On Friday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation from the position after she failed to deal with all the Brexit drama in a way that satisfied any sort of majority – whether that be within her own Conservative Party or among British politicians in general. May will continue as acting prime minister until the next leader is chosen but will officially end her three-year reign as the Conservative Party leader on June 7. Whatever brave soul follows May will have the immense responsibility of deciding what to do about Brexit while still dealing with the same political deadlock that led to May’s resignation.
Currently, Boris Johnson, the former foreign secretary and mayor of London, and Dominic Raab, the former minister who dealt with Brexit negotiations for May, are among the ten contenders vying for the position. But just for a moment, imagine a world in which instead of British politicians, the frontrunners were noteworthy Northwestern personalities.
Would her beauty, grace and status as British royalty make Northwestern alumna Meghan Markle the best candidate? Or would the strength of graduating Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson be enough to bring an end to Britain’s political troubles? Would the spirit of Willie the Wildcat or the persona (and meme-like nature) of Morty Schapiro make for the best leader? To try and get to the bottom of this, I did some very serious journalistic work and polled 26 students on Tuesday, May 28, at Norris University Center to ask which of these figures students thought should be the next British prime minister.
Former actress and Northwestern alumna Markle received by far the most student support, which could be because she is a member of the British royal family and all. Still, some students thought the Duchess may not be the best choice.
“Easily Willie the Wildcat,” said Weinberg first-year Hugo Compton after taking a moment to contemplate the challenging question. “He would just bring such a positive energy.”
For Weinberg student Vanessa Garcia, however, the only answer that really made sense was football star Clayton Thorson. When her friend questioned whether Thorson really had “prime minister energy,” Garcia was quick to defend him.
“I mean, he did lead a whole team to the Big Ten Championships,” she said.
However, students showed that in the hypothetical world that is British politics without the politicians, they believe a connection to the British crown goes hand-in-hand with success.