Europe's Socialists are Ailing

by Chuck MisslerSocialism isn't popular anywhere these days, and not only in America. The world may be going through a major recession, and unemployment might be high, but across Europe the socialists are still struggling to keep any place in the voters' affections.


Chancellor Angela Merkel looks set for reelection in Germany on September 27 as her opposition, the Social Democrats, gimp along. Merkel's Christian Democrats are likely to drop their cooperation with the Social Democrats altogether and join hands with the Free Democrats, who support libertarian ideals and policies that favor business.

"The main problem is that people think the Social Democrats have no economic competence," said Manfred Guellner, the chief pollster for Forsa, a leading German survey firm. "They have this impression that they cannot rule, cannot govern." France

Conservative Nicolas Sarkozy has little opposition to face from the country's weak Socialist Party since he and his Union For A Popular Movement took power after elections in 2007. The Socialist Party is torn by internal bickering, and the only unity is found in their opposition to Sarkozy. But, as the party's leader Martine Aubry noted, "anti-Sarkozyism can't be a political platform." United Kingdom

British voters seem fed up with the Labour Party after 12 years. A conservative prime minister hasn't been seen in Britain since John Major's' Conservative party was trounced by Labour under Tony Blair in 1997. Now, the pendulum has returned on its swinging course the other way. While Labour has nine months to turn things around before elections, things don't look good right now. "Unfortunately for Gordon Brown, the story seems to be set ... Everything is seen in terms of the expected Labour defeat and the probable Conservative landslide," said Steven Fielding, director of Nottingham University's Centre for British Politics. Greece and Italy

The socialists are actually doing well in the polls in Greece as they approach October elections. The conservative party is in trouble after scandals weakened public support, but even then, twenty percent of those polled said they were still undecided. In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has survived a series of scandals because the socialists in his country are so weak.

It would seem that a time of recession would be a great opportunity for the politics of big government, a time of popularity for those who would hand out financial help from the government coffers. Instead, Europeans seem largely skeptical of the socialists' abilities to get along among themselves, let alone put forth business proposals that will return prosperity to their lands. People don't necessarily want government programs; they want strong, healthy economies.