[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

That is surprisingly good news. The news report I watched recently made it sound like the far-right candidate was getting really close to winning, but even though 43% is disturbingly high, it is not that close.

On the other hand, Emilia-Romagna is supposedly a historically 'safe' left-leaning region, so the result might still not be very good.

Edit: damn

Turnout for Sunday's ballot was about 67% of some three-and-a-half million registered voters, compared with 37% in a previous vote in 2014.

He absolutely represents a large portion of Italian citizens, but for now, not enough.

Germany AfD: How far right caused political earthquake

In February 1930, Adolf Hitler was in a jubilant mood. "Our biggest success we had in Thuringia," he wrote. "There we are the most significant party. The parties in Thuringia trying to create a government cannot secure a majority without our co-operation."

Germany may have pledged "never again". But 90 years on, the far right has once again played - albeit briefly - the role of kingmaker in the eastern German state.

Thuringia's AfD - led by a man who can, a German court ruled last year, be reasonably described as a fascist - has caused a political earthquake which has brought thousands of Germans on to the streets in the protest.

Until a few days ago, many of those protesters had never heard of Thomas Kemmerich.

The regional politician was, for 24 hours or so, unexpectedly elevated to the role of state prime minister thanks to the support of regional AfD politicians who ignored their own candidate in order to oust existing prime minister Bodo Ramelow who, following inconclusive elections last year, had been widely expected to continue as leader over a newly negotiated left-wing coalition.

After countrywide outrage, Mr Kemmerich stood down. But not before the Free Democrat came to symbolise the vulnerability of what the Germans call the Brandmauer - the firewall which, by decades-long political convention, is supposed to keep the far right from exerting real influence over German politics.

For many it's a mark of national shame that the AfD has found such fertile electoral ground in the former east of the country. It's one of the reasons for the inconclusive election result in Thuringia.

At national level, the party's presence in the Bundestag has coarsened parliamentary debates and, arguably, its campaigns centred around migration and national identity have broken old German taboos and shifted politics to the right, as the political centre struggled to deal with the electoral challenge.

Yeah they are following the usual fascist playbook of shifting the Overton window even if they don't hold power, until they reach a point where what they want is more normalized and they do gain power. It is working pretty well in a lot of places.

LeapingGnome wrote:

Yeah they are following the usual fascist playbook of shifting the Overton window even if they don't hold power, until they reach a point where what they want is more normalized and they do gain power. It is working pretty well in a lot of places.

it's political terrorism.

This isn't political, but it's European and it made me smile.

Cardboard trafficking gang busted by police in Madrid

ILLICIT CARDBOARD!

A criminal gang that trafficked tonnes of stolen waste cardboard from Madrid to Asian countries has been shut down, Spanish police say.

More than 40 suspected gang members have been arrested on suspicion of environmental offences and money laundering.

The gang has been accused of illegally shipping over 67,000 tonnes of waste worth €10 million (£8.4m).

Much of the waste was stolen from council-owned recycling bins.

A waste management company based in Madrid has been organising the illegal collection of paper and cardboard since 2015, police said.

The criminal gang is estimated to have cost Madrid city council around €16 million through loss of recyclable materials.

The Greens, Pred. Remember the Greens

Anyway, we've had our GE yesterday and counting going on today. In an absolute seismic change, Sinn Féin are set to get the most first perferences. It is so surprising to all even SF didn't run enough candidates to max their seats numbers. I would be stunned if SF don't try and engineer a rerun of the GE ASAP with the potential result of Mary Lou McDonald becoming the first female Taoiseach.

And be careful cheering on SF. They do have major issues about them. Most concerning is the thinking that they are still control by senior IRA members. Not claiming that they don't have a valid point of view but they are complicated.

The reasons for this are many but it boils down to one issue: Housing. Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z just don't care about Sinn Féin's past and want vested interests to be tackled. Vested interests that benefit the Boomer generation.

Always like to talk to my aunt on days like these. Incredibly asute individual and was wondering what her reaction was. While she could give a preference to SF, she freely admits that the 2008-2010 crash did not effect her generation. The effect was felt elsewhere and this is the outcome.

And you thought Brexit was fun up to this point.

All in all, I'm still digesting this weekend.

Ireland's situation has always perplexed me the more I've read about it, but mostly in a "Huh, I didn't know that!" kind of way. Everything I'd been told held up Ireland as one of the nations that had experienced an economic "miracle" post-1990 or so, but the housing thing, specifically, is a major concern I've begun to hear from young Irish people.

(It's also another datapoint in my growing belief that we have deeply, deeply, deeply underestimated the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and recession on the world we live in today.)

Well, both of those are true. The problem is while our economy move to the top of the league our planning did not. Far too many have interest in keeping the price of land and property high. In other words, similar dynamics to San Francisco or London. The younger generations have just flipped the table as opposed to playing the game anymore. Don't really blame them.

For what it’s worth, the far right has almost zero influence. We tend to have far more common cause with the oppressed of the world than its authoritarian regimes. Don’t really have to explain why, do I?

SF are the anti-establishment party but a left leaning one.

Edit: and if you need to explain why the generations under the Boomers are flipping the table to another Boomer, try sending them this from a Boomer in a right wing party.

Axon wrote:

For what it’s worth, the far right has almost zero influence. We tend to have far more common cause with the oppressed of the world than its authoritarian regimes. Don’t really have to explain why, do I? ;)

This isn't the point of this thread, but I was watching Extra Credits' series on the Irish Potato Famine and Jesus H. Christ, it's almost the goddamn same thing.

Anyway, not the point of the thread. European neo-Nazis having a big ol' get-together in Hungary? Much more the point.

(Honestly, if you'd asked me to bet on which European country would hold a large, pan-European neo-Nazi gathering, Hungary would've easily made my Top 3.)

Also, I know we're almost a year on now, but I ended up thinking of it tonight... how big a deal was Lyra McKee's death in 2019? Like, has there been a lasting "The New IRA can f*ck off" effect?

To be quite honest, I'm not entirely sure it had that much impact. It was tragic but it didn't really change public opinion all that much. In reality, whatever way your politics swayed was unaltered by her murder. What most already know is that the splinter groups of the IRA are really drug and smuggling gangs. And a border is a lucrative thing for them.

They are going to try their stunts now and again but as a society we've learned that cold, hard police work defeats these outfits and not spectacular armed action. Because they actively want you to use to the latter and we've fallen for that trap way too often.

Edit. As something of proof.