It’s all been done

The current UK election cycle seems like much of the past 20 years of Canadian politics is just being played over again. In no particular order, here’s the similarities I can already see, please add your own in the comments.

The rise of regional separtist parties

The Bloc Quebecois swept most of the seats in Quebec for most of the 1990s and 2000s and now the Scottish National Party are set to do the same in Scotland. In both cases, the separatists block the easiest path to a majority government for at least one party (Liberals in Canada, Labour in the UK) and mean minorities are more likely.

National debates about how to structure a TV debate

In both countries, the TV debates are decided by a cabal of broadcasters who dictate based on arbitrary rules what format the national TV debates should be. In Canada, the rule is something like “every party who has an MP gets to be in the debates” except for the Bloc who only get to be in the French debate since they don’t run in English Canada. In the UK, it’s leaning towards a giant debate free-for-all with every regional party taking part in the nationwide debate, potentially followed by a one-one-one between the two largest parties. Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron is still threatening to boycott all the debates unless he gets his way.

I’m fine with replacing Cameron with an empty seat but I would suggest limiting regional parties like the SNP and Plaid Cymru to their regional affiliates (BBC Scotland and Wales respectively).

Fear mongering over coalitions with separatists

In Canada after the 2008 election, the second-place Liberals agreed to replace the Conservative minority government with a coalition with the third-place NDP. They needed the votes from the Bloc to secure a majority though, which the media screamed bloody murder over. Now Labour is facing a potential minority government and is being called on to categorically reject any power-sharing deals with the SNP. Of course, the media is happy to ignore in both cases that the separatists would never become government ministers but would merely agree to vote in favour of confidence matters.

UKIP is the British Reform Party

Want smaller taxes, fewer immigrants and vague notions of greater democracy, but if elected would run from scandal to scandal? See what the Reform Party of the mid-1990s became in the Harper Conservatives to catch a glimpse at what could happen if Cameron’s Conservatives tank and spend a decade in the political wilderness until being forced to merge with UKIP.