Sunday, June 7, 2009

Socialist Backlash? France, Germany Among European Nations That Move Right After Elections

Is there a socialist backlash starting in Europe? For decades, Europe has been the poster child for socialism. Over recent years, the tide had started to change. As I reported on my Review blog conservatives are making a comeback in Europe. The elections of France's Sarkozy and Germany's Merkel were just the beginning. Over the last few days, elections all over Europe has begun to bear significant fruit of this backlash against socialist failures:

Conservatives raced toward victory in some of Europe's largest economies Sunday as exit polls showed voters punishing left-leaning parties in European Parliament elections in France, Germany and elsewhere.

Some right-leaning parties suggested the results vindicated their reluctance to spend more on company bailouts and fiscal stimulus amid the global economic crisis.

Projections showed Germany's Social Democrats heading to their worst showing in a nationwide election since World War II. Four months before a German national election, the outcome boosted conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes of ending the tense left-right "grand coalition" that has led the European Union's most populous nation since 2005.

The results from France wasn't any better for socialist parties:

Exit polls suggested France's governing conservative party scored a resounding victory with 28.3 percent of the vote, followed by the opposition Socialist Party with 17.5 percent.

French Socialists said their defeat signaled a need to rethink left-wing policies to unseat Sarkozy.

Ya, you should "rethink" your policies. For example, your party should drop all of that socialist fantasy nonsense and join us in the real world where capitalism and individual freedoms are paramount and the most effective way to ensure success in any country's economy. Entitlement programs just make people lazy, and they don't have the drive to be everything that they can be because the government will take care of them from cradle to grave.

All over Europe a socialist backlash seems to be taking root:

Opinion surveys and exit polls showed right-leaning governments edging the opposition in Italy and Belgium as well as Germany and France. Conservative opposition parties were tied or ahead in Britain and Spain, opinion polls showed.

A center-right European leader, Graham Watson, had this to say about the election results:

"People don't want a return to socialism and that's why the majority here will be a center-right majority."

While Britain didn't have any major elections this year, the socialist backlash seems to taking root there as well:

In Britain, dissident Labour legislators said a plot to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown could accelerate after the party's expected dismal results in the European elections are announced.

Opponents say the Labour leader has been so tainted by the economic crisis and a scandal over lawmakers' expenses that the opposition Conservatives are virtually guaranteed to win the next national election, which must be called by June 2010.

Of course, the Associated Press and others in the mainstream media blame the "far-right" and other "fringe" groups gains this past week not as a sign of a significant shift in Europe but as a sign of "low voter turnout":

Exit polls also showed gains for far-right groups and other fringe parties due to record low turnout.

They repeatedly focused on low turnout to try to imply the victories as not a true indicator of the beliefs of Europeans. Also, they tried to peg some of the groups as bigots by their "Anti-Islamic" platforms.

Bulgaria, Hungry, and Poland are also moving more to the right.

Greece and Portugal are the only European countries that seems to be moving more to the left.

It's a welcome sign from across the pond. Hopefully, this is just the beginning. If Europe admits the socialist experiments as failures, maybe Americans will learn from their mistakes before we make the same ones over here.

Numerous polls show that Americans are already growing tired of it. TEA parties have popped up all over the country with plans for more on July 4th. The 2010 elections are beginning to look scary for the Democrats. It could be 1994 all over again.


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Anonymous said...

Hello from Greece. I will be 1/2 a century old soon and have witnessed the formation of the EU almost from the beginning. Unlike the US where you have a defined and stable state, the EU has grown slowly based mostly on social and political values but not really in a left-right sense. (The difference between left and right parties are not that big in Europe). What has changed in the last few years is that the EU is run increasingly with criteria of financial performance, and even if these are financially correct they are not sufficient to run the place, if the social situation on the ground is not cared for. In my opinion we will soon see cracks in the European construction if things keep going this way, and all the "right economic decisions " will be pointless.