Usually when I do these John Oliver write-ups (or Seth Meyers ones. Or Sam Bee ones. Or the occasional Steven Colbert. Lay off me, I’ve found my niche), the video goes up here on top so you can watch it, and then read my ramblings on said video. But this time I need to step in to make a confession first; I have no idea what just happened with the British election. I mean, I know that there was one, I know that Theresa May did very poorly, and I know that made my good friend and fellow writer Petr very happy, but there’s little to no chance I’d be able to explain anything about the election further than that.
Now, given the fact that Pajiba seems to be taking on Brits faster than Ice Cube shut down Bill Maher’s non-apology apology show (yeah, fucker. We haven’t forgotten about you), I figured I’d just go back through the archives to educate myself based on their thorough and thoughtful political writing. But as much as I enjoyed the spot-on comparative essays and detailed political histories, the posts failed to address a fundamental question I had about the election: Y’all are doin’ what now?
It’s an understandable oversight as that question is most often posed by small children, and I am, at last checking, not a small child. But the fact remains until this morning, I had no real working understanding of what just happened. I think (and I don’t need any Brits correcting my understanding in the comments (except of course, yes, please correct me in the comments. I’m way out of my element here)) I now have that understanding. So please allow me, fellow uninformed Americans, to shed some light on what our friends across the pond just accomplished:
1) Brits don’t have a President, they have a Prime Minister. The current Prime Minister wasn’t voted into office, but took over when her boss quit because he fucked a pig (or maybe he fucked the pig in the wrong way. The bylaws are unclear about this). This is a problem because the current Not-President doesn’t have enough votes in the House of Commons (fancy House of Representatives) to work out all of the details about the upcoming divorce from Europe. She has slightly more than half the Fancy Seats, but that’s still not enough because of the metric system, I think.
a lot slightly more than half (metric system) of people in the U.K. wanted the divorce from Europe, the Not-President decided to call for an early election of Fancy House of Representatives to get more of the people from her party into the house so she’d have more friends there (pretty standard college move from what I remember).
3) When Brits vote for the Not-President, they don’t vote directly for the Not-President. They actually vote for their member of the Fancy House. Or they might vote strictly for the party that they want to get into the Fancy House. Either way, they’ve got like four different parties going on in the Fancy House, so someone in charge tries to get enough people from the different parties to vote on the same thing so that the Fancy House can get stuff done. This is, to further the college house party analogy, that one guy who keeps trying to rally enough of the drunkards to get everyone to go to the bar.
4) The early election didn’t go well for the Not-President. She actually lost a bunch of seats in the Fancy House, and now has to work with some assholes from the DUP. This part gets real confusing because DUP stands for Democratic Unionist Party, but they’re far right wing and do stuff like hate gay people and letting women get abortions. It’s sort of like how Brits call elevators “lifts” and say “holiday” instead of vacation except identifying with the DUP makes you look like a jagoff. So maybe it’s more like when a Brit uses slang to ask you for a cigarette, and Americans are all, “OH NO. THAT’S NOT AN OK THING TO SAY ANYMORE.”
So now that I’ve given what I can only imagine to be the best explanation of the British Parliamentary system that has ever existed, allow me to present the main course.
Holy shit, you didn’t fuck up, England! There was an overwhelming chance that Not-President’s terrible plan was going to go through without any problems, and you guys TOTALLY STEPPED UP. I mean, you’ve still got the looming threat of total and complete economic devastation a couple of years down the road (which I’ll be covering in my next segment in the series Emily Shits All Over The Mechanics Of One Of The Oldest Functioning Governments In Existence), but for today you have stopped what appears to be a clueless leader from consolidating her power. Well done! When do we celebrate? You already did? The celebration happened last Thursday? And into Friday morning?
Fucking socialists and your short fucking work weeks.