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Yes, Prime Minister
The events that took place today in London were nothing short of remarkable. If you were able to watch any of the proceedings during our 1pm-3pm hours (CST), you know what I’m talking about.
During that time, Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister, he then left 10 Downing Street to head to Buckingham Palace where he gave the Queen his resignation. Then, within minutes, David Cameron went to Buckingham Palace where the Queen asked him to form a government, he agreed, and with that a new Prime Minister made his way to Downing Street to get to work.
Upon arriving to 10 Downing Street, Cameron gave this speech, with no notes and no teleprompter.
The dynamics of the election last week and some of what led to the changes today, will be stuff of history. We’ll be reading about it for years to come I’m sure. One of the people who had led Obama’s campaign in 2008, Anita Dunn, was a key player in Cameron’s campaign. It’s no coincidence that “change” was part of the Conservative Party logo and message this year.
As I touched on before and will write more about later, the Cameron campaign was a conservative model that we should look at following parts of here in the United States going into 2010. From the “contract with young people“, to their “contract for jobs“, to their “quality of life manifesto“, I think the Conservative Party put forth one positive proposal after another and they earned the trust of the people of Britain (yes there is a hung parliament, but the number of seats that changed hands was overwhelming).
One thing we must understand, and learn to live with, it that in those proposals, people may not have agreed with the Conservative Party 100% on each idea in each proposal. However, the party itself was bold enough to say “here is where we stand, where does the other side stand?”. I think when you make the choices that clear, people will always follow the logical options and the ones based on the most common sense
Conservative Offense Must Be Keeping Gordon Brown Awake At Night
As I reported yesterday, Conservative Party candidate for Prime Minister, David Cameron, introduced what is known as “A contract between the Conservative Party and you”.
Obviously, I was impressed. Then, I woke up this morning to see that the Conservative Party has now introduced a “contract for jobs“. In my opinion, this contract is full of common sense solutions. One of the highlights was this:
“introduce Work for Yourself, a new scheme to help unemployed would-be entrepreneurs start their own business by giving them access to a business mentor and start-up loans.”
I happen to think this overall concept is great, it’s something we should have been doing here since the beginning of the internet boom. I do wonder about the word “scheme” though. Maybe overseas that word carries a different connotation, but here, that word sounds under-handed and negative.
The election is four days away. The Conservatives are on serious offense right now. I almost can’t wait until the 10pm and 11pm hours here in the States for the new articles to start hitting the British websites in their early morning hours. You have to assume Gordon Brown wants to respond, which would mean Cameron is controlling the debate. I suspect we’ll have four more days of full throttle offense from Cameron and the Conservatives on their way to victory on Thursday.
Britons Adopt “Contract” Theme
On Thursday afternoon I tuned in to watch the third and final Prime Minister debate from across the pond, you can watch the entire debate here. As mentioned here before, this is the first time these debates have ever been televised. One bit of irony for me was the way Gordon Brown mirrored Richard Nixon. Not necessarily the Richard Nixon from the first ever televised Presidential debates in 1960, but the later Nixon on the 1968 and 1972 campaigns. So the “television thing” is something we Americans could claim as our idea, now adopted by the Britons some 50 years later.
Now, the guy at the top of the ballot for the Conservative Party, David Cameron, has proposed a “contract” to 3.5 million independent voters. He went through many of the same rituals that Newt Gingrich and the Republicans did in 1994, such as signing a giant version of the contract in front of a crowd. The “contract” also includes a suggestion to the voters that if the promises are not met, they are to “vote us out” in five years.
A good report on this new development can be found here:
The contract sets out 16 different pledges – five to change politics, five to change the economy and six to change society.
They include controlling immigration, cutting the pay of Government ministers and raising standards in schools.
The two-page document – entitled “A contract between the Conservative Party and you” – is also used to rebuff Labour allegations that Mr Cameron is secretly planning to remove some benefits, including the winter fuel allowance and other state perks for pensioners.
The contract can be found here in full.
If you haven’t paid attention to this process overseas, it’s worth looking at because I think the Conservative Party is doing many things we would do well adopting here in the lead up to 2010 and 2012. In that final debate, in a somewhat heated moment where the candidates are actually afforded more dialogue than ours are afforded, there was this great comment spoken by David Cameron:
“But do I want to cut taxes on all businesses, particularly small businesses to get the economy moving? You’re damn right I do.”
If you go to the C-SPAN feed of the debate and advance to 35:54, you’ll see the comments in full. We don’t hear candidates talk like that here.
We’ve heard the saying that “life mirrors art”, well in this case, countries are mirroring countries through their political systems. With the expected results this week in Britain, where the Conservative Party is now poised to lead for the first time since 1997, we might do well to remember what worked and what didn’t, and see if we can do some mirroring of our own. Elections like these, and the recent elections in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia show that when we intelligently and passionately take our message to the voters, we win elections.
British Prime Minster Election
I’m ready to call next week’s Prime Minister election in favor of Conservative party candidate David Cameron. Prime Minister Brown’s recent gaffe, is such a clear example of the difference in political systems between the U.S. and Britain. While it used to be true that “what happens in Europe eventually happens here”, the Prime Minister candidates are having live television debates this year, for the FIRST time ever. Something we started doing here in 1960 with the infamous Kennedy vs. Nixon debate.
There had been quite a bit of speculation about a hung Parliament, but the gaffe by the guy at the top of the ballot, may influence enough independents to empower the Conservative party.
I’ll have more later on about the impact of the Conservative party on the national elections in Britain. I think the party has done many things right. David Cameron presented what became known as a “Green Manifesto”, which addressed environmental issues from a more sensible, rational point of view. Stay tuned.