This is quite an interesting situation.The European Parliament is moving to the right as conservatives election after election. Meanwhile, America is moving at breathtaking speed to the left as Barack Obama has nationalized the banking and auto industries and is now working to nationalized health care. Europeans, however, have decided to move in the right direction:
Conservatives raced toward victory in some of Europe’s largest economies Sunday as initial results and exit polls showed voters punishing left-leaning parties in European parliament elections in France, Germany and elsewhere.
Some right-leaning parties said the results vindicated their reluctance to spend more on company bailouts and fiscal stimulus amid the global economic crisis.
First projections by the European Union showed center-right parties would have the most seats — between 263 and 273 — in the 736-member parliament. Center-left parties were expected to get between 155 to 165 seats.
Right-leaning governments were ahead of the opposition in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium, while conservative opposition parties were leading in Britain and Spain.
Greece was the exception, where the governing conservatives were headed for defeat in the wake of corruption scandals and economic woes.
Germany’s Social Democrats headed to their worst showing in a nationwide election since World War II. Four months before Germany holds its own national election, the outcome boosted conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hopes of ending the tense left-right “grand coalition” that has led the European Union’s most populous nation since 2005.
“We are the force that is acting level-headedly and correctly in this financial and economic crisis,” said Volker Kauder, the leader of Merkel’s party in the German parliament.
France’s Interior Ministry said partial results showed the governing conservatives in the lead, with the Socialists in a distant second and the Europe Ecologie environmentalist party a close third.
French Socialists said their defeat signaled a need to rethink left-wing policies if they are to have any hope of unseating President Nicolas Sarkozy.
It’s too soon to tell if this is a long term shift in the European political landscape, but it is good news for them, nonetheless. If Europe implements more conservative policies, more free market policies, it will probably recover from this global economic downturn quicker than the US, which is implementing socialist policies. Big government policies never inspire economic growth, so we may see Europe’s economy growing at a faster rate than ours in the next few years.
Update: Power Line notes the media’s incoherent spin on the elections and the amazing resurgence of the UK’s sudden self-reliant and pro-sovereignty streak:
Far right, center right–who can tell the difference? Probably no one in the far-left media. Any way you slice it, though, the EU elections have had a good outcome, with relatively conservative parties gaining across Europe. England’s Labour Party has reached a nadir, being outpolled today by the United Kingdom Independence Party, which wants to take the UK out of the European Union.