- You vote for who you want to be your local Member of Parliament (MP.)
- Whoever has the most votes in your constituency becomes the MP for that area.
- The Prime Minister is the leader of whichever party has the most MPs by the end of things.
- If there's no over-all majority (as in, if all the other parties combined out-number the most popular party,) then we end up with a hung parliament, and everyone gets very p**sed off.*
What this means is we don't vote for the Prime Minister - we vote for the local candidate.
And yes, it has a tendency to work out pretty unfairly, because some seats are 'safe' - i.e., you have zero chance of changing which party is in power in that area - whereas other seats are 'swing' - i.e., up-for-grabs.
What are these political parties then?
Well, we actually have a whole bunch of them, but we have 2 main ones, and a few slightly smaller ones who have enough representatives to warrant a mention.
Our current situation looks something like this*:
*Obviously, these are my opinions. You're welcome to disagree (but right now I think pretty much everyone is useless at best.)
Also, I know nothing about the Northern Irish parties, so I've left them out here instead of sticking my foot in it.
Also known as the Tories or the Tory party, these are the people currently in power (Lord help us.)
Led by Mrs May, who is basically Thatcher Lite, (and no, that's not a compliment,) they're a bunch of upper and upper middle class toffs who don't understand what it's like to have to earn anything.
Mrs May doesn't give a damn about any part of the Union but England (despite her protestations to the contrary) - she especially doesn't understand or care about Wales.
She and the Tories have a terrible record on disabled rights and LGBTQ+ rights.
(Not to mention the rights of anyone without family money.)
I don't like them; does it show? ;)
The Labour Party was born of the Trade Union movements at the start of the last century; it is our socialist party, standing up for workers and the poor.
Unfortunately, they are currently being led by Jeremy Corbyn, an inept, impractical, Lenin-wannabe who should've resigned as Labour leader after he lost the last general election, in 2015.
Even in the traditional Labour heartlands of Wales and the North of England, Corbyn isn't that popular.
I've heard him described by a random bloke from Merthyr Tydfil (South Wales,) who was interviewed in one of those 'what does the public think?' things, as 'a lemon.'
That assessment is pretty accurate.
The Liberal Democrats
The Lib Dems f**ked up their reputation of the party for protest and student votes by going in with the Tories as a coalition in the last parliament and screwing the students over.
Their current policy seems to be 'weed will win the students back.' And their current leader is an a**hole named Tim Farron who doesn't have a great record on LGBTQ+ rights.
Scottish National Party
OK, first off: SCOTTISH AND WELSH NATIONALISM IS NOT FACISM - IT'S ABOUT INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNION AND STANDING UP FOR OUR RIGHTS.
Right, to be honest, people outside Scotland would like to vote SNP right now. Nicola Sturgeon is the only politician with her head screwed on right.
Seriously Scottish people, go right ahead and vote for them. No-one will blame you.
A reminder: SCOTTISH AND WELSH NATIONALISM IS NOT FACISM - IT'S ABOUT INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNION AND STANDING UP FOR OUR RIGHTS.
OK, I'm just going to help you say it now before I feel like bashing my ears in on election night: Plied (as in, plied a trade,) Cum-ree.
OK? It really is that simple. Please though, if you still can't say it, get a Welsh person to say it for you. Please. Dear God, please.
Unfortunately, Plaid Cymru - the Welsh nationalist party - is not great either.
There's a lot of factions within Plaid, an awful lot of which are just not worth dealing with. Plus they tend to verge on the side of the unscientific in terms of agriculture.
And then there's the language politics... *sigh* I'd need a whole post to attempt to explain that to you, so we'll just leave it there.
There's also some historic links to militant and/or radical organisations. We'll leave that there too.
Their leader, Leanne Wood, is also fairly useless, and occasionally petty. #TrueStory.
There's nothing really wrong with them, but they have a tendency to be impractical, and don't have the numbers to be serious contenders.