The Political Center Is Shifting to the Left

Sep 2013
44,020
35,072
On a hill
#1
The traditional center-left is in retreat in Europe, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the U.S. This could be seen as a failure of the centrist-socialist establishment, though it might make sense to see it from a different perspective: An attractive, modern alternative has presented itself.

In France, President Francois Hollande's erratic policies may have rendered the Socialist Party too weak to win much in the next electoral cycle. According to recent polls, if Hollande runs again, he is likely to be eliminated in the first round. In Germany, the Social Democrats, part of the governing coalition, are polling at less than 20 percent for the first time since the 2013 general election. In Spain, the Socialists can't find allies to form a government after an inconclusive election late last year, and another vote may be needed to break the deadlock. In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is technically of the center-left, but he shies away from leftist rhetoric, and his reform plans, including labor market liberalization and privatization, are far from standard socialist fare. In Denmark, the Social Democrats were swept from power last year, and in the U.K., Labour almost sank to its all-time nadir. In Greece, the mainstream socialist party, PASOK, is all but dead. The list goes on.

snip

The lively new left wing that is rising on both sides of the Atlantic is not a consequence of the center-left's decline. It's probably one of its biggest causes. Voters who believe that the government should be more vigorous in curbing capitalism and redistributing wealth have been turning on traditional socialist parties. They didn't see Tony Blair as one of their own, nor do they approve of the efforts of Renzi, Hollande and Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the German Social Democrats, to consort with the center-right and adopt its economic recipes. Yet they have voted for these leaders for lack of better options, just as many U.S. Democrats back Clinton.

Now there are other options. Sanders is a prime example: Instead of making vague promises of incremental progress toward greater social justice, he sweeps the traditional "can't afford more right now" argument aside, saying the U.S. is wealthy enough to be much more fair and humane.

The Political Center Is Shifting to the Left - Bloomberg View
 
Likes: 5 people
Jun 2014
60,492
34,752
Cleveland, Ohio
#4
I agree with the Op. There is dead-seated anger about the loss of middle class status and prospects for our young people, and this will only grow over time.
 
Likes: 4 people
Dec 2007
34,673
6,991
Middle of nowhere Arkansas
#5
The traditional center-left is in retreat in Europe, and to a somewhat lesser extent in the U.S. This could be seen as a failure of the centrist-socialist establishment, though it might make sense to see it from a different perspective: An attractive, modern alternative has presented itself.

In France, President Francois Hollande's erratic policies may have rendered the Socialist Party too weak to win much in the next electoral cycle. According to recent polls, if Hollande runs again, he is likely to be eliminated in the first round. In Germany, the Social Democrats, part of the governing coalition, are polling at less than 20 percent for the first time since the 2013 general election. In Spain, the Socialists can't find allies to form a government after an inconclusive election late last year, and another vote may be needed to break the deadlock. In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is technically of the center-left, but he shies away from leftist rhetoric, and his reform plans, including labor market liberalization and privatization, are far from standard socialist fare. In Denmark, the Social Democrats were swept from power last year, and in the U.K., Labour almost sank to its all-time nadir. In Greece, the mainstream socialist party, PASOK, is all but dead. The list goes on.

snip

The lively new left wing that is rising on both sides of the Atlantic is not a consequence of the center-left's decline. It's probably one of its biggest causes. Voters who believe that the government should be more vigorous in curbing capitalism and redistributing wealth have been turning on traditional socialist parties. They didn't see Tony Blair as one of their own, nor do they approve of the efforts of Renzi, Hollande and Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the German Social Democrats, to consort with the center-right and adopt its economic recipes. Yet they have voted for these leaders for lack of better options, just as many U.S. Democrats back Clinton.

Now there are other options. Sanders is a prime example: Instead of making vague promises of incremental progress toward greater social justice, he sweeps the traditional "can't afford more right now" argument aside, saying the U.S. is wealthy enough to be much more fair and humane.

The Political Center Is Shifting to the Left - Bloomberg View
Yeah, communism has always been such a good idea.........

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killings_under_Communist_regimes
 
Dec 2007
34,673
6,991
Middle of nowhere Arkansas
#6
I agree with the Op. There is dead-seated anger about the loss of middle class status and prospects for our young people, and this will only grow over time.
There is among conservatives as well but we aren't flocking to the concept of authoritarian communist regimes.
 
Jun 2014
60,492
34,752
Cleveland, Ohio
#8
There is among conservatives as well but we aren't flocking to the concept of authoritarian communist regimes.
I think these ideological divisions will lose their power for young people. It will all be about redistribution of income, upward mobility, etc.
 
Jun 2014
60,492
34,752
Cleveland, Ohio
#9
Politics are cyclical and predictable.
No, they aren't. Certain impacts can be predicted, others cannot.

And the facts to which people react change. This generation is not likely to accept the next Depression in the same way 1930's people did.
 

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