France To The Right, UK To The Left

Two of the world's preeminent democracies will hold pivotal elections in a mere three weeks' time. The results will be dramatic despite being foregone conclusions. It's hard to overstate the historical significance of France's two-round legislative ballot. Emmanuel Macron bet the house that the results of the EU parliament vote, which suggested the French electorate's prepared to deliver a sweeping mandate to his archnemesis, overstated Marine Le Pen's popular support. It was a risky wager. And

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3 thoughts on “France To The Right, UK To The Left

  1. When I read through the biographical info and the political positions on the various French and English politicians, it is quite confusing to try to reconcile their stated political party with their stated political positions.
    For example, Starmer is part of the Labour Party (left), but some of his political positions seem to be closer to positions that were historically associated with the Tories (right). For example, Starmer has indicated he supports deregulation and “supply side economics”.
    I believe that the same thing is happening in the US- a reshuffling of which groups are allegiant to the Republican and Democratic parties.

    1. I haven’t been following UK politics very much for the past 10 years but, for Starmer, it might be part of appearing “electable” and also the result of Tony Blair’s (economic) legacy i.e., left wing, sure, but not stupidly so. If regulatory constraints are too onerous, it may well make sense to loosen them in what is indeed supply side economics but nonetheless efficient and beneficial for all involved.

      The RN is definitely successful partly b/c, like Trump, it has abandoned any pretense at caring about the budget/small government kinda conservative/right wing staple. They’re happy to spend big, the key criteria is whether you’re part of the in-group or not.

    2. This has been happening in the US for a long time. In a 2012 interview, you can see this yourself on YouTube, Obama described himself as a “mid-80s Republican” in terms of policy. Which I found refreshing, because I’d always thought so, and nobody would admit it. At that point it had been a whole 12 years since a friend of mine founded the joke activist group “Billionaires for Bush or Gore” To satirize the disappearing economic daylight between two parties doing their best to appear culturally at war with each other.

      Still, I do find it interesting that the right drove the bullet train towards globalization for decades, and now they’re the ones complaining loudest about it. I thought this was an American phenomenon, but I guess not.

      I also could’ve sworn we had an entire progressive movement opposing globalism in 2011 and 2012, I have mental images of kids in tents Occupying parks in public squares, but since according to everyone nowadays says the left are the globalists, perhaps I’m just misremembering a movie I saw. I’m really pretty sure I remember a Republican friend gloating in Oct 2011, only four hours into the Occupy movement, that the anti-globalism had “failed”, and to my great frustration tried to label resentment at the economic order “the politics of envy”, but now as I scroll back in my Facebook feed I see the same person saying in 2015 “it’s not an issue of right versus left, it’s an issue of populist versus globalist” to explain his diehard support for a reality TV star’s political intentions. So I must’ve imagined the whole thing.

      Insert obligatory Orwell reference here.

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