[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

I guess the question this time is if it will survive in a single digit or double digit number of days.

Mario and Luigi have it under control.

I have nowhere to put this, but while watching videos on the Kings & Generals YT channel today, I was reminded about how we are currently living through a heretofore unprecedented era of peace in Europe.

Like, every previous century of European history is looking at the last 70 years and going "Holy sh*t, you all have gone that long without trying to kill each other?"

(EDIT: Yes, I know, the Balkans, but even factoring that and the Georgia/Ukraine conflicts in, this has been a time of astonishing peace across the continent.)

And it wasn't by accident.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.

That's from 1950 and the setting up of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) which is the start of the process that gave us the EU today. People have argued to me that it was nuclear weapons and NATO that kept the peace. I'd point out that neither of those prevented Ireland and the UK very nearly going to war and instead having a long drawn out proxy war that got completely beyond their control. And the Good Friday Agreement explicitly states it can only work due to the existence of the EU.

The Troubles began in roughly 1968. UK and Ireland joined in 1973.

Also, France wasn't a member of NATO for quite a whlle (66-09). It had nuclear weapons. In fact I think it remains the only European state will full control over its own nuclear arsenal. I'm not saying it's likely that a post-war France would start acting out but I'm a whole lot more comfortable that the Treaty of Rome was in place at that point.

Edit: Pred, part of me comes at it another way. I'm amazed at how many in the US don't look at the successes of the EU at wonder can they not be replicated in the Americas, North and South. In matter of fact, the EU is portrayed almost entirely as a negative in the US media. I see that changing in social media but I do find it interesting.

Not so bold prediction: US views on the EU will start to fall into partisan lines, where progressives deify the EU and conservatives vilify us. Especially as the EU will come into contrast as the only remaining democratic (but definitely not flawless) block standing next and no longer together with a US divided between fascists and normies.

I think a big reason why the EU is presented negatively in the US media is because the EU is a direct threat to the US economic supremacy. And only those people who are willing to look at the good the EU does for the world will be able to look past this.

I don't remember thinking that the media was presenting the EU in a bad light. I've spent the most time with NPR, although since the election, I've been using the cnn.com site more.

I'd kind of expect that from Fox, but they're not really media, they're a propaganda organ.

dejanzie wrote:

Not so bold prediction: US views on the EU will start to fall into partisan lines, where progressives deify the EU and conservatives vilify us.

I don't think that's really a "prediction" anymore.

Yeah, as a German/US citizen, that line always seemed fairly sharp to me in the post 9/11 world. Except for occasionally the UK (though now they're not even part of the EU, so whatever).