In a country where a 72 year old retired Army General who was once it’s head of state sometime in the 80s still jostled for the presidency in it’s present day democracy says a lot about how climactic it would be should a 20 year old topple a hard hitting political figure. This was the case in the just concluded UK general elections.
Mhairi black and Douglas Alexander shaking hands during the declaration of results.
20 year old Mhairi Black, a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP) defeated Labour Party’s Douglas Alexander with a vote of 23,548 against Alexander’s 17, 864, an impressive margin for an amateur I must say. A feat that has made her the symbol of how dissatisfied the people from the Paisley and Renfreshire South region were with their representation in the House.
It is imperative to note that the person she defeated is a political heavy weight who has represented the region since 1997, a shrewd veteran of political campaigns, Labour Party’s campaign chief, a member of the shadow cabinet (a group of politician’s from the opposition party who would head up ministries if in power) , someone who would have gone on to become the new Foreign Secretary, a position akin to the US Secretary of State had his party won. This achievement has made Black the youngest lawmaker in the UK history since the 17th century.
Black became interested in politics at a very young age, marching for diverse causes like the support for a Scottish parliament and the opposition to the Iraq war. she was a vocal supporter of Scottish independence during the referendum campaign last year. she’s currently a final year student of politics and public policy at the university of Glasgow and would take up her first job in the House of Commons after submitting her dissertation at the end of this month.
The just concluded UK general elections felt like a keg just waiting to explode. For those who relied on the predictions from the pre-election polls, it was a different ball game altogether. 650 seats were declared vacant and at the end of the voting process, the summary of the results were as follows for the major players:
Conservative party which has David Cameron, the current Prime Minister as its leader: 331 seats
Labour party (Ed Milliband): 232 seats
Scottish National Party (Nicola Stugeron): 56 seats out of 59 seats in Scotland
Liberal Democratic Party (Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister): 8 seats
The Labour Party went from 256 seats to 232 seats (lost 24 seats) and the Liberal Democrats went from 56 seats to 8 seats (lost 49 seats). Following this appalling result, the leaders of both parties, Ed Milliband and Nick Clegg resigned as party chairmen within an hour of each other, something Fayose has been urging Muazu to do following PDP’s loss in our own election.
The Scottish National Party came out swinging, they went from 6 seats to 56 seats (won 50 seats) now making them the third largest party in the Commons. This election also saw an increase in female MPs from 147 to 191.
Personally, I now wish to see a Nigeria where;
- Those holding public offices have the decency to resign when they give less than stellar performances, not necessarily at the urging of the general public.
- More females would become involved in steering the affairs of the country to longed for heights party politics notwithstanding, and when I say women, I don’t mean the likes of Diezani Madueke and Patricia Eteh.
- Where the young would hold reputable public offices, not the SA to an SA type of office.
- And in the words of Mhairi Black, where those representing us are not the out-of-touch type who are more concerned about their business interests but those who have the interests of the ordinary people in their hearts.