British Election Couverage - Andrew Sullivan

  • Aired:  05/06/10
  •  | Views: 67,347

As the polls close in Great Britain's parliamentary election, Andrew Sullivan predicts chaotic results. (5:51)

[LAUGHTER]

TODAY BRITAIN HELD THEIR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, SO IF YOU'RE POLITICAL JUNKIE, GET

READY FOR SOME PRIMO, UNCUT WILL EVERY CRANK.

JIM?

♪♪ "THE COLBERT REPORT," BRITISH ELECTION COVERAGE, THE RACE FOR

PRIME MINISTER.

[GUNSHOT]

>> Stephen: NOW, ENGLAND AND AMERICA HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CLOSE,

FOLKS.

WINSTON CHURCHILL CALLED IT "THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP," WHILE

ROOSEVELT CALLED IT "ALLIES WITH BENEFITS." ENGLISH ELECTIONS ARE OFTEN A

BELLWETHER FOR AMERICAN ELECTIONS.

MARGARET THATCHER WAS ELECTED IN 1979.

IN 1980 WE ELECTED RONALD REAGAN, BASICALLY THATCHER WITH SMALLER HAIR AND BIGGER BALLS.

[LAUGHTER]

MY MAN IN THE ENGLISH RACE IS CONSERVATIVE LEADER DAVID CAMERON, WHO SHARES MY

ENVIRONMENTAL VALUES.

HE RIDES HIS BIKE TO WORK WHILE HIS CHAUFFEUR FOLLOWS BEHIND IN A CAR CARRYING HIS BELONGINGS,

MAKING HIM THE WORLD'S SECOND LARGEST WASTE OF BRITISH PETROLEUM.

CAMERON HOPES TO UNSEAT INCUMBENT PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN OF THE LABOUR PARTY.

HEY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT GORDON BROWN?

SO WOULD EVERYONE IN ENGLAND.

THE THIRD CONTENDER OUT THERE IS LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER NICK CLEGG, WHO IN BRITAIN'S

FIRST-EVER TELEVISED DEBATE WON OVER BRITAIN'S HEART, MINDS AND NAUGHTY BITS.

NOW, FOLKS, IF ONE PARTY DOES NOT RECEIVE A CLEAR MAJORITY,

THE U.K. COULD BE HEADED FOR A NIGHTMARE SCENARIO.

>> THE PROSPECT OF A HUNG PARLIAMENT IS NOW BEING SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED.

>> Stephen: A HUNG PARLIAMENT.

AND, YES, THAT IS ALSO THE NAME OF THE WORLD'S MOST POLITE PORNO.

[LAUGHTER]

SO... WILL THERE BE A POWER-SHARING AGREEMENT?

WILL 10 TREAT HAVE A -- 10 DOWNING STREET HAVE A NEW OCCUPANT, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY,

WHO CARES.

TO TELL US WHO CARES, FROM "ATLANTIC MONTHLY'S" THE DAILY

DISH, PLEASE WELCOME BRITISH-ISH COMMENTATOR ANDREW SULLIVAN.

ANDREW, WELCOME BACK MY FRIEND.

NICE TO SEE YOU.

[APPLAUSE]

NOW, ANDREW, THAT'S THE SECOND NICEST BEARD I'VE SEEN HERE TONIGHT.

[LAUGHTER]

ACTUALLY, THIRD NICEST BEARD I'VE SEEN HERE TONIGHT.

NOW, AS AMERICANS, WHO SHOULD WE... ARE YOU AN AMERICAN BY THE WAY?

>> NOT YET.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

AS AN AMERICAN, WHO SHOULD I HOPE WINS THIS ONE?

IN OTHER WORDS, WHICH CANDIDATE WILL JUST BLINDINGLY DO WHAT AMERICA TELLS HIM TO DO?

[LAUGHTER]

>> WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, ALL OF THEM HAVE RUN A LITTLE BIT AGAINST THE SPECIAL

RELATIONSHIP, EVEN DAVID CAMERON, OUR TORY MAN.

