Wednesday, June 7, 2017

British election too close to call?

I can work up but little interest -- and less excitement -- about the UK general election. Polling day is less than 24 hours off. I won't be voting, don't even know how to bet.

Theresa Maybe (as The Economist dubbed her) called the snap election after only two years in power, hoping to run a bare majority in the House of Commons up to awesome numbers. The thinking (?) behind doing so appears to have been that the UKIP had effectively disbanded itself after the Brexit referendum, and the Labour Party had all but committed suicide by choosing a leader -- Jeremy Corbyn -- from the loony left. [But he's on the right in the picture! LOL Ed.] The Liberal Democrats, the party of the mushy middle, look like being reduced to only a handful of seats, and the Green Party have yet to elect a member of parliament.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Mrs May looked to have the winning strategy. The polls had her Conservative Party well ahead, with most of the betting being on the spread. Then came the Manchester massacre. Then, just last weekend, the London Bridge terrorist attacks. As if those things weren't enough to shake one's faith in Mrs May's leadership, she flip-flopped on a pledge to end the cap on social care bills. The Reds [Labour, surely! Ed.] and even some of her own supporters said the financial impact on seniors -- very determined voters, that lot -- amounted to a "dementia tax". As for fighting back against Islamic terrorism, Mrs May is having trouble living down massive cuts to the police budget when she was Home Secretary, and her party's failure to cut immigration to under 100,000 per year, as they had promised.

So here we are, less than 24 hours out, and a projected Tory win by over 20% has dwindled to 6% or less, depending on which poll (if any) you believe. It's possible (but not probable) that Labour may win, making Mr Corbyn Prime Minister. That would really shake things up. Mr Corbyn appeals to the naïve young people who, in America, supported Bunny Sanders. But Mr Corby is way way to the left of Mr Sanders. He is an avowed Marxist, who, under previous leaders, defied the Labour whip 428 times. Among other things, he opposed anti-terrorist legislation (!) and the invasion of Iraq. His inner circle is even more hard-line. His shadow chancellor (= minister of finance) is an admirer not only of Marx but also of Lenin and Trotsky.

For many reasons, British politics has become almost as polarized (and polarizing) as that of the Excited States of America. Realistically, the choice for voters is between the right (Conservatives) and the hard left (Labour). There is no more "moderate centre". That means the real losers of tomorrow's election will be the "progressives" and liberals, and for that, much thanks.

Question from Ed.: Are you going to call this or not?
Answer from Walt: Not. Lifetime pct .988.

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