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Socialists lose monopoly on socialist policies | NRS-Import | Deutsche Welle | 28.05.2009
People expect practical solutions instead of ideological arguments. The party affiliation of politicians or the role of the party itself becomes secondary. "At the moment I would say that most voters will look whether the recipes of their national government will work and they will give credit to any government party which is able to save jobs and make the economy work again", says Detterbeck.

Which boils down to saying that, in a crisis, there's a premium for parties in government. So the "socialists" - here, to be clear, we are talking about the parties that make up the PES - are not winning because they are not in government. This doesn't seem very enlightening.

It's quite wrong though, imo, to pretend that the centre-right parties in  government are applying "socialist" policies: there's little nationalisation of banks, and talk of strict financial regulation is mostly just talk. But they're communicating around the notion that they are (in France certainly), and they are, it's true, to some extent, sucking the air out of the opposition.

More telling is the point that (as I said yesterday re Ilana Bet-El's post) the inevitability of neoliberal ideas has sunk deep into the outlook of the leadership of the parties making up the PES. Partly, no doubt, as a result of the apparent success of the Third Way at one point. So they don't in fact have clearly different proposals (clear to most people) from the governments they are opposing.

Finally, People expect practical solutions instead of ideological arguments... Perhaps, but practical solutions spring from an ideological basis. The PES parties no longer have a coherent ideological approach from which to offer understanding of the crisis and practical measures to deal with it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 10:23:56 AM EST

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