Live from the Roasterie: I continue to be greatly puzzled by the recent British election. Face it: a parliamentary first-past-the-post system with national slates is just weird. It is especially weird when, as now, politicians and voters have failed to recognize the Downsian logic that ought to lead to two parties hugging the median voter.
My puzzlement this morning comes from the fact that nobody seems to want to tell me where the bulk of the 2010 Liberal Democratic voters went. Did they go to the Conservative Party? And did the Conservative pParty lose a quarter of its 2010 votes to UKIP? Or is it that the Liberal Democratic voters see their identity as being neither Labour nor Conservative, and so jumped to UKIP when Nick Clegg turned the Liberal Democrats into Conservatives-not-so-light?
There is also the strange confusion between “parliamentary victory” and “popular mandate” the British press seems to suffer from. The Conservatives have a majority of seats. But only two-thirds as many voters have the politicians they voted for in the government as did in 2010. So why is it not genuinely agreed that this is a much weaker government than the last one?