Friday, May 06, 2005

Election results are in in the UK

Though Blair did get reelected for an unprecedented third term, it was by less of a margin than if he'd not have backed the Iraq war. In a hotly contested district, Bethnel Green, George Galloway (The fellow who didn't actually get paid for his friendship with Saddam.) and his Respect party unseated a Labour MP of long standing, on some pretty dirty race-baiting grounds, from what I've seen. Take a look at the BBC interview that Oliver Kamm links to. As he says, watch the video; don't just read the transcript. Go see what's been wrought there.

Be sure to read what Kamm has to say about the election results, as well as his prognosis on the future of Labour and, more broadly, Liberalism in the UK.

For a slightly more (though very tempered) optimistic view on the results, go take a look at Harry's Place. They were out canvassing yesterday and the day before, and were heartened with what they saw and heard. He raises questions on what he calls "communalism" and its effects on British politics.

The Norm is, by far, the most positive I've read. Regarding the smaller mandate bit (or the fact that Labour only got like 36% of the popular vote), he says:

...But while I wouldn't want to be taken as suggesting, by the following remark, that I defend the existing voting system in Britain, this would-be damning statistical fact has a plain companion fact: namely, that Labour's competitors received an even smaller share of the popular vote. What ya gonna do?

He goes on to say that there is cause for optimism - not only of will, but of intelligence. Things could have been much worse.

And there you have it: Blair in again; Mandates on both sides. An important lesson hopefully to be learned from one neighborhood's election results. Chaos=Opportunity. All I can do is keep my head turned east and send good wishes across the Ocean to them.

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