With conservative parties winning elections across Europe, it seems now only a question of time until our friends in the UK replace Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a more conservative leader. German voters just returned Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party to power, handing potential coalition partner, the “classical liberal” Free Democrats,” nearly 15 percent of the votes, the party’s best showing ever.” She’ll thus be able to ditch her grand coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD), who, with “only 23.5 percent of the votes,” suffered their worst performance since World War II.”
While the SPD saw its support plummet, the far-left Left party saw a surge in its support, capturing 12% of the vote and securing it as many as 80 seats in the Bundestag. That party favors “return to East German socialism” and did particularly well in the east German state of Brandenburg and in the “western German state of Saarland,” home to the party’s charismatic leader Oskar Lafontaine.
With the possible exception of the UK and Spain, now every major European country has a government significantly to the right of our own. What a change a year makes.
UPDATE: Just checked the election returns from Germany’s last national election in 2005. Seems Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU coalition actually captured a slightly smaller share of the vote today than it did four years ago. The real increase was the FDP, increasing its percentage by about 50%. Note especially that the gains by the Left and Green parties do not alone account for the percentage lost by SPD. It seems those voters “defected from the left to the German most “committed to open markets and free competition“.
A sign that the ideas of freedom and smaller government seem to be resonating in Germany.