U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown requested the Queen dissolve Parliament today in advance of their May 6th general election:
The formalities between the Prime Minister and monarch lasted 23 minutes. The details of their conversation will remain private but Mr Brown was to ask the Queen for a dissolution next Monday. He then returned to Downing Street to name the date on the steps of No 10.
[Conservative Party leader David] Cameron was not in a mood to wait, starting his campaign appearance while Mr Brown's motorcade was still moving. The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was also out campaigning.
Mr Brown finally emerged from No 10 at around 10.45am, announced what he called "probably the worst-kept secret of recent years" and started the pitch to voters that Labour campaign strategists hope will lead to a record fourth term for Labour.
I don't think we should have the Queen dissolve Congress—the last time that happened things ended badly for the U.K.—but I do like the British 5-week limit on campaigning. Can you imagine how much Congress would get done if they could only campaign for re-election during the months of October and November?
Cameron's party will likely win more seats than they have now, but Labour may retain a plurality. That would cause a hung Parliament, and give the Liberal Democrats a lot of power to form a coalition (probably with Labor). So on May 7th, look for Gordon Brown retaining his job but Nick Clegg in the Cabinet. That should be interesting. (Also look to Brown to resign shortly after the election. Prime Minister Darling, one wonders?)