The neoNazi AfD is now a part of the German parliament for the first time cince WWII, the so-called center-left SPD had its worst showing since that guy with the funny mustache abruptly left the Chancellorship over 70 years ago.
Also, the both “center” parties had their worst showing since before 1950.
On the other side of the populist spectrum, die Linke (the Left) which was already in the Bundestag picked up a few seats, as did the Greens, and the (kinda libertarian) FDP, which got back into parliament.
When people wonder why the “Center Left” in Europe is in trouble, they need to understand that it no longer exists.
The parties that were “Center-Left” in the 1960s and 1970s have decided that their defining position is unequivocal and unconditional support for the European Project, and the European Project is a fundamentally reactionary program.
This is why when the SDP was in power, its leader introduced “Agenda 2010“, with the justification that the European project demands it, which involved:
- Tax cuts.
- Cuts to unemployment benefits.
- Cuts to general social welfare programs.
- Cuts in pension benefits.
- Deliberate downward pressure on wages.
- Reduced labor regulations.
It also resulted in an increase in poverty, and falling wages relative to GDP.
As is normal, the rising tide did not lift all boats, just the rich getting richer, and everyone else getting the shaft.
What it means is that the “Center-Left” is now about forcing down wages, tax cuts for millionaires, throwing poor people out in the street, and sucking up to media moguls.
The “Center-Left” has consumed itself on the altar of neoliberal dogma.
On the bright side, it appears that a bit of self immolation is occurring with the fascist AfD as well:
Germany’s rightwing nationalist party Alternative für Deutschland, in celebratory mode after coming third in elections, was delivered a bombshell by its co-leader when she announced she would not sit with the party in the Bundestag.
What the stunning success of AfD means for Germany and Europe | Cas Mudde
Frauke Petry walked out of a press conference on Monday morning at which the party leadership marvelled at its success, having secured nearly 13% of the vote and 94 seats in the federal parliament.
The departure of one of the AfD’s most prominent figures illustrates the splits in the party despite its attempts to show a united front during the election campaign.
Petry, who was on the moderate wing of the party, saw her role as that of uniting the AfD. But she has earned scorn from emboldened rightwing nationalists who have increasingly sidelined their opponents.
This is what happened to Ukip after Brexit. It’s like a dog that has finally caught a car: The racist right doesn’t know what to do next.