The Guardian on the failure of the centre left

The Guardian writes:

Across the western democracies, the centre of political gravity shifts erratically but inexorably to the right. Britain’s Brexit vote caused a tilt to the right in Theresa May’s cabinet and has been followed by the election of Donald Trump and a Republican Congress in America. This weekend, Austrians may elect a far-right president, while the centre-left Italian government could fall after this Sunday’s constitutional referendum. In France, meanwhile, the centre-right Republican party has now selected the more conservative contender François Fillon as its presidential candidate in the 2017 contest that could end as a head-to-head with the far-right Front National’s Marine Le Pen.

So why is this?

The ability of the centre-right to respond to and shape the world as it is evolving in 2016 contrasts with the inability of the centre-left to make matching responses. This failure is also simultaneously particular to individual countries and shared across borders. France’s left politics provide a textbook example. With occasional exceptions, like Canada and Portugal, the centre-left has struggled to win recent elections on both sides of the Atlantic. France’s left suffers from being part of that more general international difficulty to articulate an alternative that catches the popular mood and from being a particularly acute local example of that failure.

The left seem to offer the same solutions, no matter the situation. Labour’s answer to the future of work in NZ is to turn the clock back 30 years and return to “free” tertiary education.

Comments (30)

Login to comment or vote