So with a series of elections among the wealthy countries of the world since the 2008 crash, there have been some high profile defeats for the traditional center-left parties. The center-left got beaten badly by the center right in the EP elections earlier this year. Then there have been some bi-election embarrassments for the British Labor Party that have many pundits all but writing that party's reelection chances off completely. Then the German Social Democrats were crushed in the elections there at the same time that the pro-market FDP surged to their best electoral result ever. One could be forgiven for thinking there is something seriously wrong with the center-left - or at least something has gone wrong with their relationship with voters. But two elections in wealthy countries are bucking this trend. In Japan, the center-left managed to unify and form the first single party government other than the LDP in Japan's post WWII history. And today, PASOK won the elections in Greece.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
So what does this all mean? Probably not much in the way of consistent partisan shifts in among wealthy democracies. Rather this is probably all just a "throw the bums out" phenomenon. Especially in countries where the 2008 financial collapse has cause serious problems, voters are just reacting against what they perceive as the incumbent governing parties' responsibility for the economy. One thing I think is safe to say from this, any declines in the electoral fortunes of any center-left parties around the world are likely due to the idiosyncrasies of local politics (especially when the center-left are the incumbents going into the election) rather than any world wide reaction against the welfare state or taxes in the face of the recession.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 1:36 PM