For the second time in a century no British party will be able to govern alone after the elections on 7th May. In spite of a majority one-round voting method, a coalition will be required to form a government. This is the case in 20 other countries of the European Union. The main government parties have been weakened. Protest votes are on the rise. “Rebels” are breaking away from their parties. Unexpected coalitions are forming out of the need to govern.
Traditional politics are crumbling.
National fragmentation has several origins and these are significant. The old ideologies are dead, discredited by history. Between the right and left, the differences are fading. Action is bound by the imperative to adapt to new situations. The turmoil of the world’s economy is unsettling all of the parties, caught out by technology which is also advancing and geopolitical changes that they are often unable to explain, most of the time to address and never anticipate.
The European left has never recovered from the failure and horrors of communism. The right has been incapable of drawing up a clear, positive interpretation of globalisation. The consequences for Democracy in Europe are major.
Voter volatility continues to oblige political leaders to respond, to the immediate and the short term.
The credibility of political leaders is criticised and even their honesty is suspect. .
The legitimacy of public action is systematically challenged as seen with Europe, criticised for its democratic deficit whilst it is still largely tributary to the States.
Government efficacy is challenged mainly because its actors find themselves caught between their outdated promises and modern reality, often discovered as they get down to business. Voters in the oldest democracies are turning away from politics to be benefit of an increasingly demanding civil society.
And yet Europe is still attractive. The innumerable victims of conflict and instability support it. The eurosceptics have themselves hit their limits with the euro which reassures and in the alliance of the countries of Europe, whose wisdom everyone is forced to approve, as seen in the Greek example of SYRIZA. It remains an unrivalled area of prosperity, solidarity and justice.
But in order to rise to the challenges that it faces the political classes are suffering. Speaking the truth often means running the risk of rejection. “Go-with-the flow” government will necessarily lead to tears.
Tired of broken promises, the demands made of power no longer fit with little white lies and high talk. Political Europe has to change swiftly so that citizens can be given back the hope they deserve