Thursday, May 05, 2005
Blair wins, but loses power because he isn't liberal enough . . .
or at least that is the spin.
Tony Blair looked on course to win a historic third term as British prime minister in Thursday's election but with a hugely reduced parliamentary majority as voters punished him over Iraq.
Well, that's one interpretation.
But, if Tony Blair is being punished for not being liberal enough, why haven't the Liberal Democrats picked up more seats? They are projected to win only two additional seats -- and the Conservatives (Tories) are projected to pick up 44 additional seats.
Now, I'm no expert on British politics -- though I do know the Tories are much closer to the United States' Democrat Party in terms of political philosophy -- but it would seem to me that if the British public was truly seeking to send Tony Blair a message by voting for other leftist parties, then the Conservatives would not be picking up the seats they are picking up.
Interesting. In any event, it appears that Tony Blair will emerge as a weakened leader, which could have profound international ramifications. It could lead to his being removed as Prime Minister (i.e., his party could vote him out of that office). It could easily lead to withdrawal of British troops from Iraq. Most importantly, it could make it impossible for Blair to get Britain to ratify the EU constitution next year.
Fascinating stuff for a politics geek like me.