Britons will going to the polls today to vote in their National Election. So far, the U.K. still includes Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The anxiety for this election began to build after current Prime Minister David Cameron gave the keys of the Kingdom to Scotland, prior to its Independence Referendum last September, in order to encourage it to remain within the United Kingdom
During the run-up to that pivotal vote, Cameron basically opened a Pandora’s Box. Since that time, there have been calls for independence throughout the country–even to include within Britain itself. Mainstream Brits have resented the fact that the Scots could vote on issues that pertain only to Scotland, such as education and health care; but, the “true Bretons” could not have similar votes that pertain only to them.
Given the splintered process that is generally common in parliamentary systems, the election is not always over until sometime after it is over–when a government is actually formed. Starting with the two traditional major parties–Cameron’s Conservative (or Tory) Party, and the Labour Party, led by Ed Miliband–each of the two majors are expected to win barely one-third of the total number of seats required. Under the Parliamentary System; however, the leading party would then have a period of time to put together a coalition of parties, with a majority, to “form a Government”. If it cannot do so, the opportunity would be given to someone else.
There have been two major questions that have been floating around the British Isles since the Scottish Independent Referendum last September: Will the United Kingdom remain in the European Union? And, will each of the historically separate countries remain within the United Kingdom? Since last September, Independence from Great Britain has certainly had its champions. Any potential splits from the U.K, however, would, be somewhat off into the future.
The various fringe parties in the U.K. National Election–Liberal Democrats, U.K. Independence, Greens and Plaid Cymru–are expected to only win a handful of seats each, if any seats at all. That leaves the Scottish National Party, which is led by Ms. Nicola Sturgeon, as the King-maker. Her SNP, which currently holds only six seats in Parliament, is expected to win between 45 and 50 seats. That would mean that either Cameron or Miliband would need to hold their nose and encourage Ms, Sturgeon to join in their Government.
The Scottish National Party has gained a great deal of support, and Ms. Sturgeon has also attracted a large fan base, not just in Scotland, but around the U.K. In essence, most Britons are used to having either the Conservative or Labour Party Leader residing in No. 10 Downing Street. Currently, many had wondered what the alternative options might have been.
Ms. Sturgeon has stated that she would not even consider joining a Conservative Government and, assuming that Labour would be the only viable option, she intends to negotiate at least a part of her agenda being adopted by any coalition agenda. It appears that Nicola Sturgeon is most vocal about two key issues: ridding England of nuclear weapons and eliminating Austerity from the fiscal budget process.
Tomorrow, we will see if Ms. Nicola Sturgeon, of the Scottish National Party is, indeed, the winner. At the same time, since we are talking about England, the betting parlours will also be winners, as they always seem to be.
NOTE: Until Russia eliminates its nuclear arsenal, the Trident submarine base, at Clyde, Scotland, is vital to NATO’s defense of Europe. So, I believe that Ms. Sturgeon is somewhat naive if she is seriously suggesting the elimination of that naval base..