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UK Imas- please explain current situation

 
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 1:50 pm
I tried googling and I'm still confused. Also, I put this here rather than in politics because I wanted to stay anon (feeling stupid for not knowing) and because I'm not really interested in politics or opinions, just a simple explanation of what's going on.

So I understand that Teresa May resigned, so there needs to be a new prime minister. I assumed this meant there would be a general election, but apparently that's not the case? It's just a party election?

Next question: I heard that this week Boris Johnson will be announced as new PM. Is this a sure thing? Or a thing until a general election is held? Is it like Israel where he has to form a coalition by a certain deadline or else face general elections?

Thank you in advance for your patience in explaining Smile
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Raisin




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 2:05 pm
No, if a prime minister resigns mid term, the ruling party just need to elect a new leader and the leader becomes prime minister. Thats how Teresa May became prime minister too.

First the conservative MPs got to choose which 2 MPs would be in the running. Now, I believe it is members of the conservative party (I guess any member of public who belongs to party and pays the membership fee) who vote on these two.

Boris Johnson will almost certainly win this election. He doesn't have to form a new government...the conservatives already have a majority, just about, with the help of the Ulster Unionists. I guess he has to be nice enough to the Ulster Unionists so they don't quit on him. He does have to choose a cabinet. (a few of the old cabinet have already annouced they are resigning and won't serve under him)
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Brownies




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:04 pm
Just to add to what Raisin wrote - in the UK we vote for a party, not a prime minister*, I.e. unlike in America we have no separate ballot paper to choose who will lead the country - each area votes for a member of parliament (MP) to represent them, and the party with the most MPs will usually become the government if they have a large enough majority - and the leader of the party is prime minister by default.

Therefore if the leader of a party resigns, the party simply chooses a new leader who automatically becomes prime minister if that party is in power.

(*Technically and theoretically. In practice this is debatable especially nowadays when the UK has started imitating American presidential debates between party leaders before a general election.)
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amother




Puce


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:08 pm
Brownies wrote:
Just to add to what Raisin wrote - in the UK we vote for a party, not a prime minister*, I.e. unlike in America we have no separate ballot paper to choose who will lead the country - each area votes for a member of parliament (MP) to represent them, and the party with the most MPs will usually become the government if they have a large enough majority - and the leader of the party is prime minister by default.

Therefore if the leader of a party resigns, the party simply chooses a new leader who automatically becomes prime minister if that party is in power.

(*Technically and theoretically. In practice this is debatable especially nowadays when the UK has started imitating American presidential debates between party leaders before a general election.)


In Canada the party leaders debate before a general election. Has been like this for years.
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:13 pm
Thank you. I was aware that you vote for the party, but I thought it was like Israel, where you have party primaries to determine who would get each seat, and then a general election to determine who the party with the most seats (and thus PM) will be. Didn't realize the party stays and just chooses a new head.

Does that mean you only have elections when there's due to be an election, or do you still sometimes have coalitions falling apart and forcing early elections?
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Brownies




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:27 pm
amother [ Puce ] wrote:
In Canada the party leaders debate before a general election. Has been like this for years.


Ok... I’m not sure why this is relevant. In the UK this never happened before 2010.

My point is just that people often say “the UK votes for a governing party, not a prime minister” to justify the fact that the UK will be getting a new leader who is being chosen by 160 000 Conservative party members - a fraction of the total electorate. In my opinion this is not entirely true given that the party leaders have such a large part to play in convincing the people to vote for their party (eg by means of the TV debates) and many people will vote for a party based on who its leader is.

Case in point - many UK Jews are lifelong Labour voters but would not currently even dream of voting Labour due to Jeremy Corbyn being its leader - even though their local Labour MP may be friendly to Jews and good at his or her job (or even Jewish himself).
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amother




Puce


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:38 pm
Brownies wrote:
Ok... I’m not sure why this is relevant. In the UK this never happened before 2010.

