Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
As you may already know, Senate elections were held in the Netherlands a couple of weeks ago - a somewhat undemocratic, indirect election where the public votes for representatives in the twelve Provincials - whom determine (by vote) the 75 members of the Dutch Senate.

Labour, part of the Dutch government, set a new record this time: they lost in all constituencies, every single one of them, even in their historic strongholds. All alarms should be ringing by now - but the Labour party-line portrays what you summarize as the 'unreasonable left'. The Labour leadership comes across petulantly: 'why don't you voters understand all the good things we're doing for you! We will try even harder to explain it!'

The alternative on the left, the Socialist Party, gained modestly in the elections - but has not managed to fully capture Labour's loss. A significant part of Labour voters shift further right, towards the liberal D66 party, now in opposition in Dutch Parliament. On paper, the Wilders party also polls very high - but the voters on Wilders hardly bother to get out and vote, notwithstanding national elections.

Third Way Labour was electorally butchered before. They did not draw lessons, and persisted Third Way ideology. Total political insignificance is now looming.

by Bjinse on Mon Apr 6th, 2015 at 03:55:25 PM EST
Almost since Al Gore, I have a growing suspicion that the big Labour-lite parties of the world are deliberately (from some compartmentalized level) abstaining from the power, letting down their constituencies in elections and policies. It started from some details in Lithuanian elections, then Al Gore and Kerry non-elections, the Netherlands in 2002, Sarkozy in France, again thin but consequential losses in New Zealand, Denmark... And when they have to win an election, Obama, Hollande (and what, Wouter Bos in NL?) only confirm the trend.
by das monde on Mon Apr 6th, 2015 at 09:16:51 PM EST
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It was so obvious and at the time so heartbreaking - to me - to watch Gore run away from every progressive tradition and most especially from labor. He couldn't run fast enough. To this day I do not understand if he idiotically thought this a way to get elected or if it was more sinister than that.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Mon Apr 6th, 2015 at 10:58:23 PM EST
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Gore didn't run away; he was never on board to begin with.  He's built all his "progressive" credibility on the softest target, climate change.  He's a modern Dixiecrat and a DLC neolib, which is the sort that runs the Democratic Party these days and has for over 30 years.  Don't forget, he carried the flag for NAFTA.
by rifek on Wed Apr 15th, 2015 at 04:14:00 PM EST
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Al Gore Joins Tea Party in Battle Against Utilities
If you're Al Gore, former Democratic vice-president and climate change activist, you blast Big Power for "using the atmosphere as their sewage infrastructure" to suck up carbon emissions and trying to shut down competition. The industry is waging a "war on solar," he told investors Monday at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance conference in New York City.

If you're Debbie Dooley, a national Tea Party activist who says state laws discriminate against residential solar, you tell the same audience that Americans want "energy freedom" and not "government-sanctioned monopolies" that tell consumers where they must buy power.

In back-to-back speeches, the political Odd Couple struck surprisingly similar tones on clean energy's future, even if Gore dwelled on renewables' role in avoiding catastrophic global warming while Dooley didn't use the words "climate change" at all, focusing on consumer choice.

by das monde on Wed Apr 15th, 2015 at 09:20:06 PM EST
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Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina was, I think, the last 'New Deal' Democrat in the Senate. Google Bill Moyers interview with him. Hollings complained about having to spend his vacations in California doing fund raisers: "There is just no money in South Carolina for  someone like me".

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 15th, 2015 at 04:50:07 PM EST
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Here in the UK, with an election looming Blair has just come out strongly supporting Labour and Ed in person.

Considering how much Blair is hated, I can only assume this is a move to throw the election for the Tories.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 7th, 2015 at 06:59:03 AM EST
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