[Discussion] European Political Landscape

There are three elections occurring over the coming year that are of huge importance. They are:

Italian Constitutional Referendum - 04/12/16
French Presidential Election - 1st Round 23/04/17, 2nd Round 07/05/17
German Federal Election - 22/10/17

This thread is to discuss the political realities, results and fallout around these elections. The scope is broad but try to keep the post relevant to the elections referenced above.

Edit - Updated thread title

Didn't know about the Grey Wolves Mafia. Very interesting, Sparhawk, and certainly gives far more clarity to the Dutch and German's decisions.

Interesting week ahead for sure. May to bring article 50 to parliament on Tuesday (we suspect) and the Dutch elections.

The Article 50 bill wil probably pass but I expect some serious fireworks. Could be well worth keeping an eye on just for the pure theatre of it.

Can't see Rutte not being PM unless the opinion polls are very wrong. Wilders is now battling for second place and nobody is going to work with him either way. He has dropped a long way from his mid 30s' since the realities of leaving the EU and the Eurozones rising ecomony have begun to stick. Am I off?

Axon wrote:

Didn't know about the Grey Wolves Mafia. Very interesting, Sparhawk, and certainly gives far more clarity to the Dutch and German's decisions.

Interesting week ahead for sure. May to bring article 50 to parliament on Tuesday (we suspect) and the Dutch elections.

The Article 50 bill wil probably pass but I expect some serious fireworks. Could be well worth keeping an eye on just for the pure theatre of it.

Can't see Rutte not being PM unless the opinion polls are very wrong. Wilders is now battling for second place and nobody is going to work with him either way. He has dropped a long way from his mid 30s' since the realities of leaving the EU and the Eurozones rising ecomony have begun to stick. Am I off?

Yeah, Wilders has a small chance to be the next PM, as the rest seems unwilling to govern with him. And that's weird for a democracy. But it's what it is at the moment. Rutte could very well be the next one, just hope by god he won't lol He (and his party) has trashed our country by quite a bit.

I'm not German, so it's not like my opinion matters, but I'd be personally supportive of Germany telling its citizens that they're free to go to Turkey for whatever rallies they want, with no special barrier or gate on returning, but that pro-Turkish rallies don't belong within the borders of the country itself.

Tolerance cannot tolerate intolerance. Freedom cannot enable authoritarianism. It's the fundamental paradox at the heart of those belief systems; if they're overdone, they destroy themselves.

REALLY happy to see Rutte get a clear victory over Trump-lite Right wing populist Wilders in the Dutch election (I'm sure that recent furore with Turkey didn't hurt his numbers).

If the results of the UK and USA's stupidity has resulted in a proper organised push back against toxic right wing populism then I'll be EXTRA happy. Up to you now, France and Germany!

The governing parties before election have lost 50% of their seats together.
10 from the rutte party (vvd) and 29 (or something) from pvda.
Rightly so, they royaly f*cked up our country so far.

I'm not that happy at all with the results. Rutte has made a mess and gets
to keep doing it. Military is f*cked basically. Already suffered under a minister
of defense that only had a diploma in admin and really doesn't care for the people
in the military (yup, am one of them).

Will see what happens. Was hoping on a exit from the EU. With rutte being the
lapdog he is for the EU, not going to happen I suppose.

Not much of a pushback sadly. Wilder did a little worse than expected. Established parties did very bad.
Won't claim to be happy about Rutte, he is a conservative after all but certainly better than the current alternative. Sad to see pvda get obliterated. I obviously don't know Dutch politics, maybe they deserved it, but still an awful trend imo.

vvd and pvda both deserved what they got. vvd got lucky with just a loss of 10.
Pvda was punished, because they were the counter against vvd and then decided
to go along with them...that's just a big no no, and it cost them dearly.

Well, the most gains went were in the Green and D66. PVDA shattered but it's gone to all sorts of parties.

Ex-PM Manuel Valls backs Macron for president and not his own Socialist party's candidate. Benoît Hamon. The question does remain that if the Socialist and Republicans collapse, where do their votes go.

Yeah, it's ... ugh, one of the worst presidential elections since I turned 18. I'm in a pickle, because Macron just announced support for the Professeur Joyeux, an infamous vaccine skeptic who's been drumming up crowds against Big Pharma. He's stirring an already simmering pot, and health being on e of the key issues in my heart, that just... ugh.
The French National Order for Doctors recently polled us for questions we wanted to ask the presidential candidates and then streamed the whole thing. I watched it live and was utterly unimpressed. By all five: Macron, Fillon, Hamont, Le Pen, Mélenchon and lesser known Dupont-Aignan.
This whole thing is just disheartening.

Eleima wrote:

Yeah, it's ... ugh, one of the worst presidential elections since I turned 18. I'm in a pickle, because Macron just announced support for the Professeur Joyeux, an infamous vaccine skeptic who's been drumming up crowds against Big Pharma. He's stirring an already simmering pot, and health being on e of the key issues in my heart, that just... ugh.
The French National Order for Doctors recently polled us for questions we wanted to ask the presidential candidates and then streamed the whole thing. I watched it live and was utterly unimpressed. By all five: Macron, Fillon, Hamont, Le Pen, Mélenchon and lesser known Dupont-Aignan.
This whole thing is just disheartening.

Oh ffs. I would rather have rooted for someone instead of just against Le Pen, but alas no such luck.

A candidate with populist appeal and rational grounding is too much to ask for I guess.

