It’s hard not to see parallels between the chaos of the US Republican Party and the UK Conservative Party Adam Bolton | Politics News

Countries and political systems vary widely, but it is hard not to see parallels between what is happening now in the Republican Party in the US and the recent history of the Conservative Party in the UK.

There is a brutal debate going on about the direction Anglophone conservatism should take, as represented by the generation represented by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

Turmoil in Britain’s ruling party led to three prime ministers in a matter of months last year, as Conservative MPs failed to agree on a leader who could credibly govern the country.

republican party Actually “won” the midterm elections The House of Commons, wresting control from the Democrats.

But as the 118th Congress meets for the first time this week, the new majority failed to agree on their first business order, For the first time since 1923, 100 years ago, who should be their leader.

Although they share the same title and preside over their chambers, the U.S. Speaker has a different role than the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Like his predecessor, Sir Lindsay Hoyle Expected to remain neutral and drop links with Labor. By convention, when the speaker of the UK House of Representatives takes office without major party opposition, he is effectively the sitting president regardless of the general election.

The Speaker of the House is a thoroughly partisan figure. In effect, they are the leaders of the majority party, which makes them the UK equivalent of prime ministers.

In the U.S. Constitution, the Speaker is the second presidential successor after the Vice President. (Confusingly, Veep is also chairman of the House of Lords and has a casting vote in the U.S. Senate.)

Please use Chrome for a more accessible video player

US midterm elections: What’s at stake?

Speakers such as Tip O’Neill, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi have played important roles as key national political figures.

When there is no speaker, the House is what one frustrated congressman this week called “a useless entity.” Its members cannot be sworn in, so they cannot legislate or hold executives accountable. They don’t even have a security clearance.

As now, when the president and the Senate are controlled by the other, the Speaker of the House is more important than ever, the equivalent of the Leader of the Opposition.

When eight-term Congressman Kevin McCarthy from California leads his party to a 222-seat victory over Democrats in the midterm elections, Republicans are likely to stick with his leadership and appoint him to the top job.

but not. In 11 painful roll-call votes, McCarthy failed to secure the majority of delegates he needed, as 20 members of his Republican Party, including five first-time U.S. House members, steadfastly refused to support him.

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

Democrats, meanwhile, immediately unanimously agreed to Hakeem Jeffries of New York as their minority leader, succeeding retiring pelosi. Jeffries was the first African-American to lead a political party in the United States Congress.

A large majority of House Republicans — 201 of 222 — supported McCarthy, but not a majority of the 20 dissenters, who didn’t have enough votes for him to lead with 218 votes.

Nineteen of those who stopped McCarthy belonged to the right-wing Freedom Caucus. Their motivations were best summed up by controversial Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who declared that “if you want to drain the swamp, you can’t hold the biggest alligator responsible.”

“The Swamp” is the stinky American version of what British populists like to write off as the “Westminster Bubble”.

Gates’ extremist language echoed Jacob Rees-Mogg’s claim that Rishi Sunak’s policies were “socialist”.

McCarthy is not a centrist member of the establishment. He courted and promoted candidates who belonged to the Tea Party. After the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, he hesitated briefly, but within days voted against impeachment and flew to Mar-a-Lago to seek Donald Trump’s support. McCarthy embraced Trump’s 2020 “wagger” victory and voted to challenge official electors in key states.

Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump in 2020
McCarthy embraces Trump’s 2020 ‘wagger’ win and votes to challenge official electors in key states

McCarthy said that if he becomes spokesman, his first priority will be to eliminate the hiring of 87,000 tax inspectors. He would also block key bipartisan budget measures already agreed by the Senate.

He has promised to change the rules to make it easier to sack the speaker (sort of like the 1922 committee and the vote of no confidence). That ultimately earned “My Martin” Trump the endorsement on his own Truth Social platform: “He’s going to do a great job, maybe even a great job”.

Politically, he is not much different from those who refuse to support him, but they still don’t trust him. Instead, they deliberately threw American politics into chaos, at one stage bringing up another candidate, Jim Jordan, who himself nominated McCarthy.

read more:
Why Republicans Are Having Difficulty Picking a New House Speaker
Midterm elections are a referendum on ‘Make America Great Again’ extreme right-wing politics

Partisan Democrats relished the plight of their opponents, tweeting images of them munching on popcorn as the drama unfolded.

Opinion columnist for The New York Times found it “ridiculous to see an insurgent party unable to even transfer power to itself in an orderly manner”.

But progressive newspapers assessed the consequences of refusik’s actions in a more serious tone: “They simply will not relax and join their colleagues, even if it is for the greater good of their party and perhaps the country. They see themselves as conservative pure The activists cannot be appeased unless all their demands are met — and perhaps even then. Their agenda is primarily one of divestment, disruption and dismantling of government, not engagement.”

Please use Chrome for a more accessible video player

Vote for US House speaker chaotic

Britain’s Conservative Party has not disappeared down this rabbit hole. It’s hard to imagine Tory MPs celebrating the removal of metal detector arches as a symbol of oppression rather than safety, as some Republicans did this week. Nor do they extol the right to bear arms.

Yet groups like the European Research Group have been willing to use obstructionism and their status as de facto swing voters to force large swathes of their party to the farther right on policy and personnel issues.

They have also abandoned party allegiance in favor of ideology, allegedly supported by unelected and dynamic party activists.

On both sides of the Atlantic, they support the purge of those they disagree with, a “broad church” type of party. Their energies are focused on the struggle for control within their own party. As long as their party can win elections, they ignore those who don’t vote.

Whether they call it a swamp or a bubble, their skepticism of the government and its institutions is accompanied by demands for a smaller state, cuts to entitlements, skepticism of climate change measures, less regulation of business, and curbs on civil rights.

No matter where you get the podcast, you can click to subscribe to Sky News Daily

The essential difference is that a significant portion of Republican delegates believe the best way to achieve their goals is to disrupt and overthrow the system, while the vast majority of Conservative MPs still want to work in it.

Many Conservative MPs are vehemently opposed to atavism on the right, but out of self-preservation they look anxiously over their own shoulders before speaking out for one nation’s values.

Those who have been most effective in forcing the Conservative Party to the right so far have been outsiders. Remarkably, Nigel Farage, who this week praised Brexit negotiator Lord Frost, rants: “It’s time for all the good people to leave the Conservative Party”. Farage’s aide, Richard Tice, revived their Reform Party.

Last year, the British public suffered the consequences of restless souls on the right. This year, Republicans are already delivering another lesson in real time.

Source link