Europe Moving Right

This weekend’s EU Parliamentary elections have shifted power from the center-left to the center-right, with several extreme-right parties picking up seats.

The results are interesting for several reasons.  First, voter turnout declined again, continuing a 30 year trend.  This is disturbing because it indicates that fewer EU citizens are voting, and those that are voting are sympathetic to nationalistic platforms.  Second, in the face of the worst economy in decades, European citizens are punishing center-left parties by voting in market oriented center-right coalitions.

Watch for David Cameron in the UK to lead his Conservative party ahead of Labour.  Amidst the UK parliamentary expense scandal–Ministers charging banal living expenses to tax-payers–the Tories have gained quite a bit of ground.

Keep in mind that European Right-wing parties are not the same as the American Republican party.  Though many of the European right parties favor free-markets, they are also potentially xenophobic, and this particular facet may usher in the rise of new violent fascist movements as economic woes are blamed on immigrant workers.

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