I'd vote Le Pen, but that's me lol Anything to get out of this damned EU.

dejanzie wrote:
Eleima wrote:

Yeah, it's ... ugh, one of the worst presidential elections since I turned 18. I'm in a pickle, because Macron just announced support for the Professeur Joyeux, an infamous vaccine skeptic who's been drumming up crowds against Big Pharma. He's stirring an already simmering pot, and health being on e of the key issues in my heart, that just... ugh.
The French National Order for Doctors recently polled us for questions we wanted to ask the presidential candidates and then streamed the whole thing. I watched it live and was utterly unimpressed. By all five: Macron, Fillon, Hamont, Le Pen, Mélenchon and lesser known Dupont-Aignan.
This whole thing is just disheartening.

Oh ffs. I would rather have rooted for someone instead of just against Le Pen, but alas no such luck.

A candidate with populist appeal and rational grounding is too much to ask for I guess.

That is profoundly depressing.

Sigh. Guess Macron was too good to be true.

Aren't all three front-runners under investigation?

Is this REALLY the best France can offer?

You know.. Obama's out of a job right now, he'd look great as France's head of state

Sparhawk wrote:

I'd vote Le Pen, but that's me lol Anything to get out of this damned EU.

A candidate who wants out of the euro and whose program would cost the state billions when we're already deep in debt? Yeah, sure, sounds like a great plan. And don't even get me started on her racists views, her anti-choice plans, and horrendous public health ideas.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Aren't all three front-runners under investigation?
Is this REALLY the best France can offer?

As far as I know, Fillon is indeed under investigation, but Macron isn't. Hamon had a little spat with Lady Justice earlier this month for calling a journalist an escroc (trickster, con artist), but that's pretty tame next to the absolutely atrocious nepotism of Fillon.

Tanglebones wrote:

You know.. Obama's out of a job right now, he'd look great as France's head of state

That would be so awesome. Some French people are actually rooting for him, and I've seen a few posters around town. Obama 17... A girl can dream!

Eleima wrote:
AUs_TBirD wrote:

Aren't all three front-runners under investigation?
Is this REALLY the best France can offer?

As far as I know, Fillon is indeed under investigation, but Macron isn't. Hamon had a little spat with Lady Justice earlier this month for calling a journalist an escroc (trickster, con artist), but that's pretty tame next to the absolutely atrocious nepotism of Fillon.

It's probably not on the same order of magnitude, if it's anything at all, but he may have played favorites:
http://www.politico.eu/article/probe...

Le Pen doubles down on her nationalist platform. I'd like to think that this would be enough to finish her but it remains to be seen.

In other news, the Socialists (Hollande's party) are collapsing with Mélenchon (Unsubmissive France or FI) picking up the votes. Mélenchon did well in the debates and is rising very close to Macron and Le Pen. Could be tight on who gets to the run off.

The Economist has a great rundown on the French presidential election.

"Weary voters" sounds about right.

Eleima wrote:

The Economist has a great rundown on the French presidential election.

"Weary voters" sounds about right.

We all want this one over, Eleima.

More from the Economist on the possibility of three and perhaps four candidates in the mix for the run off.

If we end up with Le Pen and Mélenchon in a run off your best case scenario is that Mélenchon can be managed. Articles like this paint him in a certain light but part of me thinks that it's over the top given the experience Syriza went through. You'd have to imagine Mélenchon can see that especially if he wins a by being the other candidate in a run off with Le Pen.

And I've just been reduced to wishful thinking by this election. The sooner we get this and the German election over the better.

Mélenchon vs Le Pen? Sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of.

It's worse than Sophie's choice. I can't vote Mélanchon, he's far left. My father would disown me.
But there's no way I'd vote for Le Pen. Ever. I'd rather vote for Fillon and he's a POS, reeking of misogyny, nepotism and all manners of sins.

This is the most complicated election since I hit the age of 18, I'm in a real pickle here.

I keep thinking *Fillion* is one of your choices.

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)

Oh gosh, I WISH!!!

Well, he's Canadian.. that's practically French, right?

To shift gears to Germany, it might not be common knowledge but there was a bomb attack on a football team bus in Germany during the week. Letters found by the scene suggested there was an islamist angle. Investigators are not ruling out the alternative, however.

This could be the appalling vista in the run up to the German elections. Both ISIS and far-right groups using terrorism to affect the outcome and bizarrely both almost having same objectives. Actually, it's not that bizarre.

If Le Pen doesn't do well, I do worry that those seeking to undermine the "Liberal Democratic Western" order may view Germany as the their last chance. Germany is a resolutely liberal country but that doesn't stop external parties testing that theory.

That was all over the news in the US, Axon.

The bus attack has been all over the news here, obviously. I'm still stunned that Borussia Dortmund was made to play it's game the following day. Like....seriously...WTF??

In Hungary, Prime Minister Orbán has been trying to shut down the Central European University, which was founded by George Soros via his foundation a quarter century ago.
One take on the reasons.

Couple this with his repression of the media, confining refugees (including pregnant women) for long periods of time in shipping container camps on the border without access to doctors, setting up to go after NGOs, and numerous other examples of disgusting behavior.....I'm getting pretty ticked at the EU just talking and not acting, although it seems like that may finally, slowly be changing.

At least the CEU law has caused massive protests involving tens of thousands taking to the streets for over a week, chanting in favor of the EU, and denouncing Orbán's government. It even drew a reaction from Trump's administration!

Given how it seems like George Soros, no matter which country you look at, is accused of all sorts of covert anti-government activities, and apparently pays thousands or tens of thousands of protesters every week, often including travel (bus/train/airfare/lodging).....the guy must have more money than all but the biggest countries in the world!