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Perhaps I'm missing the point because I don't see the collapse of the centre as an inherently bad thing.

The way I understood it, the problem is that in the current situation, the collapse of the centre is not the end of the process, as the parties will compete to reach ever further extremes in opposed directions(and fracture not just along a single dimension as Migeru suggests), resulting in several incompatible but potentially militant medium to small parties.

Regarding a 1930s analogy, I'm not sure there is a really good one. In Germany, there have been several parties throughout Weimar, and there really were just 2-3 elections where the fringes in general strengthened, then the NSDAP bloated up on one side and the nominal centre parties folded and voted for the Gleichschaltung before the centre truly disappeared in a real election. In other Central European countries, fascist and semi-fascist forces took over without a prior total disintegration of the party landscape, even if the parallel strengthening of fascists and communists was common. And France was a rather different story, with true-blue far-right movements having been kind of marginal as extra-parliamentary movements, and the Communists joining a government coalition.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 21st, 2014 at 09:26:48 AM EST
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