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Prime Minister David Cameron tight lip Stephen Simpson/ZumaPress

Britain’s Silent Election

The longest election campaign in UK history has been strikingly short of focus. Nonetheless, it contains three important pointers for other Western democracies.

LONDON – Other people’s elections are usually baffling and boring, which is certainly true of the United Kingdom’s coming vote on May 7; indeed, many Britons share the sentiment. The longest election campaign in UK history has been strikingly short of focus. Nonetheless, the campaign contains three important pointers for other Western democracies.

The first pointer is that Bill Clinton’s famous campaign slogan from 1992 – “It’s the economy, stupid” – is itself stupid, or at least insufficient. If it was the economy that would decide Britain’s election, Prime Minister David Cameron would be leading a much more confident campaign.

For the past 18 months or so, the UK has had Europe’s fastest-growing economy, and at times has even outpaced the United States. The unemployment rate, now 5.6%, has fallen to less than half that of the eurozone.

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