As the British Election run enters its final leg, the fate of the nation depends upon their three main contenders. Apart from being the most publicly debated and scrutinized elections in Britain’s history they also offer the most choice.
The erstwhile Labour Party, the stalwart Conservatives and the new kids on the block, the Liberal Democrats are all vying for the holy grail of England. Their manifestoes have outsold J. K. Rowling. For someone who has been following the campaign trail with much diligence, knows that with the results from the pre-election polls so close, a coalition government is the only possible answer. However, none of the parties, while realizing the possibility of power sharing are reluctant to walk down that road.
The Labour Party is currently the government. It is also the party which according to latest poll results, is the last in standings, coming in at 25%. The Tories and the Lib Dems (as the Liberal Democrats have come to be known as) are tied ahead.
Gordon Brown, the current serving Prime Minister who took over from Tony Blair in 2007, is the Labour Party’s prime candidate. David Cameroon is standing up for the Conservatives while Nick Clegg leads the surge of the Liberal Democrats. The three, who engaged in an American styled political shoot out on national television last week, have vastly polarized the nation on issues.
Gordon Brown will have you believe that they will tighten the belt on government expenditures and raise taxes to control the spiraling debt. He is also banking on the point that since the Labour Party is in the middle of a plan to arrest the recession, the public should let them continue in order to make sure that the economy gets back on track. Gunning for a greener future by aiming to reduce the carbon-footprint by up to 40% and creating 400, 000 green jobs. Stricter immigration policy, one which favors indigenous workforce rather than bringing in people from outside for British jobs. With regards to health and education, they want to have a better service plan in hospitals with coverage for cancer as well.
The Conservatives are taking a more hard-line approach to it. Their candidate, David Cameroon lists drastic measures; they propose a public sector pay freeze in 2011 minus the lowest paid workers. A hike in taxes is also on their cards, however the only thing they term regards to their tax policies is that they will reduce deficit faster than the Labour Party, hinting to a possible tax rise in some form or the other. A policy for making the National Health Service efficient by making it a result oriented enterprise would not only help give better care to Britons but also save many costs. A free school model, as established in Sweden will be implemented with the hope to provide cheaper education.
The Liberal Democrats, the dark horse of the election race have the most radical of plans, and hence are finding public support, for now. Their 43 year old Prime Ministerial hopeful, Nick Clegg wants to breakup banks into smaller chunks and build a banking levy which would allow banks to not only start lending again but also start paying for their financial services, generating a semblance of normality to the face of economy. With NHS, one of the highest pound demanding institution, the Health Department will be cut by half and letting people go to the doctors that they prefer. Education will get the most focus from the Lib Dems with a view at which are planning to pour 2.5 billion pounds into the school system.
However, as promising as all the three candidates sound, they have failed in providing specifics in reaching their individual targets. Brown, while underlining the reduction of carbon emissions and raising 400, 000 green jobs, almost always struggles when pressed for detailsy. Cameroon is found wanting when asked how exactly the Tory’s are going to beat a Labour Party plan to reduce deficit. Their statement is not only ambiguous but genuinely lacks any constructive thought.
The Lib Dems wanting to reign in the economy, plan to do that by relieving 3.6 million people completely of taxes due to their low income status. Such a move is perplexing. Also, their plan to leave Britons hanging on the line by relieving the NHS of responsibility is not the smartest thing that they have in their manifesto.
In all the interviews, however, all the three parties have been in agreement over one thing, the outcome of the elections cannot be made on the basis of polls. Till the last ballot vote is counted, there are no certainties of who will win. Regardless of the candidates in England’s political merry go-round, the only possible outcome is a coalition government with a deadlock over the top seat. If such a result comes, Britons, after a long, long time would finally be able to get a government who would have the recipe to make England great again.