miércoles, 14 de abril de 2010

Who cares about the British general elections, anyway?

That is how I feel whenever I read a Mexican or Latinamerican newspaper and try to look for any news articles related to the British electoral campaigns and I find nothing.

Clearly, the candidates taking part in the race to rule this country are not as charming and appealing as Barak Obama, and none of them are controversial enough to attract the attention of international media outside Europe. However, this week's The Economist gives us some interesting reasons about why the British general elections are actually quite relevant. 

According to the weekly magazine, the general elections "... matters domestically because Britain, after a decade and a half of strong, steady growth, has been knocked off track by savage recession and turmoil in the financial world it once dominated. Its public finances are in an almighty mess, its budget deficit at a post-war high of 11.8% of GDP. Britain has lost its political bearings too. The New Labour model, which aimed at social justice paid for by the fruits of more or less free-market capitalism, ran out of puff roughly when the money did. The state has grown, personal freedom has shrunk, and it is not clear that people are much the better for it.
The election matters outside Britain as well. Britain’s is the single most reliable voice for open markets, inside and outside the European Union. It has been ready to act on behalf of others, not just at gunpoint in Sierra Leone or Iraq or Afghanistan, but also in spearheading aid for the world’s poorest. When banks around the globe were going belly-up, Britain came up with answers fastest, and it must be an important part of worldwide re-regulation. Some things will be the same whoever wins. Free trade and open markets, for example, are in the DNA of this island nation. But others will not. It is hard to have influence in Europe if you do not have allies there; and, with money tight at home, some will be more inclined to spray it around the world than others."

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