It's been a pretty interesting year with a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat party in control of the country.
But today I'm going to talk about something that has received a little coverage here, but made me think about some of the social standards that differ between England and the US. I'm going to talk about this man:
Ed Miliband is the leader of the Labour Party. He was elected to the position after Gordon Brown's departure. I don't actually know that much about Ed's politics. I do know that his voice sounds a bit like a petulant teenager when he gets passionate.
But that's not what I want to talk about. Ed Miliband would never have been elected to such an important position in America. Now this isn't because of his political views or his education or ability to perform in his job. It's because of his personal life. Ed has two young sons. Ed is in a relationship with their mother and has been since they met in 2004. Ed is not married to her. *Cue the shock and horror!*
Ed is in the fairly commonplace situation of having a "partner". Now in America, partner is really only used for gay couples. In England it is not uncommon for couples to be in committed long-term relationships, often with children, but not to be married. In America it's pretty much reserved for Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell, Susan Sarandon & Tim Robbins (how did I miss that they broke up!?!) and Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie.
I just can't imagine America going for a political leader who's home life looked like Ed's... Which got me thinking. What does it really matter? Does the fact that he isn't married impact how he's going to run the country? I don't know. I do know that it does bother me. Perhaps this makes me old-fashioned. (Not really a term I would often apply to myself- though I guess in some ways it fits.) I know for a fact that the aforementioned celebrity relationships bug the crap out of my mom. Maybe it's rubbed off on me :)
Ed explains why he hasn't married his partner yet: politics have "gotten in the way" and more recently he's "not ready yet". Hmmm. Yeah- it officially bothers me.
Am I alone on this? Can anybody give me an explanation for this "partner" phenomenon's prevalence (alliteration, baby!) in England?