a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Can the gloomy left ever clarify its message?

Posted on the May 27th, 2010

I really like the article yesterday –“The left is trying to take back centre ground in Europe” — in the Netherlands newspaper nrchandelsblad International.  Reporter Marc Leijendekker nails down some of the meatier issues at the center of the accelerating conversation about social democracy versus free market capitalism.

To begin with he addresses the paradox of a voting public in Western democracies that often enough has drifted to the right in recent elections even after the worldwide financial crisis

…laid bare the faults in an economic model in which free market thinking takes centre stage and the state plays a supporting role.

Leijendekker explores some of the reasons for voters’ choices, a well-known and most unpleasant one being that in many cases it was the political leaders of the left who pushed the hardest for freer markets (See Tony Blair’s Third way and Bill Clinton’s Triangulation).

Division of wealth is a focus of the second half of the article, plus a glance at the upcoming June parliamentary elections in the Netherlands where “opinion polls show things are going well for social democracy…”

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