Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Europe’s turn to the right

"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" Professor Higgins so deftly teaches Eliza Doolittle in the musical "My Fair Lady." But, Sunday, it did not rain in Spain, it poured as the left as we would say in America, "Got its proverbial butt kicked." Barack Obama, are you paying attention?

The Spanish newspaper, ABC after Sunday's parliamentary elections read, "Zapatero, the absent leader." The Prime Minister of Spain went into hiding realizing that Sunday's election was to be a big win for the right. Sunday's election in Spain was a stunning defeat for the left, El Partido Socialista Obrera Española, (PSOE). The Partido Popular, (PP), the party of the right picked up 23 seats led by its leader, Mariano Rajoy.

Zapatero has been a disaster for the Spanish economy. He was elected in 2004 after the Madrid bombings by Al-Queda when the then President José Aznar tried to cover up and blame the bombings on ETA, (a Basque separatist group.) If you want to know about Stimulus plans, look no further than Spain. Like Obama, Zapatero is a big believer in Keynesian economics and that the government is the answer to society's ills. Zapatero's stimulus package was 8 billion euros or 11 billion dollars. For a country slightly bigger than the state of Oregon, that is a lot of money. Spain doesn't have a Bush to blame for its economic woes like Obama does. The success of Zapatero's stimulus plan can be found in its unemployment number. Spain boasts the highest unemployment rate in the European Union recently reaching an astounding 20%, double that of any other country in the Union. Spain's unemployment is a frequent topic of Informe Semanal, Spain's 60 minutes. The unemployment graph looks like one of Al Gore's graphs on global warming. According to the Economist, Spain's real GDP is forecasted to decline by 4.9% in 2009. In a previous debate and in a last ditch effort to woo support for his fledgling party, Zapatero offered laptops for every schoolchild at a cost of $2,800 per pupil, tax-breaks for new car buyers, and other populist ideas. Of course, like Obama, he had no idea where the money would come from. Sunday, the voters of Spain showed its displeasure by voting back in the PP. I am going to venture a guess that in 2012, Spain's leftist party, El Partido Socialista Obrera Española, (PSOE) will lose Spain's general elections.

Spain, however, was not the only country where the left was defeated. European discontent with leftist policies has been growing throughout Europe. Sunday was the culmination of four days of elections throughout the continent. Most Americans are asleep when it comes to politics in the European Union, but the left in the United States should take notice. The entire continent of Europe was given a wake-up call after four days of elections. Europeans are fed up with company bailouts, fiscal stimulus, and other policies promoted by the left. During the Bush administration, center-right candidates were already being elected across the continent; France - Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany – Angela Merkel, Italy – Silvio Berlusconi and Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt. Not since World War 2, has the left been so battered and bruised in Europe. The British Labor party suffered its worst defeat since 1918. Europe's parliamentary elections were a repudiation of these leftist policies.

The European Union's 27 countries are mired in onerous taxes, burdensome labor laws, high unemployment, and immigration problems. The European electorate believed that the EU has been headed down the wrong path. This was also reflected in the low turnout. Only 43% of the electorate voted; the lowest turnout in the EU's 30 year history. France, Germany, Spain and Italy were the biggest winners for the right. The elections strengthened the incumbent parties of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. One of the trends has also been a noticeable rejection of further European integration into the European Union. This is why Barack Obama was completely out of touch with the EU when he suggested that Turkey be part of the European Union, and French President Sarkozy told him to butt out of EU's affairs.

While Europe is moving to the right, the United States continues full speed ahead on its pathway to the left. In the latest move, Democrats are now trying to push through a bill that will pay $3,500 to people who junk old cars to buy so-called energy efficient new cars ordered by the new Chrysler CEO Barack Obama. Who comes up with these hair-brain schemes? When you can't get consumers to buy, you try and get the government to create the demand. Since when has government ever been able to create a sustainable demand? It can't. This idea will hurt the poor more than anyone else. Demand is created by the private sector not the government. Time and time again, policies such as these have proven to be ineffective, but we still continue to enact them. Let's say I have a brain tumor that I needed removed. I am transported to the operating room and I have in front of me a brain surgeon and a nurse. An argument ensues between the brain surgeon and me. Because of the argument I opt to forego the brain surgeon, and I ask the nurse to do the operation instead. That is what we have done. We have the nurse in charge of the country, not the brain surgeon. Sooner or later, the electorate wakes from its slumber after realizing who they elected. Europe is beginning to wake up. How long will it take us to realize that we have a cadre of "boobs" running this country? How long will it take for us to wake up? Only time will tell.

From Reuters (video below)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces a grilling from opposition leader David Cameron in the wake of woeful results in local and European elections.

This was Brown's first appearance in the House of Commons since the ruling Labour Party's disastrous showing in European and local elections.

Brown faced tough criticism from the Conservative Party leader Cameron who claimed the Prime Minister is "a man with no democratic legitimacy" having succeeded Tony Blair as PM without a general election.

Brown responded saying that Cameron has "no plans for government and he doesn't deserve to be in government".

The Prime Minister has faced repeated calls for an early general election, in the wake of a parliament-wide scandal over expenses, and the resignations of several cabinet ministers.

Last weekend, the Labour Party plunged to its worst result in a century, polling under 16 percent in national elections to European Parliament.

Brown must call an election before mid-2010.

1 comment:

Virginia Gómez said...

Hey Mark, you dare to predict... PP should make some internal changes or, simply, do and propose something. If they win next elections, that won´t be because they are doing well.

It seems we change from one to other time and time again hoping the new one fixes the damages of the other and that we don´t remember the old mistakes. Do we really stop to think what we want or who is the best for us?

Prime Minister, yeah, sounds weird.

Interesting post again!

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