Opinion: You should care about the U.K.’s election


Illustration by Sophia Scheller

On Dec. 12 the General Election took place in the U.K. Although there is a multi-party system in place, the front runners of the election are in the Conservative party and the Labour party.

Sophia Scheller, Staff Reporter

No, the president is not getting elected. No senators or representatives are being elected, either.

The General Election is being held in the United Kingdom on Dec. 12, as the Conservative Party tries to re-elect Boris Johnson as Prime Minister (PM) and the Labour Party tries to elect Jeremy Corbyn. 

The system is different from the U.S. because no Britons are going to be actually electing the PM directly. They will vote for their member of parliament (MP) who then, depending on concentration, can flip the Prime Minister in office. 

Often, a more tactical voting strategy is used with voters which is when they vote for the MP who is most likely to defeat the candidate that they dislike the most. 

But Sophie, you may ask, the U.K. is about 4,300 miles from me. Why should I care?

There’s plenty of reasons to be involved in global politics, but the main reason is that international political participation can help shape your own opinions at home and change what you expect from our government.

The U.K. has a strong universal healthcare system dubbed the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS helps many within the U.K. get free to no-cost healthcare. 

The NHS serves as an example of what a universal healthcare program could look like in the U.S. Having an opinion on the NHS can shape how you personally would view such a program.

Whether you lean more liberal or conservative politically, you are able to form your own opinions about one of the major campaign issues, which is how the NHS should be funded. Past governments have shown that, when in power, the Conservative Party has decreased funding for the NHS, while the Labour Party has wanted to expand the system.

You should care about Brexit and its repercussions. If the U.K. goes through with Brexit, there are going to be major global economic repercussions.

In a CNBC interview, vice chairman of IHS Markit Daniel Yergin said, “if Brexit turns out to be a bigger shock to the U.K. economy and the European economy then the reverberations will be felt in the U.S.”

Your day-to-day life might not be affected by who the U.K. Prime Minister is, but considering the scale of Brexit and the election issue of universal healthcare within the U.S., the U.K. elections are very monumental to the start of the new decade.

Being involved in global politics can also help you realize your own flaws in logic and help to remove any unconscious biases.

For these reasons, I encourage you to inform yourself of the political issues in other nations such as the U.K.