Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This turn away from social democracy is obviously US influenced
Which turn away of social democracy?
In (West) Germany the first three chancellors were from CDU/political catholicism. Adenauer and Erhard made the big choices, such as the west integration, NATO membership, and a market orientated policy. Then came two social democrats, which together made it to less time in office than Adenauer alone. Then came Kohl with his 16 years of chancellorship.
Western Germany still is structurally voting for right of center parties, just the supermajority of the left in eastern Germany gives the left-of-center parties a majority.
The constitution was clearly written by people, who distrust the people. Lot of influence of the elite to prevent another rise of a figure like Hitler.

In France, please name a president, who had more influence on the course of France than de'Gaulle. The president longest in office was Chirac. None of them social democratic. France has no since 1995 a conservative president.

In Briton never before Blair labour managed to get a PM reelected. Churchill a labour PM? Uhmm, no.

So waht about NuLabour/Third Way/Neue Mitte, is this the demise of social democracy? Hey, the party heads don't want to play always only opposition. They did, what was necessary to gain majorities, even when this meant to 'betray' their traditional supporters.

Economically Europe was probably more conservative than the USA until about Reagan. There are no dramatic changes since. The country which has moved are the USA.

I think the conservatives have clearly more shaped the Rhenish countries than social democracy. What I was speaking in my last point of the diary is, that there is no major shift to the right in Europe, but basically business as usual. Take into account the opening of the poorer eastern Europe, which does pressure our wages, but helps eastern Europe to become richer - clearly more cooperative than let say Mexican/USA relations, think about it, would the USA let Mexicans codecide in their trade policy as eastern Europeans do in the EU(?) - and you get what you see.
And frankly, if what you see and hear about Europe isn't the slightest bit different than what you see and hear about the USA, then with at least one of us something is seriously wrong.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 10th, 2008 at 12:11:26 PM EST
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