European Electoral Postmortems
Chance for real change practically nil unless people rebel.
by Stephen Lendman
The morning after election Sunday, French and Greek voters have major issues unresolved. Austerity harmed people in both countries. Technocrats remain in charge. Odds remain long for change.
Europe's recession is deepening. Every stimulus attempt failed. Budget cutting during crisis conditions makes hard times worse. Throwing out bums for new ones assures similar ones.
European governments fell like dominos. Since crisis conditions began, over a dozen regime changes followed. Thirteen Eurozone ones collapsed, were voted out of power, or were ordered out by banker diktats. Left or right made no difference.
The Dutch government resigned. No confidence votes toppled Romania and Czech Republic leaders. Minority governments lead Sweden and Bulgaria.
An unnamed European diplomat said we'll "have to get used to new faces and ideas all the time." Unity, leadership and vision are absent.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso wants EU sovereignty replaced by Commission leaders controlling economic decision-making to harden austerity harshness. Voters reject the idea. Throw the bums out followed before and will again.
Spain replaced socialists for conservatives. Both parties follow similar policies. Italy dumped pro-business elected prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for unelected Mario Monte. Greece followed suit. Unelected Lucas Papademos replaced elected George Papandreou.
Conservative David Cameron succeeded Labour's Gordon Brown. Portugal's Jose Socrates fell from grace. So did governments in Denmark and Finland. Germany's Angela Merkel faces reelection next year. Will she go next?
On Sunday, Schleswig-Holstein voters ousted Christian Democrats. Doing so set the tone for next week's North Rhine-Westphalia election. It also portends what Merkel fears next year.
Voters reject austerity. Why not when they're harmed most. Leaders force-feeding it are rejected.
New faces replace old ones. Everything changes but stays the same. So-called reforms make things worse. Europe's "fiscal pact" is in disarray.
French voters chose Francois Hollande over Nicolas Sarkozy. Voter turnout topped 80%. US voter participation hasn't topped 70% since 1900. It didn't exceed 60% after 1968. Anti-war sentiment drove it. It faintly registers now despite polls showing Americans want Washington's Afghanistan involvement ended.
Voters demand one thing. Politicians deliver another. In 2007, Sarkozy swept to power promising change. He left office with France's lowest approval rating in decades. At one point, he scored lowest ever.