Global Security Headlines

Monday, January 11, 2010

Expect UK´s Brown to Call General Election Soon

 United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown (Labour Party) survived yet another "coup" just last week, his fourth,  by former Labour ministers, but was left severely wounded. He is fighting tooth and nail for his political life. Such is the winter of Mr. Brown´s discontent.

Expect him to call national elections before the June deadline. Speculation is rife among UK political watchers and the spirited press. A revitalized and healed Britain is in the interest of global security. The longer he waits the worse for him and his party.

Mr. Brown succeeded Tony Blair in June 2007 and must call a national election by June. Part of the electorate´s unease with Mr. Brown is that it had no say in who replaced Mr. Blair. From the beginning, it seemed his term would be cut short by his own party´s challenges though.

Mr. David Cameron, who leads the Tory Party, the somewhat conservative alternative and lost in the woods after the feckless John Major unceremoniously replaced Margaret Thatcher in 1990, has profited from Labour protracted internal squabbles.

As in the United States, the people are hungry for honest, ethical leadership, and a clear governing vision. The United Kingdom is in a foul mood as the recession continues to deepen, shrinking at the fastest rate in 30 years. Labour is out of ideas after three successive general election victories. It is time for change.

The United Kingdom has a parliamentary system. After a general election and depending on the percentage of representation from seats in the House of Commons (the lower house), the winning party with a majority chooses its leader, the new prime minister of the country. There is no fixed time for the prime minister as long as he or she commands the confidence of Parliament. However, Parliament must face a general election called by the prime minister every 5 years. The last was in 2005.

Why will Mr. Brown dissolve Parliament and call for a general election sooner than the June deadline?

Because the arguments laid out by the two former cabinet ministers who pleaded for an internal vote of no-confidence (the so-called "coup") last week are sound:

(1) "continued speculation" over the next election is damaging Labour;
(2) "determined and united parliamentary party" needed to present a program to the electorate.

The British government is paralyzed by electoral uncertainty.There is not a glint of good news for the embattled Mr. Brown. Nothing seems to work. Labour is exhausted like the Tories after Thatcher-Major in the 1990s when the boyish  Tony Blair proffered a "new" Labour and won. Perhaps Deputy Leader Harriet Harman will become the new fresh face for Labour.

When Mr. Brown calls the general, he is likely to also announce his retirement to clear out the cobwebs for his party to carry on. GSM does not see a "hung Parliament." The Tories will win a clear majority in the Commons as their poll numbers continue to increase with each Brown blunder.

It is hoped the new UK prime minister follows in the mold of Churchill and Thatcher. He shows the courage of his convictions to challenge the island nation to once again summon the vigor to overcome as generations before and places the UK´s interests ahead of the Continent´s.

Are you ready, Mr. Cameron, for that august task?
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