Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jolly good show: Election Day in the U.K.

It's Election Day in the United Kingdom and as the country goes to the polls to vote in the next House of Commons, this curious observer wonders: Just who will emerge as the next Prime Minister?

The candidates, please: Will it be the dour, incumbent Gordon Brown of the Labour Party; the elitist, Oxford-educated David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party; or the handsome and potential deal-breaker Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, whose profile was nicely enhanced during two recently televised debates?

Draw your own conclusions, but remember this: You've got to be careful what you wish for in politics.

One British humourist suggests: "This year it's a three-horse race. Or, two horses and one Gruffalo." The suggestion is that Brown looks exactly like the Gruffalo as illustrated for the Julia Donaldson storybook.

It's a long day, so vote early ~ if not often, as they do in Chicago ~ then, go on a pub crawl.

Post script: When the polls closed at 10 p.m. British Time (5 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. PDT), the BBC exit poll revealed the following ~ Conservatives 305, Labour 255, Liberal Democrats 61 and Others 29. What this means, dear Americans, is a Hung Parliament is in the making ~ and time for a lot of deal making to happen to see just who gets to claim the U.K.'s prime address at 10 Downing Street.

Some in British political circles suggest the exit poll points to an "utter rejection" of the Labour Party. Draw your own conclusions, but, again, remember this: You've got to be careful what you wish for in politics.

The tallying of the votes ~ or, at least, revealing the tally has been painstakingly S-L-O-W. After three hours, only 15 of 650 seats had been declared. The magic number for any party to take control of the House of Commons is 326. It's going to take a while for things to sort themselves out.

Let's make a deal!

In the meantime, let's retire to the pub and drink a pint or two ~ or three. It's going to be a bloody, long night.


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