Two Parliaments, two changing games
And now for something completely (?) different. Gordon Brown and the Labour Party of Britain are looking at a major defeat in this year's Parliamentary elections, which is something akin to the Republicans' electoral defeat in Congress back in 2006. The differences were primarily in the topic of the scandal-- the Brits are steamed over taxpayer money being used to finance everything from moat clean-up to rented porn. I wish I could make that up, as that would be an awesome joke. Over on our side of the Atlantic, it was the continuing bloodshed in Iraq with no end in sight, as well as strong allegations of inhumane treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, not to mention domestic unwarranted wiretapping by the NSA, allegations which would later prove true according to photographic evidence or eyewitness testimony. Another big difference that I can see is that the GOP was and is still quite skillful at handling the debate over torture-- and the NSA scandal is now practically nonexistent. In contrast, Labour has been caught practically flat-footed, and it will be a miracle if even half of the current Labour MPs survive, from the looks of it.
For a very interesting third parallel, the electoral defeat of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Councillors in 2007 was fueled by outrage over the government's gross mishandling of social pension funds and records-- tens of thousands of accounts were "lost" due to poor bookkeeping and other reasons. Now, two years later, the LDP has shown practically no signs of political recovery or even contrition (given the behavior of the LDP leaders in the lower House of Representatives)-- the Democratic Party of Japan leader, Yukio Hatoyama, recently crushed Prime Minister Taro Aso in a debate where Aso (who demonstrated his similarity to George W. Bush or Sarah Palin in his tenure) could only offer up the lamest of rebuttals and attempts at character assassination. If enough Japanese voters are watching the government, the LDP is looking at a defeat not unlike the GOP defeat in 2008, as Aso cannot afford to stall against dissolving the House of Representatives and call for elections. Hatoyama will be relentless in his demands for new elections, IMO, because Japan has been hit especially hard by not only the global recession, but with an aging populace and a domestic agricultural crisis-- namely, the farmers are becoming older, and no one wants to do their jobs.