I've said elsewhere that this was probably the last election where the Republicans stood a real chance of gaining the American Presidency with a program that mainly appeals to prosperous suburban whites and holds little appeal to most women and almost no appeal at all to racial minorities.
If the GOP is to survive, what do you think it would have to look like? What could it possibly look like?
"Tony Blair might be white, but that doesn't mean he isn't also a twat. When I vote, it is for policies, not ethnicity of the candidate."
So you voted for Major/Hague/Howard in '97/'01/'05?
We don't vote for Prime Ministers.
In 1997 I lived in West Kensington, which is part of the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. I voted for Iain Coleman (Labour), who at that time I felt best represented my views. He (narrowly) beat Matthew Carrington to take the seat in parliament.
It would have been Iain and the Labour party that put Tony Blair up as leader. As you may already know, the PM has to stand for election as an MP in his own constituency. If they don't vote him in as their MP, he can't be PM.
I saw some US election commentary that explained Mitt could lose in Massachusetts but still be President. That can't happen in the UK. It is a different system. Better or worse is a subjective opinion, but it does reduce the "X-Factor" sensationalism during the election run-up.
But here, Strega, as you doubtless know by now, Massachusetts doesn't offer him as a candidate - he simply, "throws his hat into the ring," or announces his desire to run for the position, then it's the job of all members of his party to vote for candidates among a roster of all who have expressed such a desire, within the Republican Party. The winner is nominated as that Party's candidate in the National Election.
It's a bit more complex than that, but that's for the benefit of those who might be here from other countries and be uncertain as to generally how it works. (Although there are those like Arcus, from Norway, who knows more about how this country works than I do!)
My apologies, the correct question should have been did you vote for the conservative with their implied PM candidates. We vote for parties here too, but it's hardly surprising as to whom ends up in the PM chair as the are on top of their party's list in their region and the only difference is that we don't have a FPTP system.
Voting for Labour you did know that "the twat" Blair would be the PM candidate though, seeing as he represented a heavily Labour (since the thirties I believe) constituency. I just find it odd you would implicitly vote for a twat to run your country.
BTW, are you a Yes, Minister fan?
HOWEVER, your PM is chosen, do you think the UK is on the verge of having a PM of color (colour for you)?
Strange as it may seem, in the US, a candidate can lose the popular vote by a bit and still be elected President, and that's because of an electoral system designed to give less populous states a bit more oomph in the process, much in the way that our Senate is composed of two senators no matter the population of the state they represent.
Yes, Arcus it was implicit that Tony Blair would be the PM - I had no idea he was going to be the kind of PM he turned out to be, mind you. He was pretty much an unknown when Labour took power. Who knew?
I can say in his favour, that he postponed formally converting to Catholicism until he left the post of PM, saving the rest of us the embarrassment of having our esteemed leader declaring for Sky Daddy.
I am a Yes,Minister and Yes,Prime Minister addict. Have you read the books? They are amazing, they are written as diaries and you can get them on Amazon. They also do quite a good job of illustrating how the UK government works, as a sideline.
Arch I understand a lot more about the way politics works at State level than at Federal level. I have had need to spend time in the Vermont Legislature, and I have to tell you that the sincerity and effort they put into their activities is very inspiring - the transparency too, was impressive.
Comparing and contrasting the UK and the USA election techniques is probably something that could take a ton of pages to do, and its not my intent to waffle on. Both systems work, but very differently, to achieve their own kinds of democracy. Both have flaws.
One of our worst flaws is that we do not have a restriction on the number of terms a PM can serve. Yours is 8 years. From my experience, any of our PM's that were incumbent for more than 8 years, began to evidence signs of autocracy and were headed towards being indistinguishable from dictators. They started out well, but I truly believe your 8 year limit is a very useful safety limitation.
Unseen, I'm not ignoring you, just running out of column space. If we have an election where the party has chosen a leader of ethnic minority, I don't think that will make much difference to the voting. I can see it happening, but we would have to swap the party in power, because we don't have the benefit of the rule of an 8 year limit.
RE: "8 year limit" - actually, Strega, there was no limit until the middle of the last century. FDR was so popular as a President, it was evident at the beginning of his second term, that he would likely run for, and win a third (no one could predict he would die in office), so the rule was made that no President could serve more than two. And I agree with you, that two is enough.
Jefferson said he thought this country should stage a revolution every 20 years. Limited terms is our (nearly) bloodless compromise.
@Strega: I just find it a bit incredulous that what was most likely a disagreement about a few choices in the waning part of his PMship (I presume the Iraq war) color your whole portrait of him. He was, after all, strongly considered to become the "PM of Europe" for a good 3-4 years, and completely reshaped all labor parties across Europe, especially with regard to his NPM focus.
It begs the question of whether or not you are still a Labour supporter or have switched your political affiliation?
(I also need to check out the books, I was not aware of them up until this point.)
I have no idea where this post will come out, but to Arcus... I have noticed that with strong Statesmen, they have a completely different image internationally than they do nationally. Very often, a PM disliked for his internal policies, may have laudable external ones. Or hers. Actually Thatcher was a good example of the two images.
Is that just Brits or do you think that's true of all the major powers?
Tony Blair lied to parliament about Sadam's WMD. Flatly lied. I really didn't like that. It wasn't the war issue which is another thing. It was the fact he was starting to get that Omnipotent twitch. That's why I think the US eight year limit is a good thing.
I don't know whether Blair lied, or whether he was just gullible enough to believe his buddy, Little George W, who lied.
I think it's clear Bush was fooled, too, by a particular Iraqi expat who had an agenda of his own, and who insisted that Saddam had WMD's. Apparently Bush forgot Reagan's dictum: "Trust but verify."
Remember, too, that Saddam didn't make verification easy and certainly ACTED like he had WMD's.
My personal opinion is that he didn't care, as long as he had deniability, he was free to do what his daddy started. I also believe that that is why Powell resigned, because he was too honorable to continue working for the diabolic trinity - Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld.