Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things I learned about the British today

In case you haven't heard, the UK has a new Prime Minister. His name is David Cameron, he's a Tory, and he is the head of a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats following an election that resulted in a hung parliament and was notable for how all three major British parties managed to lose.

Cameron and his cabinet replaces Labour's Gordon Brown (who may be replaced as Labour leader by a man named Ed Balls. Joy of joys!!) as the second new guy you won't bother to learn or know about since Tony Blair left. Tony Blair of course being the guy that Michael Sheen always plays when he isn't on 30 Rock or playing David Frost. Speaking of...

Anyway, in learning all of that information I was also taught an interesting tidbit about the British electoral process by a handy BBC guide.

They do not have to be - it is just a convention. One theory about its origins is that people were not paid until Fridays and so holding polls on Thursdays ensured they were not too drunk to vote.
Their process was put together to avoid drunks at the polls, ours was put together to account for travel by mule and to avoid offending God. Well done. Good that we still keep these traditions going today.

I'd just like to suggest one change for America taking into account this information about the UK: mandatory drunk voting. You can't enter the voting booth unless you've consumed a requisite amount of gin; enough to make you tipsy and gregarious/violent. Why? Because there's no possible way we could pick worse leaders, so why not give this one a shot? Plus, if enough people try to fornicate with the voting robots, we might go back to a less shady form of vote tabulating, like pen and paper.

No comments: