Tag Archives: elections

The return of two-party politics? Dream on

Source: spiked
by Brendan O’Neill

“Amid all the gasps over the UK election result, there has also been an audible sigh of relief in political and media circles. And it’s growing louder. It might even turn into the loudest cry of the post-election moment. It’s a sigh which basically says: yes, Theresa May’s failure to get a majority could scupper the Brexit negotiations, and yes Jeremy Corbyn’s gain in seats has rattled and discomfited many, but at least we’re returning to two-party politics. At least British politics, following daft forays into new parties and populist experiments, is anchoring itself once more upon that binary we all like and understand: Blue / Red, Right / Left. Everyone is saying this — and they’re all wrong. The return to two-party politics is entirely illusory.” (06/09/17)


The general election: Where to go next

Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

“The reason I hoped for a small Conservative majority was my fear that a vast mandate would let them set about passing more police state laws. They now have that small majority, and will be advised to try passing very few contentious laws. There are obvious reforms needed to welfare and education. But these are not pressing, and can be put off to another Parliament. Censoring the Internet is best avoided on the grounds of practicality. So too dropping more bombs in the Middle East, and provoking Russia. If they can hold together, and get us out of the European Union on reasonable terms, they may not be able to get a two thirds majority for another dissolution. Even so, they will be back in business, and can expect a decent majority when the next election falls due according to law. Or, if they lose the next election, they can remain in being, and hope to win the one after.” (06/11/17)


False dawn or new hope: As May limps on with right-wing pact, Labour unity is key

Source: Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd

“Like many others, I rejoiced through the night at the astounding UK election results, which seemed to presage a much needed, much longed-for paradigm shift in the poisonous bipartisan neoliberal consensus that has imprisoned the politics of the UK (and US) for so many years. But this morning finds us in what might be an even worse situation, as a wounded — and woefully incompetent — Theresa May limps to the palace to form a government that will be utterly at the mercy of the right-wing sectarian cranks of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. And since the government-forming deal won’t be a formal coalition, the DUP will be able to extract whatever concessions they please from May, who will obviously do anything to cling to power.” (06/09/17)


UK: Brexit thrown into doubt as May’s election gamble backfires

Source: Independent [UK]

“British politics and Brexit are in disarray after all the signs suggested Theresa May’s election gamble has gone catastrophically wrong. Updated forecasts indicated the country heading for a hung parliament, with Tories admitting the result would blow the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy to pieces. Ms May’s position was also in question with Labour calling for her to quit and senior Tories distancing themselves from the leader, amid reports of potential successors on manoeuvres. … Ms May would have the right to try and form a coalition first if the Tories are the biggest party, but with rivals ruling out a deal it looks unlikely. Any attempt to rule with a minority would leave her in an impossibly difficult position — needing the votes of parties who have roundly rejected her approach to Brexit.” (06/08/17)


Theresa May: The mummy dissolves?

Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb

“Because Jeremy Corbyn is hated by virtually the whole of the political and media class, she was cried up, through her first ten months in office, as some kind of political giant. She was urged into calling the present election, because everyone important thought it would be a disaster for Mr Corbyn. She obviously believed what she was told, and spent the first week of the campaign smirking at the prospect of a three-figure majority. Then, even the combined BBC and media oligarchs were unable to prevent us from taking a good look at the woman, and concluding that she was probably unfit to run a jumble sale. I doubt she will lose. Bad as she is, she is our best chance of leaving the European Union, and that will surely be enough to get the Conservatives another majority. The prospect of a Labour-Scottish Nationalist coalition may also bring out the votes in England. But, unless the opinion polls are more unreliable than usual, she will emerge from this election personally humiliated.” (06/07/17)


UK: Contenders trade blows on last day of election campaign

Source: Washington Post

“Britain’s political leaders crisscrossed the country on the last day of the general election campaign Wednesday, with security dominating the agenda in the wake of the London Bridge attack. The main contenders are battling over who will keep Britain safer from an ever-morphing terrorist threat. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to crack down on extremism if she wins Thursday’s vote — even if that means watering down human rights legislation. Her main opponent, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, said the real danger comes from Conservative cuts to police budgets.” (06/07/17)


How hustings could bring politics back to the people

Source: spiked
by Tony Pierce

“As a means of putting parliamentary candidates to the test, hustings are all we’ve got. Let’s make them more open, more frequent and more in-depth (I wish we had held four two-hour sessions on each theme). At a time when the political parties are becoming increasingly distant from voters, hustings could be an important part of reinvigorating British politics.” (06/05/17)


A tale of two vice presidents: Biden, Pence start making moves

Source: MSNBC

“Former Vice President Joe Biden is currently out of public office for the first time since 1972, but he’s keeping awfully busy for a guy in retirement. Biden frequently makes public appearances; he’s increasingly involved with ongoing elections; he’s making stops in early primary states; and as the New York Times reported yesterday, the Delaware Democrat is now forming a new political action committee. … Politico reported this week that current Vice President Mike Pence is ’embarking on a cross-country summer campaign tour,’ which isn’t usually the sort of thing we see from a sitting VP six months into his first term.” (06/01/17)


Where’s the Free Speech Party?

Source: spiked
by Mick Hume

“Since last week’s Manchester bombing, all Britain’s political leaders have repeated their commitment to defending our freedoms against terrorism. Yet when it comes to our most important liberty of all, freedom of speech, they have all surrendered already. Whatever the result of the UK General Election, the Free Speech Party will not be joining the government.” (06/01/17)


Ranked choice voting is still alive in Maine — and here’s why it matters

Source: Salon
by Paul Rosenberg

“On the same day Donald Trump was elected president last November, further intensifying the state of political dysfunction in America, the voters of Maine took a giant step in the opposite direction. They approved a ballot initiative on ranked-choice voting, a method designed to ensure that whoever wins a given election actually has majority support. … Then, on May 23, death-sentence headlines flashed across the country, ‘Ranked-choice voting violates Maine constitution,’ the Washington Post blared. ‘Ranked-Choice Voting System Violates Maine’s Constitution, Court Says,’ the New York Times echoed. The reason behind the decision was a provision in the state constitution permitting the election of candidates with plurality support. But reports of RCV’s demise in Maine had been greatly exaggerated. The ruling was only advisory and resulted from a request by the State Senate in February. It was not the result of an actual lawsuit, which would be legally binding, and it had no bearing on upcoming elections. It was really nothing more than guidance for the legislature to consider in taking further action.” (05/31/17)