The British Election Was All About Immigration
May 11, 2010
Many observers are wondering why the Conservatives failed to gain an outright majority in last week’s elections. After all, Labour has been in power for thirteen years, Gordon Brown is deeply unpopular, and the budget is in crisis. Moreover, David Cameron worked hard to modernize and moderate the Conservative party, and despite a surge after the first debate, the Liberal Democrats scored only a modest gain in the popular vote and actually lost five seats. The answer is starting us in the face, and it’s disturbing: the Tories fell short because the right-wing anti-Europe, anti-immigrant partie
Pregnant With Risk
May 07, 2010
So what happens now? That's the question Britain asks itself this morning. It would have been easier to answer if the country had managed to make its mind up yesterday. but for the first time since 1974, a British general election has produced no winner, only multiple losers. Gordon Brown remains prime minister for now but his credibility is destroyed and it seems most unlikely that the country would wear any coalition deal he cobbled together.
May 02, 2010
WASHINGTON—"There's something else you need to know about me," declared the earnest young politician, "which is I believe the test of a good and strong society is how we look after the most vulnerable, the most frail and the poorest." This lovely bleeding-heart liberal sentiment was part of the closing statement offered by David Cameron, the leader of Britain's Conservative Party at last week's final debate before this Thursday's election. And after a rocky campaign start, Cameron now leads in the polls and may well become the next prime minister.
April 21, 2010
What, you ask, is going on? The honest answer is that no one in Britain really knows what is happening with our election.
March 15, 2010
LONDON -- Could Prime Minister Gordon Brown become the Harry Truman of British politics? For many long months, Brown and his Labor Party were written off as sure losers in this year's election, likely to be called for May 6. David Cameron, the young, energetic and empathetic Conservative Party leader, was all but handed Brown's job by the chattering classes, so consistent and formidable had been his lead in the polls. But suddenly, Cameron doesn't seem quite so inevitable. One recent poll showed Brown's party within two points of Cameron's.
Moment of Clarity
February 22, 2010
WASHINGTON--This week will determine the shape of American politics for the next three years. No, that's not one of those journalistic exaggerations intended to catch your attention, although I hope it did. It's an accurate description of the stakes at the health care summit President Obama has called for Thursday. The issue is whether the summit proves to be the turning point in a political year that, at the moment, is moving decisively in the Republicans' direction.
The Right and the GOP: Pushing On An Open Door
February 04, 2010
In any highly fluid political situation, you will always find some observers determined to argue that it's not fluid at all--that underneath the surface, the status quo prevails, and anyone thinking otherwise is naive or poorly informed. Tuesday night, you just knew that Mark Kirk's U.S. Senate primary victory in Illinois would be interpreted in some circles as proving that the much-discussed rightward trend in the Republican Party, sped along by pressure from the Tea Party Movement, was actually a mirage.
Doug Hoffman Vs. His Narrative
November 03, 2009
Dave Weigel has a great dispatch from New York’s 23rd district today in The Washington Independent that’s packed with juicy anecdotes, like Fred Thompson choking up as he introduced Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (if only he’d shown such commitment to his presidential bid!). What makes the Thompson detail so interesting is the extent to which it highlights the differences between the narrative building around Hoffman and his own temperament.
Gaming Out That Crazy House Race in Upstate NY
October 31, 2009
When I read just now that Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee for that special election in New York's 23rd congressional district, was dropping out, I had the same reaction Nate Silver did: This does not necessarily seal if for the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman, who basically forced Scozzafava from the race. Here's Silver: Although a majority of Scozzafava's supporters are Republican (about 62 percent, by my reckoning), it is safe to assume that they are mostly rather moderate Republicans, because almost all the conservative Republicans had already gone over to Hoffman.
The NY-23 GOP Meltdown Continues
October 20, 2009
It's bad enough that, if current trends continue, the GOP is likely to lose what should be a gimme congressional seat in New York's 23rd district next month thanks to a conservative spoiler candidate. Now sparks are flying between the moderate GOP nominee, Dede Scozzafava, and The Weekly Standard, which backs Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.