One note on the UK general election. Though the Conservatives have finished as the largest party, it’s worth noting that well over half of the UK electorate voted left-of-center. Add the vote totals for the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Greens and you’ve got nearly 55% of the national vote. Throw in the left-leaning Celtic nationalist parties like Plaid Cymru (Wales), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (Northern Ireland), and the Scottish National Party, and the number creeps closer to 60%. Put together a coalition of Liberals and Labour plus the single Green MP and the Ulster/Wales/Scotland left-leaning nationalists, and you’ve got a working majority in the Parliament.
From that perspective, on what basis could the centre-right Tories claim a mandate to govern? The right — defined by the Conservatives, the xenophobic United Kingdom Independence Party, and the loathsome racists in the British National Party — are together at about 40% of the vote, while nearly six in ten voters in the UK want a left-of-center government.
They ought to have one.
And for what it’s worth, I do appreciate that Conservative leader David Cameron — who believes in cap-and-trade, who believes in legalizing same-sex unions, who believes in supporting the single-payer National Health Service — is in some respects to the left of Barack Obama.
Here endeth the politics.