>> Stephen: TORY IS CONSERVATIVE.

YOU AND ME.

>> WE'RE RIGHT THERE.

>> Stephen: WE TORY TOGETHER.

I BELIEVE THAT MAKES US TORY-ADORES.

>> IT DOES.

EVEN HE SAID, WE WANT A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP.

WE DON'T WANT TO BE TOO SLAVISH,

TOO POODLEY.

>> Stephen: "POODLEY"?

>> POODLEY.

YOU WANT TO BE MORE BULLDOGY THAN POODLEY.

I THINK THAT'S THE GENERAL FEELING.

THE BRITISH LOVE THE AMERICANS.

THE IRAQ WAR WAS A LITTLE PROBLEMATIC FOR A LOT OF THE BRITISH PUBLIC.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE WE WON IT TOO GOOD?

BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T LIKE WINNING?

[LAUGHTER]

>> THEY DON'T QIETD SEE IT THAT WAY.

>> Stephen: THE ELECTION ONLY LASTS ABOUT A MONTH THERE, THE FORMAL ELECTION ONLY LASTS ABOUT

A MONTH.

IN AMERICA IT TAKES THAT LONG FOR SOMEONE TO FORM AN EXPLORATORY TO COMMITTEE TO FIND

OUT IF THEY EVEN WANT TO RUN.

HOW DO YOU REALLY GET A GOOD LEADER THAT WAY.

>> YOU ALSO DON'T HAVE ANY TELEVISION ADS, BY THE WAY.

>> Stephen: WHAT?

>> THEY'RE BANNED.

>> Stephen: THEN WHY DO YOU RAISE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS?

>> THEY DON'T.

>> Stephen: THEN HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO IS SUPPOSED TO WIN.

BUSH RAISED THE MOST IN 2000 AND HE WON AND OBAMA RAISED THE MOST IN 2008 AND HE WON.

>> THEY DO NEED SOME MONEY TO ORGANIZE IN CONSTITUENCIES, BUT

THEY CAN'T USE TV ADVERTISING,

AND IT DOESN'T COST MUCH TO GO FROM ONE END OF THE COUNTRY TO THE OTHER.

>> Stephen: THE POLLS CLOSED HOURS AGO IN ENGLAND, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

>> IT LOOKS CHAOTIC.

IT LOOKS VERY, VERY HUNG.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Stephen: YOU WOULD KNOW.

>> I WOULD KNOW, YES.

>> Stephen: WELL, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

>> IT MEANS THAT TOMORROW,

DEPENDING UPON WHO GETS THE MOST SEATS, THE QUEEN WILL HAVE TO ASK ONE OF THESE LEADERS TO FORM

A GOVERNMENT.

>> Stephen: WAIT A SECOND, THE QUEEN STILL HAS A ROLE IN GOVERNMENT?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: I THOUGHT SHE WAS JUST A TOURIST TRAP.

>> THIS IS WHEN THE QUEEN FINALLY GETS HER SAY.

THE LEADER OF THE PARTY THAT HAS THE MOST SEATS HAS TO GO TO THE QUEEN AND ASK PERMISSION TO FORM

A GOVERNMENT, OR THE QUEEN INVITES HIM.

AND THAT MAY BE DIFFICULT BECAUSE WHAT IF...

>> Stephen: MADAM, MAY WE FORM A GOVERNMENT, PLEASE.

>> IT'S MUM.

>> Stephen: MUM, WE'D REALLY LIKE A GOVERNMENT FOR A WHILE.

[LAUGHTER]

AND WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THEIR FIRST SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT, WHEN THEY TELL THE COUNTRY WHAT THEIR

PROGRAM, IS IT'S CALLED THE QUEEN'S SPEECH.

SHE GIVES IT.

SHE DELIVERS THE STATE OF THE UNION ON BEHALF OF THE PRIME MINISTER.

>> Stephen: WOW.

SO WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN?

>> AS SOON AS I POSSIBLY CAN.

>> Stephen: YOU'VE GOT MY VOTE.

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