My point is just that people often say “the UK votes for a governing party, not a prime minister” to justify the fact that the UK will be getting a new leader who is being chosen by 160 000 Conservative party members - a fraction of the total electorate. In my opinion this is not entirely true given that the party leaders have such a large part to play in convincing the people to vote for their party (eg by means of the TV debates) and many people will vote for a party based on who its leader is.

Case in point - many UK Jews are lifelong Labour voters but would not currently even dream of voting Labour due to Jeremy Corbyn being its leader - even though their local Labour MP may be friendly to Jews and good at his or her job (or even Jewish himself).


Its relevant that Leaders debating in this type of parliamentary system isn't necessarily an imitation of what happens in the US.

Prior to 2010 people were very aware of who the party leaders were prior to the election and though there were no debates, there was materials about both the party leader and the platform.

Functionally you vote for the party - which is why there is no General Election now.
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Brownies




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:39 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you. I was aware that you vote for the party, but I thought it was like Israel, where you have party primaries to determine who would get each seat, and then a general election to determine who the party with the most seats (and thus PM) will be. Didn't realize the party stays and just chooses a new head.

Does that mean you only have elections when there's due to be an election, or do you still sometimes have coalitions falling apart and forcing early elections?


Until the last few years, there were rarely governing coalitions in the UK - for a long time, either the conservatives or labour had enough of a majority that they could rule alone - very different to the Israeli system, due to different voting systems. So the concept of coalitions falling apart isn’t really so relevant to the UK.

Until 2011, when to call an election was pretty much in the hands of the prime minister, so he could do it at his convenience and whenever it best suited him or her as long as it was up to 5 years since the last one. In 2011 a new act was brought in which made it much more difficult to call an early election - there had to be a 2/3 majority in parliament or a vote of no confidence in the government. Otherwise elections are on the first Thursday in May of the 5th year after the previous election. (Theresa May called an early election in 2017 based on 2/3 support of MPs which turned out pretty badly for her).
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amother




OP


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:46 pm
Brownies wrote:
Until the last few years, there were rarely governing coalitions in the UK - for a long time, either the conservatives or labour had enough of a majority that they could rule alone - very different to the Israeli system, due to different voting systems. So the concept of coalitions falling apart isn’t really so relevant to the UK.

Until 2011, when to call an election was pretty much in the hands of the prime minister, so he could do it at his convenience and whenever it best suited him or her as long as it was up to 5 years since the last one. In 2011 a new act was brought in which made it much more difficult to call an early election - there had to be a 2/3 majority in parliament or a vote of no confidence in the government. Otherwise elections are on the first Thursday in May of the 5th year after the previous election. (Theresa May called an early election in 2017 based on 2/3 support of MPs which turned out pretty badly for her).


Got it. Didn't May resign due to a vote of no confidence though?
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Brownies




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:47 pm
amother [ Puce ] wrote:
Its relevant that Leaders debating in this type of parliamentary system isn't necessarily an imitation of what happens in the US.

Prior to 2010 people were very aware of who the party leaders were prior to the election and though there were no debates, there was materials about both the party leader and the platform.


Of course people knew who the party leaders were before TV debates - I’m not denying that. My point was only that it is hard to justify having a leader being chosen by such a small number of people based on the premise that “we elect a party not a prime minister - therefore it’s fine for the party to choose whichever leader it likes.” This was true before the TV debates began but even more so
afterwards. Whether you want to look at it as imitating American politics (though I’m certainly not the only one in the UK who thinks that) or not is really irrelevant to the point I am making. I hope that clarifies what I was trying to say.

(Imagine Tony Blair had resigned during his premiership for whatever reason and the Labour Party had elected Jeremy Corbyn as leader and default prime minister in his place...)
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Brownies




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jul 22 2019, 4:55 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Got it. Didn't May resign due to a vote of no confidence though?


I can’t even remember clearly any more; it’s all such a mess. IIRC there was a vote of no confidence in her at the end of 2018 but she actually won that (I.e. most of the party voted that they did still have “confidence” in her.). I think she is resigning now because her Brexit deal failed to get through parliament 3 times and she basically is being pushed out and does not have the support of her MPs any more. There was no formal vote of no confidence this time - just too much pressure to leave that she couldn’t withstand any more.
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