In case you have been hibernating for at least a month (Lucky you. How did you do it ? And could you please give me a call, I’d like to join you), British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered one of the most dramatic fortune reversals in recent British political history. To cut a long story short, it took her only two years to lose an overall majority in Parliament that the Tories had been building up over the last fifteen years.
In the meantime, in my home country, the newly elected President Macron is quietly getting an overwhelming majority in Parliament with a brand new (may I say inexperienced?) team. He should win between 400 and 450 seats out of 577, a sweeping success for a movement that barely existed a year ago. Needless to say, the traditional parties are in complete disarray, and even the extreme right vote seems to plummet.
So here is my question today: what went wrong in my adoptive country (Great Britain, in case you were wondering)? And how could things go so well (for now at least) in my home country?
Did we need yet another election?
I am not going to lie: I didn’t see the point of yet another election in the UK. As my late grandmother used to say, better the devil you know and all that. This was compounded by the fact that it feels like I have spent the two months going to poll stations (As you know, I have dual citizenship -French and British). And frankly, my vote didn’t make much difference in both elections. It makes me wonder why I still bother.
In a BBC video hugely shared on social media, a woman called Brenda seemed to speak for a lot of us British citizen after the election was announced. Asked by a journalistl about her reaction, she wailed: “Not another one! Oh for God’s sake! I can’t stand this!” Have a look at the video here if you don’t believe me:
In my home country, the turnout for the Presidential election was incredibly high. People badly wanted things to change, and were passionate about it. Rightly or wrongly, they had had enough of old-school politicians, and ended up voting en masse to oust them. Despite being a pure product of the French system, Emmanuel Macron had managed to present himself as a new alternative. Theresa May hadn’t even tried.