections you don't vote for people but parties. I hoped this would put an end to the cult of charisma that has infected modern politics in many western nations. But it hasn't.

I know that the Prime Minister has to call an election every 5 years and whichever party gets the most votes gets to stay in power. But Labour still won the last election and Tony Blair could have chosen to stay as the party leader and thus could have remained the Prime Minister.

Luckily, he's decided he's had enough. And now Gordon gets a go.

It's all done with the typical British lack of fanfare. No big ceremony. All behind closed doors. Albeit with the Queen accepting one resignation of the outgoing and one acceptance of the incoming, today we have a new captain at the helm.

He promises it will be different. Don't they all? Oddly, Brown has declared another election will be held nex summer. I love the fact they just call elections willy nilly.


Brooke said...

I haven't quite figured out the system over there but I learned more about it in the movie The Queen.

Anonymous said...

I liked Blair in some respects, but he was definitely a crazy liberal. I just caught an article, in the Daily Mail, and saw two things that would make me kringe.
1. "In the final act of the Blair Government, Ministers also announced that tens of thousands of convicts who re-offend will receive softer punishments or escape jail altogether...only days after ministers ordered the early release of 25,500 burglars, thieves and drug dealers. Lock your doors LA.
2. In the same article..."The word 'prostitute' is banned in favour of 'person'"....

Of course I've attached the link so you know I am not making this stuff up.

Is there no conservative party in the UK or was the Labour party it?... (Not that the US conservatives are doing much either in the last couple of weeks with Amnesty...)

Shirley said...

Thanks for the info -- I have been wondering about all this -- everytime it's mentioned in our news, they seem to think everyone knows how the system works. And anyone I would ask had no clue.

LaDawn said...

Joe - I don't believe you make anythng up. You're just misguided at times!

Readers - you've set me a challenge. By the end of the summer I will educate myself and you about the workings of the British government. Oh god.....I'm going to need help!

Simon - if you're reading this, I'm going to need you!

JMarie said...

Maybe if our leader person could call elections at a year's notice, there would be less money and MORE substance involved. Over here, states are busy moving primaries up the calendar to make themselves more we're looking at TWO YEARS worth of campaigning. There have already been numerous debates (er, I mean pre-written dumbed down statements).

To be frank, it is grossing me out. By the time next November rolls around, I probably will have a full-on media black out in my house because I'll be so sick of it all. This approach breeds apathy and cynicism.