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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What's Going On In Britain?

There are two main political parties in the UK:  the Conservatives (also known as the Tories) and the Labour party.  There are also a number of smaller parties.  For the first time in a great many years British politics is experiencing a total upheaval.  The Tories lost their leader, prime minister David Cameron, when he resigned following the Brexit vote (against which he unsuccessfully campaigned).  The main candidate to follow him as leader of the Tories, Boris Johnson, just said he is not going to run.  There's a big scramble now to find a replacement leader.  The Labour party voted out its leader Jeremy Corbyn, but he is refusing to accept his loss.  Corbyn says that he was elected by a vote of the members of the party and so only they can remove him.  It's ridiculous since his position is as leader of Labour in Parliament and the Labour members just voted better than three to one for him to go.  Still, Corbyn's bizarre position is fully in keeping with his political history.  The leader of the UKIP which was the principal force behind obtaining the Brexit referendum also just resigned.  It is far from clear who will replace him.  Indeed, assuming the new Tory leader is anti-EU, there may be no need to replace him. 

To put this into an American context, imagine this.  At the Democrat convention, the delegates reject Hillary Clinton and instead nominate someone who totally new like senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.  The Republicans do nearly the same thing; they reject Donald Trump and nominate governor Martinez of New Mexico.  Even Gary Johnson gets replaced by the Libertarian party. 

It's a tribute to the Brits that all this can happen and thing go on in the UK without much of a ripple.

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