By Victor Schultz
The current HBO special that is American politics had some brief competition from Britain for the global limelight this month. Why? The General Election.
What happened? The Prime Minister, Theresa May, requested a snap election. Snap elections are parliamentary elections held early that result in elected ministers serving a full term after the election. They differ from a by-election in that those elected serve that full term, instead of serving the remainder of the current term. No election was due until May 2020, but Parliament voted as an almost unanimous whole to hold the election.
The goal for May, as the leader of the conservative majority party, was to strengthen the majority’s lead. This would allow her greater discretion when entering negotiations for Brexit, set to begin next month. The goal for the opposition parties was to try and reduce the number of majority seats.
What occurred instead was something of a reverse-Brexit. Instead of a shocking conservative turn-out, there was a bump in the number of Labour voters who went to polls. The end result: Conservative Party lost the majority, but no other party was able to claim it. The term for this is a Hung Parliament. And no, that doesn’t mean a parliament with well-endowed members, no matter what Jeremy Corbyn might tell you at a dinner party.
Since no party had the 326 seats needed to establish a new majority, Theresa May remains the Prime Minister. It seems that with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, she can run a minority government. This means the DUP will help to defeat votes of no confidence, but in return will expect some attention be given to their issues.
Overall, the election has further muddied the waters around Brexit, and weakened the already beset Conservative party. On the other hand, no other group was able to achieve a majority or gain enough support to form a definite policy change for the UK.
All of this news, and the analysis and speculation of what it might mean, was relegated to vague mentions in the scrolling newsfeed along the bottom of footage from Comey’s Senate hearing in the USA. In an effort to keep readers aware that things are happening outside of Trump’s sensationalist sphere, let me leave you with some other news items that might be worth your interest:
- Puerto Rico is voting on becoming the 51st state, although they are picking an interesting time to join the union.
- Germany has stated that if America continues to back away from its former role as defender of the free world, it will step up.
- French President Macron looks set to secure a majority for his party in the legislature.
- China has begun a huge crackdown on business who were found to be violating pollution regulations.
- My basil plant has recovered nicely from the mold on its roots.
- In the midst of Pride Month, many nations celebrate Pride, and several nations expand protections for LGBT peoples, like Taiwan’s same-sex marriage ruling.
- Annnd some nations unfortunately reduce protections, such as Malaysia attempting to host a ‘Gay prevention video contest’, and two men being caned in Indonesia for same-sex relations.
- Netflix cancelled Sense8, which can only be described as an incredibly hostile act towards not just the LGBT community, but towards humanity as a whole.