Prospect of Hung Parliament Looms in the UK

by Mike on January 4, 2010

in UK Politics

The next British General Election is going to be held no later than May.  David Cameron’s Conservative Party has held a commanding lead in the polls ever since Gordon Brown chickened out and decided against calling a snap election in 2007.  In recent months however, Gordon Brown’s Labour Party has slightly narrowed the gap, causing many to speculate about the possibility of a hung Parliament.  That’s because the British electoral districts are drawn in such a way that the Conservatives can win the popular vote by a significant margin and still fail to win a majority of seats in the House of Commons.

Here in America a gridlocked Congress isn’t that big of a deal because unlike in Parliamentary systems, our executive branch doesn’t collapse when the leadership can’t maintain a majority.  In fact, I think our system of checks and balances is preferable because gridlock has played a role in saving our country from some of the socialistic excesses that plague the UK.  Different strokes.

In the following video the UK’s Channel Four provides some insight into how the Brits view the possibility of a hung parliament.

Of course this video also shows a similarity between the American and British systems in that the loser of the popular vote can win the election.  I have thoughts on this also, which I’m sure I will cover in a future post.

Hat tip:  Play Political

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