The ongoing collapse of Labor’s standing in polls as the election approaches in Great Britain should serve as a warning to Democrats in the U.S. about the impact of massive deficits on a politician’s standing with the public. Voters know that soaring deficits mean austerity and worse, and British voters are preparing to give the party behind the red ink an enormous drubbing.
Republicans as well should take note of the ups and downs of the campaign in the UK. “David Cameron is the empty, hollow marketing man who has done what all the focus groups suggest,” Mark Steyn noted on last Thursday’s program, “a man who doesn’t believe anything, but who has done what the focus groups suggest, and moved the so-called Conservative Party to the center.” The passive approach to the election which waits for the other guy to fail has seen the Tories’ lead dwindle and the prospect of a hung Parliament rise. Cameron’s team still has time to provide sharper contrast with both Labor and the Liberal Democrats, but the LD leader Nick Clegg is a very smooth communicator. “[I]f 300 million Americans couldn’t see through that obvious hooey,” Steyn asked, “[W]hy should 60 million Britons be any smarter?”
The trouble is that the world needs a strong and growing Britain,especially as Europe struggles to escape the global recession and the fallout from Greece’s woes. Hope that Cameron gets his and the Conservatives’ acts together in the next week and that the voters there recognize they cannot afford a vote for style anymore than the Americans could.