Quick Thoughts on the European Parliament Elections

1) When Macron won the elections and became the President in France my students said: The French have taken the right step. To which my response was:

a) this definitely means Le Pen will win the next election.

b) had it been in Italy people would have definitely voted Le Pen.

c) in order to avoid Le Pen, you shouldn’t vote Macron! You should vote parties that care about the working class.

Macron was the President who organized a national debate to address the poverty and high taxes but did not invite the left parties to share opinons, let alone implementing them! Macron felt so confident in himself and the popular support he had received in the run-off that he didn’t even deign to address the issue of Gilet Jaunes.

That is why Steve Bannon was right. Marine Le Pen did not need Bannon’s assistance to win the election. Macron was there giving Le Pen whatever she needed.

2) Germany turned to be a beacon of hope. It comes as a proof that economic well-being and education go hand in hand in making responsible voters. The under-30 gave a terrible blow to the parties that have so far been the key players of the German politics. Green party of Germany, which is de facto more progressive than the rest of European Greens, soared unexpectedly.

3) The Netherlands, which went to polls earlier than the rest of Europe, happened to see its far-right party, which is one of the mosr hawkish far-right parties in Europe, trashed! The Dutch Labor had an easy win.

4) As expected, Italians voted for Salvini. This was not a surprise. Over the past year, since Governo del Cambiamento is in place, Salvini has been using the Government podium to his own advantage while undermining M5S. This effort has proved fruitful. M5S faced a terrible blow. Salvini’s significant ally, the Danish People’s Party, faced a terrible defeat. The main reason is that for Danes, running on the Italian ticket is a discredit; whereas Italians take pride in running on a Danish ticket! Salvini has been constructing his own popular base over the past few months with talking about vague tax legislations, refusing to provide any details about any of them. In my opinion, once he is sure of having a sufficient lead in Italian politics, he will dissolve the Government immediately and head back to polls to ditch M5S.

5) Britain and the Brexit Party in the lead, make the future of Brexit more shady. With polls showing Labor in lead in case of a GE, the Brexit Party came to be the absolute winner with Labor sometimes even behind Lib Dems. This comes to be another hint that maybe polls are not that reliable as they once were used to be. Now the outcome of the GE goes into more jeopardy since it can possibly lead to more wins.

Unfortunately these are my main concerns about the entire elections. I’m not that much of a party guy to celebrate the triumph of the Labor Party in Malta or the Greens in Germany.

6) Alexis Tsipras, whose Syriza once made big promises to the left parties across Europe, has called for a snap GE after its party faced a defeat from one of the mainstream Greek parties.

7) Two weeks ago, I discussed Hannah Arendt’s opinions on totalitarianism and told them how repeating vague and unclear ideas turns them to be part of the canon; and how people start believing that in order to realize those vague ideas excluding, marginalizing and victimizing people would seem normal and justified.

8) For a few years now, the idea that liberal democracy and corporate capitalism would not be the end of history everyone in the developed societies once used to believe had turned more than obsolete. The elections over the past year have been indicating that the transition into a democratic socialism does not seem to be possible before, at least, going through another phase of Fascism. For us on the left, the struggle has entered a new phase.

9) How did we get here? Why are people voting for Salvini, Orban and Farage? The answer in my opinion is defunding education by the centrist governments on one side and left acting against the social welfare it has worked so far to create on the other; moreover, left having lost touch with the exigencies of the working class is another issue. If the Left wants to reclaim the constituents that it has lost, it has to get rid of the corruption it has been facing over the past few years. It has to defend all the social starta whose concerns are important to it. The Left has to stand for schools as the forefront of the battle against division.

10) Europe is turning into a country now. This is visible in how different countries in it are voting… The richer countries voting for more decent candidates with more political expertise; the poorer nations are voting for candidates whose messages are often less concrete. The division here is the one we have been facing throughout our history: the many vs the few.

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