Buscador avanzado

La disolución del Reino Unido

Los comicios municipales parciales y regionales que se acaban de celebrar en el Reino Unido se encuentran entre las citas electorales más importantes que se han llevado a cabo en la historia reciente del país. Y también entre las más dramáticas. El mismo jueves, día de las votaciones, los ciudadanos se despertaron con la noticia de que el Gobierno de Boris Johnson había enviado dos patrulleras de la Marina a las islas del Canal, bajo soberanía de la Corona británica, donde un conflicto con Francia por los derechos de pesca en esas aguas amenazaba con estallar en un episodio de violencia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Political trends in the United States and Britain have mirrored one another for decades, so the Labour Party’s stunning collapse across blue-collar England in last Thursday’s local elections is a clear warning sign for President Biden and Democrats. A full analysis gives Democrats signs of hope but also shows how difficult it will be to build a durable Democratic coalition.

The headline results were a disaster for Labour leader Keir Starmer. The party lost the parliamentary constituency of Hartlepool by a whopping 23 points. The seat resides in a working-class area that Britain’s Conservative Party had never won previously and that had once been occupied by Peter Mandelson, the Labour politician who served as former prime minister Tony Blair’s spin doctor.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una Escocia independiente

El 6 de mayo se celebrarán elecciones locales en gran parte de lo que todavía es el Reino Unido. La previsión es que el Partido Nacional Escocés (SNP), dirigido por la carismática Nicola Sturgeon, obtenga la mayoría absoluta, con 71 de los 129 escaños del Parlamento escocés; ocho escaños más que en las elecciones de 2016. La anterior vez en que el SNP logró la mayoría absoluta, con 69 escaños, fue en 2011, cuando lo dirigía el predecesor de Sturgeon al frente del partido y como primer ministro, Alex Salmond.

Si la previsión para mayo se confirma, se supone que Sturgeon aprovechará la mayoría para impulsar la campaña por un segundo referéndum sobre la independencia de Escocia.…  Seguir leyendo »

La elección general de este mes en el Reino Unido no sólo zanjó la cuestión del Brexit, sino que también despachó la visión de socialismo extremo de Jeremy Corbyn, líder del Partido Laborista. La derrota electoral de Corbyn es un alivio para los que rechazan el modelo económico venezolano: si se mueve, se regula; si todavía se mueve, se le cobran impuestos; y si después de eso todavía le queda un espasmo de vida, se lo nacionaliza. El RU se salvó de cinco años de una distracción muy costosa. No extraña que los mercados soltaran un suspiro de alivio después de la victoria aplastante de los conservadores.…  Seguir leyendo »

A protester wears anti-Brexit badges. (Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg News)

As soon as the general elections in Britain were announced for Dec. 12, people started talking about alliances and tactical voting. Britain has similar electoral rules to the United States, but it also has more parties. This means that there is a bigger chance that strategic coordination among either parties or the electorate can change outcomes. Tactical voting seemed particularly important because British politics was divided by the issue of E.U. membership. Parties and voters who wanted to leave the European Union (pro-leave) might want to coordinate, but parties and voters who wanted to stay in the E.U. (pro-remain) had even stronger reasons to coordinate: early public opinion polls suggested that this was the only way they could beat the pro-leave Conservative Party.…  Seguir leyendo »

Conservatives won big in the U.K. election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his governing Conservative Party won a convincing victory in last week’s U.K. general election. The Conservatives captured 365 seats, sufficient for a solid majority in Parliament and fully 48 more than the 317 seats they won in the 2017 general election. Their main rival, Labour, fared poorly. Recording its worst performance in decades, Labour was reduced to 203 seats, down from 262 in 2017. What accounts for the election outcome?

Two major arguments have been offered why the Conservatives did so well and Labour, so poorly. The first is that the election was “all about Brexit.”…  Seguir leyendo »

"La Historia a los vencidos / puede ofrecer su pena, pero no ayuda ni perdón”. Los versos que dedicó W. H. Auden a la guerra civil española sirven hoy para nosotros, los europeos británicos. Luchamos para mantener nuestro país en la Unión Europea y perdimos. La mitad de Gran Bretaña que quiere irse de la UE se unió en torno a Boris Johnson, mientras que la mitad que quiere permanecer en la Unión se dividió, se enfrentó consigo misma y se hundió por un lastre electoral llamado Jeremy Corbyn. Si un eslogan de tres palabras, engañoso pero eficaz —Recuperemos el control—, ganó el referéndum de 2016, otro breve eslogan igual de engañoso y eficaz, Acabemos con el Brexit, ha ganado estas elecciones.…  Seguir leyendo »

