Why is the UK holding a special election?

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What’s in the news?…

Today people in the U.K. went to the polls to elect a new parliament and subsequently the Prime Minister…

Why is this election special?…

Because it wasn’t supposed to happen until 2020. Current Prime Minister Theresa May has called for it now.

Breaking it down…

To say the recent election and political landscape of the U.S. has been intense is obviously an understatement. But our country-from-another-mother, the United Kingdom of Will & Kate and Harry & that American actress, has been going through a right-spell of policital feevaa’ of they own. To recap:

Brexit — The U.K. held a vote on June 23, 2016 to decide whether or not to remain in the European Union. The ‘Leave’ vote won 51.9% to the ‘Remain’ vote of 48.1% with 72% of the country voting. The country’s leadership at the time didn’t want to leave but held the vote to appease conservatives who had been clamoring for years to leave the EU. The ‘Leave’ vote also had other consequences…

David Cameron Resigns — The Prime Minister of Britain at the time of the vote had urged voters to keep the UK in the EU. When the country voted the other way, he decided that his leadership wasn’t what the people needed…

After Cameron stepped down it took a few people saying they didn’t want to be PM that Theresa May was given the reigns. In a parliamentary government the people don’t elect a president who is bound to a fixed term. Instead, they vote for parliament members and whichever group gets the majority decides on which member of their party they want to elect to the Prime Minister-ship.

Technically the next general election was supposed to be in 2020, but Theresa May decided to move up the vote and a sufficient number of MP’s (members of parliament) agreed to let the vote be changed. Why do this? May believes that she needs the country’s vote to formally elect her party, and her, so that she can have the confidence to negotiate Britain’s exit from the EU.

So who are the contestants?

Theresa May / Conservative (Tory) Party — May has been serving in government since ’97 when she was elected to parliament. In 2010, she was appointed as Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities. She’s only the second the female Prime Minister. When the Brexit vote happened she was also for remaining in the EU, but has since said that she will work hard to uphold what the people voted for.

Jeremy Corbyn / Liberal (Labour) Party — Corbyn has been in parliament since ’83. Known has a ‘backbencher’ (doesn’t hold a position within their party — simply a MP…sits in the back rows of parliament meetings) he’s an outspoken socialist. He welcomed the general election vote in an effort to try and unseat the conservatives.

Many believed that May calling for a vote was a smart move as it could cement her legitimacy and potentially win them seats in parliament. But recent reporting suggests that the win will be much closer than anticipated. In hindsight, the move for an election may actually weaken May and her party and strengthen Corbyn, even if he loses.

The U.K. has gone through a lot recently, from Brexit to recent terrorist attacks. It’s also a largely divided country with older generations supporting Brexit and a more nationalist agenda while younger generations largely supported staying in the EU and globalism. More to come from this little Island (that used to rule the world) later!

As Tommy from 7th grade would tell it: The UK is going to vote for a new leader today….well sort of, they vote for people to fill parliament and those people elect a leader from their group…whichever group has the most people…Britain has been through a lot recently…they voted to leave the European Union which caused a big divide amongst citizens…they’ve also had a string of terror attacks…Theresa May is the current Prime Minister and front runner to win the election…Jeremy Corbyn is trying to beat her…he’s a little like Bernie Sanders…

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