This article appeared in the December 12, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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‘It’s a vote for my family’s safety.’ A divided Britain votes on its future, again.

Hannah McKay/Reuters
A member of the security detail for Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn argues with a person dressed as Elmo as Mr. Corbyn returns from voting in the general election in London Dec. 12, 2019.
Yvonne Zipp
Features Editor

Our five stories today look at what a burned shrine in Iraq says about Iranian power; why impeachment may not sway votes in swing districts; why Russian athletes are fed up – with their government; why U.S. students are suing for the right to learn civics; and our film critic’s 10 best movies of the year.

Our reporter Simon Montlake has been in London and Scotland all week, covering the United Kingdom’s fifth major vote in five years. We’ll have a full report from him for you tomorrow. But today, Simon shared some observations from his chats with voters. 

“I spent the morning outside a polling station inside a Jewish primary school in North London,” Simon says. “It was rainy and gray, but there was a constant stream of voters, young and old, families and single professionals, and most were happy to stop and talk after casting their ballot.”

Many seemed doubtful that this election will resolve the vexed issue of Brexit. “No matter who wins, we’ve become so divided,” Lynda Carter, a retiree, told Simon. 

This parliamentary seat is held by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, who face a strong challenger in Luciana Berger, a former Labour MP who quit the party over anti-Semitism (she is Jewish). 

“Our choices are between bad and worse,” Afsanah, an accountant, told him.

She voted for Ms. Berger to stop the Conservatives and Brexit. That was preferable to voting for Labour, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is widely criticized for failing to root out anti-Semitism. 

Several Jewish voters said they feared a Corbyn victory. “It’s a vote for my family’s safety,” one man said after voting Conservative. 

Errol Danziger, a management consultant, voted Conservative and was hopeful that the U.K. would finally leave the European Union. “We have to get out,” he said. “We have to make our own opportunities.”

Another Jewish man said he voted for Ms. Berger. But he was sanguine about Brexit, even though he saw it as a mistake. “We accept the results of the referendum. That’s democracy.”

This article appeared in the December 12, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 12/12 edition
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