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12 May, 2010 08:24

Tories return to Downing Street with Brown resignation

Great Britain’s Conservative Party is back in Number 10 Downing Street after thirteen years out of office following former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s resignation.

Brown’s departure from office means the Labour Party now becomes the opposition.

In a power-sharing deal with the UK's third largest party, the Liberal Democrats, Great Britain will be run by a coalition government for the first time in 70 years. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has stepped into the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

The changes come after last week's general election resulted in a hung parliament where no one party gained an overall majority of 326 seats.

“There is a real sense of relief now in Britain that we now have a government and it is a government which does reflect the popular will,” commented Max Wind-Cowie a researcher from the London-based think-tank Demos.

A lot of people are skeptical about the new government, but he believes that skepticism is easy to understand:

“It is based on lack of knowledge in this country how coalition governments work. We don’t have much experience. We haven’t had a coalition government in Britain since the Second World War in fact.”

Still, Max Wind-Cowie is positive about the prospects of the new government:

I think it stands a good chance. The Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, although they have many differences – and there’s a reason why they are two separate parties – they do have a great deal of affinity and some real shared values. Especially around issues like localism – they are both committed to radical decentralization of the system – civil liberties and the legal infrastructure in Britain.”

However, there are huge differences between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives when it comes to Europe:

“Despite everything that’s been going on in the eurozone and in Greece over the past year, the Liberal Democrats are still committed in principle to joining the euro, whereas the Conservative Party is absolutely and instinctively opposed to any further integration into Europe.”

Dr Ken Ritchie from the Electoral Reform Society believes the coalition experience is likely to change British political life in the future:

“I think that we’ll move forward, that we’ll see more coalitions – not necessarily between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. We will see a change where we will have a much finer balance of power. But it will be much more difficult for any party to get a majority of the seats in the Commons on their own,” he told RT.

Colin Buchanan, an anti-war activist and blogger, says the emergence of the coalition is unlikely to bring any change in UK politics.

“Take the question of NATO, [which] should be a defunct organization. NATO is a relic from the Cold War. And yet the Liberal Democrats themselves pledge devotion to this organization. All this stuff about change, unfortunately does not refer to any of the fundamentals,” he said.

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