Friday, June 7, 2013

Run-down of elections abroad: Some advances for centre-right, market-oriented parties?

by Clifford F. Thies 

There are at this time four major national elections scheduled for the balance of this year, with Japan most immediately on the horizon, in July, and Australia, Norway and Germany in September. 

In Japan, half the upper house is up for election. Opinion polls indicate that the center-right parties will win an enormous victory. The Liberal Democratic Party of Shinzo Abe, a conservative party, is riding high in the polls and will cruise to a large majority. The Democratic Party, a center left party, will complete its collapse. 

Three smaller center-right parties will vie for seats: the New Komeito Party, a Buddhist Party traditionally aligned with the Liberal Democrats; the Japanese Restoration Party, a new party with a nationalist and right-wing populist platform; and, Your Party, another new party with a reform and quasi-libertarian platform. 


In Australia, opinion polls indicate that Julia Gillard's Labour-Green coalition government will be trounced in September. The opposition Liberal Party, together with its brothers in the National Party, appear headed for something like a 10 point victory. Having said this, the leader of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott, has not endeared himself with the electorate. 


In Norway, Jens Stoltenberg's Labour-led coalition government is headed for an embarrassing loss in September. Siv Jensen  of the populist-libertarian Progress Party and Erna Solberg of the Conservative Party, together with two minor center-right parties, have been running 20 points ahead of the center-left. 

As to which of these two ladies will become the next Prime Minister, we can't be certain, but Siv (photo) seems to have the upper hand. 


In Germany, about the only thing that can be said at this time is that Chancellor Merkel's bifurcated party, the Christian Democrats and the Christian Social Union, will finish first. It is possible that the current ruling coalition (her party and the market-liberal Free Democrats) will maintain a majority; but, there are many other possibilities. 

Complicating the picture in Germany is a new center-right party, the Alternative Party, which describes itself as anti-Euro but not anti-EU. Essentially, the party would like Germany to revert to the Mark, securing to Germany a strong currency and allowing the PIGS of Europe (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) to deal with their fiscal mess the way democratic countries usually due, by inflation.

Dr. Thies is a professor of economics at Shenandoah Univ. in Virginia, USA


jimmyjones5 said...

What could possibly go wrong with a right-wing nationalist party being in charge of Germany?

Eric Dondero said...

Ahh, and there's your error. Being "rightwing," and even "nationalist" in no way means Nazi. In fact, rather the oppposite.

Hitler and the Nazis were rabid leftwingers. Hardline socialists.

A nationalist party existed in Germany during the time of Hitler, that was most assuredly opposed to his policies. Hitler eventually turned on them too. Some of their leaders were giving the long knife of Naziism, in the gut.

Eric Dondero said...

BTW, Hitler and his henchmen hunted down rightwinger economist Ludvig von Mises in Austria. Fortunately Mises fled in just a nick of time.

Hitler hated the right. Even more so, than his sometimes allies on the left - the redshirted Communists.

jimmyjones5 said...

I love your 'Nazis were liberal' theory. Its almost as funny as your 'Muslims were responsible for the OKC bombing' teory. Or 'The President is a Marxist Muslim Kenyan' theory. You should tour comedy clubs.

Clifford Thies said...

As between fascists and communists, they sometimes allied with each other (to oppose bourgeoisie liberal democratic and capitalist elements), but were always going to oppose each other as both are totalitarian. Having as we do a global perspective, we see past the shifting "left-right" spectrum that prevails in any one place at any one time, and look to more fundamental issues. Accordingly, it is easy for us to characterize parties across the world (and also through time) on a consistent basis. While there are several ways to do this, check out the following:
In this depiction, most Americans are "liberals," meaning liberal, democratic and capitalistic; although some are more capitalistic than others, and some are more comfortable with hierarchical elements such as family, church, business, etc., than others.
The progressives would say that they are democratic while being inclined to socialism, although their acceptance of interference with freedom of religion, of speech and of the press, and with invasions of privacy and with government deceit makes the claim hollow. John Stewart Mill made it clear a long time ago, that you cannot have democracy with these civil liberties.

jimmyjones5 said...

Gotta love when an 'economics professor' and 'captain from the vietnam era' links to wikipedia to back up his statement.

Eric Dondero said...

Jimmy, you're living in the past. There was a time when quoting Wikipedia, granted was ridiculous. Not any more. They've significantly tightened up the ship. It's not quite Encyclopedia Britanica, but 9 out of 10 times these days Wiki is pretty reliable.

Eric Dondero said...

Hey Jimmy, so let me get you on record.

You entirely believe Janet Reno and Bill Clinton. That it was Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols who bombed the Murrah bldg. in OKC, and them alone.

John Doe II never existed, right? All those drawings of the third suspect were just fabrications? All those witnesses who claimed to have seen Hussain Al-Huissaini fleeing the Murrah bldg. site with McVeigh seconds after the bombing, they were all lying, right?

Have the courage of your convictions.

McVeigh, Nichols acted alone?

Yes, or no??

Chuck said...

"Gotta love when an 'economics professor' and 'captain from the vietnam era' links to wikipedia to back up his statement."

Gotta love it when a dimwitted, dick-sucking slave expects to be taken seriously.

What do you get out of supporting corruption, jimmyjerkoff? How much are you paid to do this?

Chuck said...

"What could possibly go wrong with a right-wing nationalist party being in charge of Germany?"

Who knows? It's never happened. A leftist nationalist party called the Nazis had their run. We know how that turned out.

Do you ever get tired of being a fucking fool? What happened to you?

What a shame.

mitsukurina said...

"right-wing nationalist party being in charge of Germany"

You think that the CDU is a right-wing nationalist party? Jesus christ; you need to broaden your horizons.