A new era in British politics was launched as Prime Minister Gordon Brown resigned and ceded his office to David Cameron, the leader of the British Conservative Party. Brown's resignation ends his Labor Party's 13-year rule and paves the way for Cameron and the third main candidate in the race for Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, to form a coalition government. This means Cameron's Conservatives and Clegg's Liberal Democrats will work together to rule Great Britain.
Cameron is the one moving into the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street because his party won more seats in Parliament than Clegg's. The two leaders are able to form a coalition government because together, their parties hold the majority of seats in Parliament. Clegg has been named Deputy Prime Minister, and Cameron has chosen five other members of the Liberal Democrats to be part of his ruling cabinet.
Click here to view a video that provides more in-depth analysis of the election results.
"My constitutional duty is to make sure that a government can be formed following last Thursday's general election. I have informed the queen's private secretary that it's my intention to tender my resignation to the queen. In the event that the queen accepts, I shall advise her to invite the leader of the opposition to seek to form a government." - Gordon Brown, Britain's incumbent Prime Minister
"Nick Clegg and I are both political leaders who want to put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest. I believe that is the best way to get the strong government that we need, decisive government that we need today." - David Cameron, Britain's incoming Prime Minister
1. What is a coalition government?
2. What are the main political parties in the United Kingdom? What are the main political parties in the United States?
1. What did you learn from this report about the Queen's role in British politics?
2. Do you think Cameron and Clegg's parties will really be able to rule together? Why or why not?
3. What do you know about the issues currently facing Great Britain and its people? How are they similar to or different from the issues facing Americans?
4. Could the United States ever have a coalition government? Why or why not?