Queen Elizabeth II has dissolved Parliament and Britain will go to the polls to choose their next government on 6 May (in a twist of fate, that is just two days after much of Tennessee will vote in major local primaries) and for the first time in 13 years, the Conservative Party, now led by David Cameron, has a chance at a majority government as a result of that vote.
What remains uncertain is how accurately the current polls reflect how the General Election will turn out. The Times, which was once-along with The Telegraph and The Daily Mail-among the press bulwarks of British Conservative politics, has now become a sort of standard establishment news outlet, is saying that if the election were held today, the Conservatives would have a tiny majority of four seats. That would make Tory Leader David Cameron the Prime Minister, but his majority would be more tenuous than John Major's was during the years following the 1992 General Election-Major would eventually have to lead a minority government after a series of bi-election losses by 1996.
The Telegraph has published a poll which put the Conservatives at 38%, with 30% going for Labour and 21% for the Liberal Democrats. If that were the final result next month, it would make the Conservatives the largest party but give no one the majority-a hung Parliament. Hung Parliaments have become par for the course in Canada with both the Liberals (after 2004) and the Conservatives (since 2006) having to slog through hung Parliaments in recent years (because of the Bloc Quebecois), with the Liberal Government falling on a no confidence vote in November of 2005. The Conservatives in Canada have successfully managed to cobble together something of a stable government despite a hung Parliament. In Britain, however, hung Parliaments are much more rare and when they do happen are often a signal of governmental instability. Hence, that is why there seems to be so much discussion in the media about it.
If Britain's 2008 local elections were replicated on 5 May, the result would be a Conservative landslide on the scale of Labour's 1997 wipeout of the Tories.
Here is a glimpse of that 1997 history.
Here is the concession of defeat in 1997 from Britain's last Conservative Prime Minister, John Major. In it, he delivers what has become my favorite line to describe political life-a hard truth. "Politics is a rough old trade."
Since Boliver Democratic Rep. Johnny Shaw hates George W. Bush, I thought I'd share a piece of Shaw's strange little world:
Good to know Johnny Shaw is such a hater. Shaw is almost as bad as Sam Venable in his latest discreditable diatribe against State Rep. Stacey Campfield in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Johnny Shaw has a history of making strange statements and he can get away with it because his district is hyper-gerrymandered to insure that he is re-elected over and over again in spite of himself. He thinks that it is better for the State of Tennessee to waste millions of dollars on a party bunker at the Governor's mansion than to build prisons and lock up child predators. He once told Rep. Bill Dunn that the House Agriculture Committee "did not need to provide" Dunn with needed information about the impact of education funding from Governor Phil Bredesen's then-proposed tobacco tax overhaul.
I believe that it is fundamentally wrong, as a matter of principle, to be involved in politics for the mere sake of self-advancement, or "what is good for me now." If you enjoy politics and public life, the day you get to the point where you are in the game merely for yourself is the day that you need to step away. No, it doesn't often happen that way in reality, but I truly believe that is how people who are involved in politics should conduct themselves. I would like to serve on the Republican State Executive Committee because I truly believe that the Republican Party and our district can be better because I made the effort and gave of my time to run for a spot on the Executive Committee and serve there. If voters decide to grant me the honor and the privilege of that service on the 5th of August, I will serve the party, the district, and the State in the very best way that I can.
The Tennessee Health Freedom Act is stalled in committee because the Attorney General of Tennessee writeth upon the stone tablets:
It may be true, of course, that some federal court will take it upon themselves to intrude into Tennessee's internal affairs by telling us that we must fall in line like lemmings and support the President's health care boondoggle. Until such time, however, it has already been established that the legal opinions of the Tennessee Attorney General have about as much force of law as anything I might write in this space. Indeed, the opinions of the Attorney General are worth about as much in law as a broom is worth without a handle. The people of Knox and Shelby Countyare well aware of how worthless it is to assume that the Attorney General's opinion has any valuebeyond his or her office door. Since the Attorney General's opinions havepreviously been provento be just that in the eyes of present law, why should this State continue to make law based solely upon those opinions?
Latest Pathetic Attempt to Destroy Stacey Campfield
The press has never been a friend to State Representative Stacey Campfield, but now they have sunk to new lows in their desperate attempts to destroy him:
There is one thing that even Stacey Campfield's opponents have been forced over the years is that he works extremely hard, and it is highly doubtful that yesterday's House floor session in Nashville was any exception. Campfield was running late getting back from visiting family in Upstate New York over the Easter weekend, and the Tennessee Legislature does not give an extra day to members, as some other States often do, to return from the Easter holiday. The member for the 18th District wanted to make sure he was on the role as present and could cast the first vote before he moved his car. In the hundred or so years that the automobile has likely been used as a common mode of transportation for legislators, Campfield is very likely not the first one to park his car on the sidewalk quickly enough to run answer a vote roll so that he would not be seen to be shirking his duty to his constituents.
Yet when Stacey Campfield does this, a picture of his car gets splashed on the website of the once-respectable News-Sentinel, now reduced to the status of a supermarket tabloid. The editorial board of the News-Sentinel despises Campfield, along with their friends in both the Democratic Party and the old moderate-to-liberal Republican establishment. Why? Campfield is too common, too ordinary, and too conservative for them.
I am not sure that I buy into the theory that some people in both parties hold which says that short primaries or no primary is good for their party, and as Humphrey himself pointed out, McWherter and current Governor Phil Bredesen both had to deal with heavy primary opposition and then fight a General Election, and both won. A contested primary for Governor in Tennessee is usually a sign that your political party is becoming dominant in State politics. Republicans have contested and won Statewide races before for Governor and U.S. Senator, but never as the majority party in State Government with a chance to increase that majority-potentially in a significant way during the same election cycle. The Republican Party is showing itself-in every historical sense-as the majority party in Tennessee that it has become.
Mike McWherter's problem is that there is a great difference between when his father ran for Governor and now, when he has chosen to stand, and it doesn't have as much to do with the current political climate as with the state of the political careers of the participants. The Republican nominee will either be a current Member of Congress, the present mayor of Tennessee's third-largest city, or the sitting Lieutenant Governor. Mike McWherter has been a successful businessman, but when his father ran for Governor, he had served 14 years as Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives. Mike McWherter is running on his father's record, not his own, and that is why his chances of victory in November remain slim.
And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in.
Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. The disciples therefore departed again to their home.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.