Parafraseando a Churchill, las elecciones británicas de 2019 no suponen el fin del Brexit. Ni siquiera suponen el principio del fin. Pero sí marcan el fin del principio, y esto ya es mucho. La política y los debates británicos de los tres últimos años se pueden resumir en un gigantesco proceso de adaptación al nuevo mundo posreferéndum. Es decir, al escenario que se abrió súbitamente, y para sorpresa de muchos, aquel día de 2016 en el que un 52% de los británicos votó a favor de abandonar la Unión Europea. Desde entonces, hemos asistido a un esfuerzo constante por adaptar el eje clásico de la política británica (el de izquierda-derecha) a uno nuevo (europeísta-antieuropeísta).…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during a Conservative Party event early Friday in London after the general election.Credit...Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Boris Johnson gambled everything on an election and won.

Called to resolve the intractable problem of Brexit, the election on Thursday — undertaken in winter, itself a sign of political crisis — delivered the Conservative Party its first commanding majority in over 40 years. The scale and shape of the victory surpassed projections: Parliament will be full of acquiescent Conservative legislators while the opposition Labour Party teeters on the precipice of civil war.

Mr. Johnson now has the means to do as he pleases. At the end of his term in five years, Britain will be a very different place. Out of the European Union for a start, but perhaps also no longer a union of nations.…  Seguir leyendo »

Britain’s election results seem to point in two very different directions. The headline result is that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has won a smashing victory against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, clearing the way for Britain’s exit from the European Union. This would seem like good news for British nationalists, who have treated the E.U. as an enemy for decades.

Yet this victory may weaken the political fabric of the United Kingdom. Scottish nationalists did extraordinarily well, too, while for the first time, more nationalist members of Parliament (who want a united Ireland) have been elected in Northern Ireland than unionist MPs (who want the union with Great Britain to continue).…  Seguir leyendo »

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images A mural depicting Prime Minister Boris Johnson, London, December 12, 2019

The immediate, clear consequence of the UK election of December 12, 2019, is that Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has succeeded where Theresa May’s failed in the last general election, in 2017—by winning an emphatic parliamentary majority that can pass the legislation necessary to facilitate Britain’s departure from the European Union. The faint irony of that two-year hiatus and the handover of party leadership from May to Johnson is that the latter’s deal is rather worse—from the Brexiteers’ point of view—than the one May repeatedly failed to get past Parliament. Nevertheless, the 2019 general election will go down as the moment British voters in effect voted a resounding “yes” in a de facto second referendum on Brexit and gave Boris Johnson a mandate to make his deal law and attempt to meet the latest Brexit deadline (January 31, 2020).…  Seguir leyendo »

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a campaign event on Wednesday.Credit...Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Back when Donald Trump was running for president — and Republicans were still capable of feeling politically ashamed — a conservative friend made what was, to my mind, the decisive case against voting for him.

No, a ballot for Trump did not automatically mean that his voters shared his bigotries. Nor did it necessarily mean that they weren’t embarrassed by them.

It just meant that those bigotries weren’t deal-breakers. If their candidate was a birther, they could live with it. If he thought celebrity was a license for sexual predation, they could live with it. If he wanted to impose a religious test on immigrants; or discredit a judge on account of his ethnic background; or characterize the bulk of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” — that may all have been very unfortunate.…  Seguir leyendo »

Many Americans think of Britain and England as synonymous. That’s not so, and today’s election in the United Kingdom can only be understood if one sees the nation accurately: It is a collection of countries and political tribes.

The U.K. includes four distinct nations. England is by far the largest in terms of territory and population and has always dominated the others. Wales has been been ruled from London since 1283, but the Welsh language and Welsh nationalism continue to flourish in some parts. Scotland only became formally part of the U.K. in 1707 and remains linguistically and culturally distinct. Finally, Northern Ireland consists of the six northern counties of Ireland, which remained part of the U.K.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United Kingdom is voting today. But while citizens will be casting votes for parties, they think of themselves more in relation to Brexit — as Leavers or Remainers — than in terms of party loyalty. A recent YouGov poll suggests 86 percent of voters feel attached to their Brexit choices, while only 68 percent of voters feel attached to a party. In new research, we find views on Brexit can be more important than party affiliation for determining votes, and they shape people’s willingness to contemplate violations of standard democratic norms.

