The UK General Election is upon us, somewhat earlier than expected, as citizens of the United Kingdom head to the voting booths on Thursday, ready to cast their vote for which political party they would like to see leading the country.
The current Prime Minister, Theresa May, called the snap election 3 years ahead of schedule after sensing weakness in the opposition party, although her lead in the polls has significantly suffered over the past few weeks; but then the very same polls gave us very little chance of Brexit and told us that Hillary would be running the show in the US.
So I wanted to explain the UK General Election to those unfamiliar with British politics, and I decided that Star Wars would be an efficient medium to get my point across.
The Current Administration – The Galactic Empire
So Theresa may is the current Prime Minister, having taken over from the outgoing David Cameron after the unexpected Brexit vote made his position untenable after he publicly supported remaining in the EU. Theresa May represents the Conservative Party, who believe that free markets and individual achievement are the primary factors behind economic prosperity. They are traditionally Center-Right and they believe that strong leadership is the way forward.
One of the main focus areas of the current government has been a strong belief that austerity will refill the coffers after Labour governments in the 90’s and early 2000’s spent more than they perhaps should have done. Many, however, believe that the current administration has gone too far and the cuts are too severe. For this reason, we will call the Conservatives the Galactic Empire.
Unfortunately for Theresa May, this makes her Emporer Palpatine. She may not be as pale, or have any special powers, but she is in charge of the Conservative Party and she is the favorite to win a majority and continue as Prime Minister.
The Opposition – The Rebel Alliance
The Labour Party is the official opposition and for this reason, we will label them the Rebel Alliance. The Labour ethos is a hope for a world where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect. They promise huge investment in public services, nationalization and a society where power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. It sounds great, and Labour do have some great ideas that would make a lot of people happy, but Labour have a controversial figure in charge, Jeremy Corbyn, who many people across the political spectrum feel in unelectable.
The Labour Party held a leadership vote after their unexpected capitulation of Ed Miliband at the last general election, losing outright to Theresa May’s predecessor, David Cameron. Corbyn wasn’t expected to win, because of his extremely left wing views, but he managed to fend off the challengers and take charge of his own party.
So we have a group of rogues, fighting for the greater good and equality amongst all peoples, fighting for the power to return to the people and away from the super-rich minority, and we have Jar-Jar Binks in charge of them.
The Other Challengers
Labour are the main opposition party, but we do have others who have a chance of making ground.
The United Kingdom Independence Party is one of the newer contenders, having been formed in 1993 with the goal of freeing the United Kingdom from Europe. They have views which many consider Right-Wing and ultra conservative. They received a larger share of the popular vote than expected in the last general election; however they managed to secure only one seat in parliament which was considered very disappointing. UKIP are not expected to do so well this time around, with many questioning both the need for UKIP now we are in the process of leaving the European Union, and where UKIP stands on big issues after some embarrassing PR gaffs and accusations of fraud, sexism and racism within the ranks. Whatever you might think of their enigmatic former leader, Nigel Farage, he has now passed the baton to Paul Nuttall, who looks and sounds vaguely like Watto.
The Scottish National Party dominated the last election, winning a large majority of seats in Scotland and annihilating the Labour Party north of the border. They are expected to do well once again, but the Conservative Party is expected to be resurgent and take some eats from them. The SNP are led by Nicola Sturgeon, who is confident that she will eventually persuade the Scottish public to leave the union with Great Britain and get independence for Scotland. She reminds me of Chewbacca with her consistent wailing.
The Liberal Democrats
Typically the party of students, the Lib Dems have also been fighting for relevancy in the modern world and have latched onto remaining in the European Union as a way to get people to vote for them. The leader, Tim Farron, reminds me of Wedge Antilles as he has a pretty small part to play in the grand scheme of galactic politics.
So the Empire were on course for a crushing victory just a few months ago, but the mood in the UK seems to be chopping and changing quite regularly at the moment. The Rebel Alliance have made inroads on the Empire’s lead and if they secure enough votes, could cause a hung-parliament, which means they would need to form a coalition with another party in order to win. But he people are wary of coalitions after the last time and an outright win for one party would be preferable.