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Friday, May 15, 2015

Election Antics Part 1: The Low-down

By VORTEXICA - Good times were had by all, except by those who lost.

Hello again KoopaTV viewers!

As some of you may be aware, here in Foggy Albion there's been much hullabaloo over the past few weeks over a monumental decision to be made. There was much speculation, analysis, and the question on everyone's lips was that of who would succeed to one of the most prestigious positions in the land...

Just who will replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear?

Okay, not really. That might actually make for an interesting article. People are likely far more interested in what'll become of Top Gear now that Clarkson's gone than what the UK's next government will look like. Yep, that's right. We've just had an election.

"But why should I care about that?!" I hear you cry? Most of KoopaTV's viewership is American after all.

...Well hard cheese!

I'm supposed to be the foreign correspondent around here, so it's about time I corresponded on something foreign. I've a bone to pick with a certain policy brought up during this election for one thing, but first, here's how it all went down on the night.

If you're curious, you can find where I fall on the political compass by checking out the graph on KoopaTV's new and improved about page.

Despite my personal leanings, I will endeavour to live up to that whole 'fair and balanced' shtick, whilst keeping true to KoopaTV's mantra of truth and levity. I'm not an expert analyst or anything. This is merely the opinion of someone with a casual interest in this stuff.

First, a little background for those unfamiliar with how British elections work, explained by a corgi in a bowler hat:

And so, on May the 7th, the nation went to the polls in one of the most unpredictable elections in decades. Everyone expected we'd be heading for another hung parliament and coalition government, and all the gossip was on who would have to do deals with who if they wanted to govern. All of that went out the window, however, when the exit poll showed the race actually wasn't as neck-and-neck as was thought. Eventually, and almost staggeringly, the Conservative Party (infamous for its implementation of controversial spending cuts) secured a small overall majority, pulling off an unexpected victory that ensured David Cameron would stay on as Prime Minister and proving practically every opinion poll wrong enough for an inquiry to be launched into the whole polling process.

Before and after.

House of Commons seats (of 650) breakdown: 
  • Conservatives - Exit poll forecast: 316 - Final tally: 331 (up 24)
  • Labour - Exit poll forecast: 239 - Final tally: 232 (down 26)
  • SNP - Exit poll forecast: 58 - Final tally: 56 (up 50)
  • Liberal Democrats - Exit poll forecast: 10 - Final tally: 8 (down 49)
  • Plaid Cymru - Exit poll forecast: 4 - Final tally: 3 (no change)
  • UKIP - Exit poll forecast: 2 - Final tally: 1 (up 1)
  • Green - Exit poll forecast: 2 - Final tally: 1 (no change)
  • Others - Exit poll forecast: N/A - Final tally: 18 (up 1)

With battleground seats swinging the wrong way for the Labour Party (basically the main party of the left here in the UK) and a meteoric rise for the Scottish National Party (SNP) (in which Labour and the Liberal Democrats were nearly wiped out in Scotland), it was a resounding defeat for Labour, even considering the fact that the 2010 election didn't go brilliantly for them already. The unparalleled success of the SNP has even fuelled speculation regarding a second referendum on Scottish independence in as little as five years' time after the last one was rejected in September last year.

Despite receiving almost 4 million votes and coming second or third in hundreds of constituencies, the UK Independence Party (UKIP, right-wing party favouring exit from the European Union which Rawk astutely identified as roughly being the British equivalent of the Tea Party) secured just one seat thanks to the 'first past the post' voting system (See above video for explanation).

I know Ludwig's a fan of off-again, on-again UKIP leader Nigel Farage. As for me though, well, Farage is very frank and forthright with what he believes. Sometimes brutally so, and comes across much more like a real person than a politician. Plaudits for that no-nonsense straight-talking, but the whole fact he's anti-EU makes him pretty much unsupportable from my perspective, regardless of what me being represented by Waluigi in UKIP purple might suggest.

That's the face of a man concerned about open-door immigration!

Now on to something more relevant for a gaming blog. How could this election result affect British video game developers? Well, there are many important game devs here in the UK. Like Rare, and...

Seriously though. The UK has a thriving games industry, particularly in Scotland, worth hundreds of millions a year. Creative Assembly (Total War, Alien: Isolation), Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto), Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet), Rebellion Developments (Sniper Elite), and of course Playtonic Games (the upcoming Yooka-Laylee) all operate within the UK.

Despite what have been dubbed "savage" cuts across the board, the former Conservative-led coalition government even recently allocated £8 million to the UK games sector. I'm sure Ludwig would not look favourably on game development funding coming from governments, but since this industry is worth so much to the UK economy and it needs every penny it can get to compete with the rest of the world, I'm, well, blatantly biased, so I approve. If the now-majority Conservative government continues to invest in this area, we should see the British games industry go from strength to strength in the coming years.

Vortexica originally planned for this to be a series covering the election as it happened, until he realised he didn't hate you all enough to subject you to that. He also realised he hadn't written anything in a while and really, really didn't want to join ISIS "pull a Noxial". Nevertheless, baring an appearance from the grim spectre of procrastination, Vortexica will be back with more Election Antics with a KoopaTV spin soon. For one thing, what is this 'bone to pick' he mentioned? And with what matter of policy is it concerned? To be continued in Part 2: "The Denial of Democracy". Stay tuned!

Part 2: Denial of Democracy is right here!
Those Scots may have another referendum after Britain has a referendum to leave the European Union.
Vortexica just doesn't want to admit affiliation with UKIP/Waluigi because it'll make him a target.

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