> Obama Regime Report < Obama Regime Report: Across Europe, Left-Leaning Parties See Clout Faltering, Meanwhile Dumbed Down Americans Buy What They're Selling.....Go Figure

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Across Europe, Left-Leaning Parties See Clout Faltering, Meanwhile Dumbed Down Americans Buy What They're Selling.....Go Figure

As Europe learns it's lessons of the failed policies liberals bring to the table that always require billions and now trillions of other people's money since the only money government's ever have in their grasps is other people's money. Other people otherwise known as taxpayers of coarse, and the European people have come to realize that the welfare state only breeds more laziness and therefore more benefits and less taxable income which in turn kills small business, the middle class which leads to bankruptcy and higher taxes for all.

Something most sixth graders were taught in most of our American middle school economics classes before Homo Ed and KumBaYah 1o1 became required by liberal lawmakers and lawbreakers across Europe and now America as well. We reap what we sow.

Across Europe, Left-Leaning Parties See Clout Faltering -

WSJ.com"PARIS -- The economic recession should have meant easy votes for Europe's left-wing movements, longtime critics of unchecked capitalism.

Yet as Europe goes to the polls, left-leaning parties across the continent are looking likely to falter. That's true both for those in government, such as in the U.K. and Spain, and in the opposition -- such as France, Germany and Italy.

France's Socialist Party is trying hard to rally voters ahead of Sunday's European parliamentary elections. 'Let's unite with all the French who contest free market, unfair policies that aim at deregulating everything,' party leader Martine Aubry urged at a pre-election rally.

Yet less than 20% of voters say they plan to cast their ballot for the Socialist Party, according to recent surveys. That would be a weak performance considering France's main opposition party got 29% of the votes in the last European parliamentary elections."

In Germany, the Social Democrats are expected to get only around 26% on Sunday, consistent with their low opinion-poll ratings ahead of Germany's national elections in September. Italy's center-left Partito Democratico is expected to get a similar percentage.

One reason is that as Europe tipped into recession, the right moved left -- appropriating some of the left's long-standing economic policies, including nationalizations and bailouts.

French conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, for example, helped recapitalize French banks, earmarked six billion euros for the auto sector and lashed out at "rascal bosses" with huge pay packages.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has planted her conservative camp firmly in the political center. Ms. Merkel has largely given up her former program of market-oriented reforms, and has gradually approved various kinds of state intervention to protect workers during the current recession, from bailing out carmaker Opel to subsidizing payrolls at companies whose export orders have collapsed.

Even before that, right-wing parties across the continent began offering more pragmatic approaches to policy than they had traditionally done. In the past decade, conservative parties introduced competition or privatized some public services in France, Germany and Italy -- but they refrained from dismantling the health-care and public transport services cherished by voters.

In the past, there was a clear fault line between Europe's left-wing and right-wing parties. The left called for more social welfare programs and public spending. The right wanted the state not to interfere in market forces.

Globalization helped change that. With nations and companies vying on a global scale, it has become difficult for a country to separate the effects of public spending and budget deficits from its labor costs and capacity to compete in export markets. The key moment came as far back as 1994, some political analysts say, when the World Trade Organization was created and much of the world began shifting to a more free-market economy.

"The WTO marked the triumph of the market economy," says Dominique Reynié, head of Paris-based Foundation for Political Innovation. "Since then, the left has been unable to propose another route."

The U.K.'s Labour Party stood as an exception when, under Tony Blair, it tried to shape a middle road. But Mr. Blair had inherited a deeply deregulated economy from the hands of previous conservative leaders, state coffers swelled during an economic boom, and he "had room to increase public spending and hire state workers," Mr. Reynié said. His successor, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has struggled to find a similar compromise way amid Europe's falling financial fortunes.

In some European countries, left-wing parties have failed to maintain a broad electoral base and ended up fractured and battling with one another. In Germany, the Social Democrats have suffered from a long-term decline that's linked to the decline in their unionized, working-class base, says Manfred Göllner, head of opinion-polling institute Forsa in Berlin.

Under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from 1998 to 2005, the party tried to win new, middle-class voters by marrying social justice with economic efficiency. But that fell apart when Mr. Schröder was forced to cut social spending to bring budget deficits under control at a time of record unemployment. The result: The party split, with dissidents defecting to help form a new, anti-capitalist party called "The Left" in 2007.

In some countries, the left has disintegrated into a myriad of groups. There have been so many defections from France's Socialist Party that the country now has half-a-dozen left-leaning movements. They include the New Anti-Capitalist Party, a Trotskyite movement, and the Left Front, an alliance of Communists and Communist-leaning politicians. The Socialist Party is divided over whether it should tie up with the Greens or with the MoDem, a center-right movement.

Italy's left has never quite recovered from the fall, in early 2008, of a government supported by a tenuous coalition of nine separate left-leaning movements ranging from Catholics to hard-core communists. Now, most don't believe the left will be a credible alternative to scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition for years to come.

Some fear that the inability of many European left-wing parties to attract voters is a cause -- not just a symptom -- of a rise among parties on the far right. "When people fear that they are not protected by their governments, they go back to nationalism," said Anthony Wedgwood Benn, a retired U.K. Socialist lawmaker.


The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H. L. Mencken

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