Here is how Brexit has reshaped British politics.

Views on Brexit shape how people are going to vote

Views on Brexit cut across party lines, and shape how people are going to vote.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at a campaign event on Wednesday.Credit...Hannah Mckay/Reuters

This is the dejection election. Not in my lifetime has Britain faced such a miserable choice. Two vain, incompetent, mediocre charlatans are competing to become prime minister. For the Conservatives, we have the blustering, lying, oafish puffball Boris Johnson. In the Labour corner is the querulous, wooden, sanctimonious Jeremy Corbyn.

The two candidates are so alarming that, in an unprecedented intervention, former prime ministers from each of their parties have pleaded with voters to block them. Tony Blair and John Major have urged tactical votes against Mr. Corbyn and Mr. Johnson. Everywhere, exhausted, disillusioned, skeptical voters debate who is worse. British politics has never known anything like it.…  Seguir leyendo »

The United Kingdom is set for a dramatic election night Thursday. Will Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson land the parliamentary majority he needs to secure his Brexit deal?

According to the latest opinion polls the Conservatives seem likely to win a majority. Here are the four factors likely to shape the outcome:

1. Johnson wants a Brexit focus; Labour wants to change the subject

In interviews and debates, Johnson has repeated his central slogan and promise to “Get Brexit Done.” The message appeals to those who voted in June 2016 for Britain to leave the European Union, while speaking to the general public’s disillusionment and frustration with politicians who have bickered over Brexit for the past three and a half years.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante años, el polarizador Brexit ha sido el principal problema político del Reino Unido y es el pretexto para las elecciones generales del jueves. Según una encuesta reciente, parar lograr sus fines, aceptarían recurrir a la violencia más del 80% de los partidarios de abandonar la UE y más del 50% de los contrarios a la salida. En otro sondeo de este mismo año, más del 50% de los encuestados decía que apoyaría a un líder fuerte dispuesto a vulnerar normas democráticas.

Son indicios peligrosos. Una parlamentaria contraria al Brexit fue asesinada por un fanático precisamente por eso. Los conservadores que ocupan el Gobierno desde 2010, responsables de un estricto programa de austeridad, han forzado el anticipo electoral con el lema ¡Culminemos ya el Brexit!…  Seguir leyendo »

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn at the state opening of Parliament in October. Photo: Getty Images.

Genuine ideological differences have returned to British politics. That is as true in foreign policy as in questions of domestic politics. The post-Cold War foreign policy consensus in UK politics around liberal multilateralism is fraying.

This tradition had some key characteristics. It saw Britain as one of the cornerstones of an international order built on a liberal (or neo-liberal if you prefer) approach to economic globalization. EU membership was considered central to Britain’s influence and prosperity (even if further political integration never had deep support). Security policy was grounded in a stable package of NATO membership, close ties to the US, nuclear deterrence and a willingness to conduct military intervention.…  Seguir leyendo »

Où se cachent tous les électeurs britanniques hostiles au Brexit ? Et pourquoi aucun parti ne peut-il les représenter ? C’est le mystère non résolu de l’élection britannique qui va avoir lieu le 12 décembre. En juin 2016, 17,4 millions – un tiers des 52 millions de citoyens britanniques âgés de plus de 18 ans et ayant donc le droit de vote – ont choisi de quitter l’Union européenne (UE). Dans la plupart des démocraties, un plébiscite modifiant les arrangements constitutionnels, économiques, sociaux et de politique étrangère d’un pays exige les suffrages d’au moins la moitié des électeurs.

Le référendum de 2016 était un plébiscite populiste sur l’immigration.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boris Johnson wants to get tougher on crime

Last week’s terrorist knife attack in London reignited Britain’s political battle over crime, just as the United Kingdom heads toward a Dec. 12 general election. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn blamed each other for justice policy failures. The attacker was out on parole from a previous conviction; he might theoretically still be in prison if, when sentenced, Johnson’s proposals had already been in place.

What are those proposals? In August, Johnson announced plans to end the U.K.’s current automatic license (parole) system for sentences of 14 or more years. Under current provisions, these prisoners are often eligible for release after half their original sentence.…  Seguir leyendo »