Days of Change

Parliamentary Government Isn’t Any Better | June 9, 2017

ISIS may be better at influencing elections than Russia.

It took years for UKIP to actually hold the Brexit referendum last year. Since 1993, the European Union went from an economic collaboration to a political one. Germany was the most powerful economic member and therefore controls most EU-based rules and regulations. Given the presence of the EU in the life of Britons, notably in encouraging more refugees from Muslim countries, an up or down vote was something of a reset of what used to be a simple economic pact.

Brexit won the popular vote with about 52% and British government was shaken up. Theresa May became the new Prime Minister and promised to go forward with leaving the EU. This year, she decided to hold elections (something you can do in England) in an attempt to cement the lead of the Conservative Party. Unfortunately, a series of terrorist attacks caused the Conservatives to lose support, in part because May had reduced the number of law enforcement personnel in her role as Home Secretary.

The Conservative Party was lukewarm on Brexit. May’s predecessor David Cameron actually opposed it, forcing his resignation after the vote. They now have a minority in Parliament and will have to find at least one party with seats that would not actively oppose Brexit.

For the US, this provides some parallel to the Trump presidency. After the surprise success of Brexit, Trump claimed a similar ability to beat the polls (and especially poll-based prognostication) and did. The vote was also close, except the popular margin was on his opponent’s side. In the US, however, elections occur every 2 years. Like Brexit, Trump’s administration will be in effect regardless of the the votes. Also, like Brexit, the effectiveness of the movement will be greatly impacted by that vote.

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