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Osgerby: Asking questions about the UK's future

BY PAUL OSGERBY | MAY 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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Elections in the UK are a labyrinth. There are six different types of electoral systems and are each administered hierarchically among the 646 constituencies — each garnering its own Member of Parliament, plus an additional four seats to make 650 since 2010. Because of the expanse of nations in the UK, different methods are applied, resulting in different polling to ultimately elect government officials.

The multitudes of denominations in majority parties received the majority of votes (as per usual), while only two independent MPs were elected this year.

David Cameron led the Conservative Party (colloquially known as the Tories) to a shocking victory in the general election, taking 331 of the possible 650 seats in Parliament. The other major parties, Labour and Liberal Democrats, took 232 and a mere 8, respectively. Because the Liberal Democrats abandoned pledges to their platform to merge with the Tories, they dropped 49 seats from 2010.
The Scottish National Party took a resounding sweep in its national seats.

Cameron also (un)surprisingly appointed an entirely Tory Cabinet in Westminster. In regards to these results, there are several talking points.

Friends in London, whom I’ve been keeping in touch with since my time there last fall, have attended numerous protests of the new Tory-led government. Austerity is a major talking point, and many across the city fear that Cameron’s regime will continue cuts to major public services in order for the government to maintain big money.

Anti-austerity demonstrations are bringing up perceived threats to funding for the National Health Service, education, and art facilities, which are major concerns for much of the middle-class in the UK.

Addressing these threats are integral for the people, as privatizing such would more than likely result in price-of-living increase. For the government to provide health services and education and then drastically reduce budgeting, the younger, less-affluent generations in the UK will be faced with tough environments and decisions.

Perhaps it’s another subtle way for the Tory party’s campaign to reduce immigration, though — the possibility of sacrificing amenities to the working class for the government’s political gain is not foreign in the UK.

Cameron and Company have been vying for a revised agreement in the European Union. Out of fear that huge spikes in continental and refugee immigration, particularly in London, the Tories are seeking to shut the UK’s doors.

Their rhetoric is revolving around the typical demonization of depicting immigrants as leeches, but in a more euphemized and politically correct manner (of course). My London friends, many of whom come from outside the UK and form the vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere that city uniquely holds, fear that a right-wing government could ultimately be a detriment toward their citizenship.

An additional issue that the UK will face is the astonishing popularity of the Scottish Nationalist Party in Parliament, which forced the independence election last year. Commentators are now feverishly focusing on another potential vote to secede from the UK in the near future — most likely with much more popularity.

The composition of the UK is now at stake with how this election unfolded. It will be interesting to see how the next five years write, or rewrite, history


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