Merde / Merda / Scheiße / Shit
June 10, 2024 2:00 AM   Subscribe

This does not bode well. It's sad how many people can't connect the dots between migration and climate change. They have no idea what's in store.
posted by Alex404 at 2:19 AM on June 10 [23 favorites]

In Sweden anyway the election returns were more positive, with the Greens surpassing the far-right Swedish Democrats to become the third largest party represented at the parliament. This is the first election in over a decade that's seen support for SD diminish from previous performance.
posted by St. Oops at 2:44 AM on June 10 [30 favorites]

In the Netherlands, the left parties did not lose any seats. The gains for right-wing Geert Wilders' PVV came from cannibalizing his coalition partners and taking one seat from the even-worse-than-PVV FvD. Whether that result improves or hurts his relationship with those partners remains to be seen.
posted by pmb at 2:50 AM on June 10 [17 favorites]

Ugh. I haven't felt this pessimistic since DJ Trump was elected. In the State where I live (Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin, Germany) AfD (right-wing jackasses) got 30%-ish of the vote - which is huge. Dismayingly huge. This is a party that is roundly despised by every single currently serving member of the German Parliament and I know that could sound hyperbolic but based on conversations with people who work in and around the Bundestag, it's the sentiment.

They promised what people wanted though, "Freedom! No DDR 2.0! Support Farmers! Re-immigration now! Re-build roads!" they have no plans how to do any of this and, I suspect, don't give a shit. But they sold a pretty lie.

Elsewhere on the internet I read a very reasonable point (in light of France's similarly disastrous outcome) - "Isn't it the responsibility of the 'real' parties to put up a better show? Pretending there isn't a concrete reason that these right-wing parties are so popular is dumb."

Personally I would like to lay the blame at the feet of "the billionaires" and the political hacks who helped them. "Every billionaire is a policy failure." has never felt more right
posted by From Bklyn at 2:55 AM on June 10 [57 favorites]

They have no idea what's in store.

Alternatively, per the entirety of dystopian literature and film, some of them do.
posted by cupcakeninja at 2:56 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]

So very Macron to get the spotlight turned onto back himself before results were even confirmed. (Also see the current PM putting in some parachute-mansplaining work against his own party's candidate a week or so ago.)

I've been wondering what the balance of thought was behind that increasingly furrowed (though still impeccably elegant) brow between A. getting a clear view of public opinion before choosing a successor to annoint, B. hoping to give Le Pen &cie. enough rope to hang themselves before the presidentials (in 3 years' time), and C. just being intrinsically unable to resist grand theatrics vs. the prospect of more stalled minority government.

What's so frustrating is that I have zero doubt about his level of drive and determination to head off the FN / RN... but will that overtop his personality enough to allow for the clarity and the humility to at some point strategically remove his character from the stage (preferably in a manner that lets someone other than Le Pen score massive points at his expense)?

A slightly less grim detail behind the headlines is that a sizeable chunk of the fall in support for Macron was also down to the "conventional" left (Parti Socialiste / Place Publique) performing better than they have in a long time. Raphaël Glucksmann is a name to look out for on that front.
posted by protorp at 3:03 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]

I do think cautiously that the news is for the most part, acceptable. There was a prediction of a huge far-right surge but, except perhaps in France, it didn't really happen.

The new far-right parties that emerged from the Netherlands and Italy were because they destroyed their other far-right opponents (FvD and Lega) respectively. For the most part they didn't take votes from the Left and the Center/Right held.

So the EU parliament was Center-Right and is still Center-Right. The EPP, the largest party in Parliament, grew even more.

Not great news for us hoping for more of a shift to the Left, certainly, and we should continue to keep an eye on the far-Right but at least for now, they haven't made the gains that many people said they would. The Center-Right held.
posted by vacapinta at 3:05 AM on June 10 [32 favorites]

I do think cautiously that the news is for the most part, acceptable.

It's the trends, old bean. Previously unacceptable ideas are becoming mainstream, the cordon sanitaire in the big players is fraying.

'Throw the bums out' is - and has always been - real, but who replaces the bums is new and bad.
posted by lalochezia at 3:15 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]

In Germany, many AfD voters migrated from the Social Democrats in the continuing downward spiral for that party. Disturbingly, the AfD did well among younger voters.

I'm in and out of former East Germany most days, which is where the AfD won. I'm not surprised they won so big there. They've developed an entire language and symbology for themselves that I think the main parties don't have an answer for. They'll fly flag of a peace dove which means support Putin and dictatorship, or you'll see a pair of rubber boots hanging on signs as you enter villages which is supposedly about being pro-farmer but the big crosses painted on them mean Muslims not welcome. And so on and so on.

That's not even getting into politicians getting harassed, beaten and murdered.

AfD isn't just Nazi curious, they're simply Nazis.

Partially I blame politicians like Olaf Scholz who constantly try to balance between positions, afraid to take a stand for anything out of fear of turning away some subgroup of voters.

Partially I blame Russia and China — their candidate for the EU was caught accepting cash bribes from Russian agents (to add to a long string od other such corruption scandals).

Partially I blame Google/Meta/TikTok — the amount of blatant propaganda and lies that they promote on their sites and apps is absolutely disturbing and they should be fined billions for effectively platforming bad actors to destroy democracy.
posted by UN at 3:19 AM on June 10 [39 favorites]

Like in Sweden, the far-right fared poorly in Finland, with the winners being the centre-right and the left-wing parties. The other parties are happy enough with their outcomes. The result for the Left Party’s Li Andersson was especially remarkable. She received more votes than any single candidate for the European Parliament in Finnish history. Her popularity ensured that the Left Party went from having one MEP to three.
posted by Kattullus at 3:21 AM on June 10 [17 favorites]

Thread from Laura Amalasunta on BlueSky giving a more measured analysis.
It's easy to be doomerish with elections like this, especially when the press love selling the angle of a far-right surge. But even in Austria where the far right are 1st place it's only by 1% over conservatives and the socialists are only 1.5% behind that.

Another thing to remember is that the FPÖ have been big here before and then they collapsed after a huge scandal and that will happen again because they will be stupid again and they have no real answers to anything.

There is a clear majority for centrist parties. The two far-right groupings have each gone up by... 13 seats. And the parties in these groupings have a terrible time getting on - look at Lega and FdI in Italy who govern together and still feud.

But the press likes the idea of a right-wing surge.
I've found Laura to be a delightful BlueSky follow. As a trans medieval historian her jokes are very niche, but they hit my sense of humor pretty much exactly.

And she's right about the FPÖ-- whenever they're in power they always collapse, because they're run by assclowns incapable of governing either the state or themselves. I think this is broadly true of far-right parties in general, and is also why they tend to feud with each other.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:32 AM on June 10 [23 favorites]

In Portugal, "the biggest loser on election night was the far-right Chega party, which, after scoring 18% in the legislative elections three months ago, fell to 9.8%, failing to achieve the electoral victory its leader, André Ventura, had repeatedly promised during the campaign."

Ventura is the populist you ordered from Temu, and the rest of his party is the literal dregs.
Their candidate for this vote had the speaking skills and charisma of a lump of charcoal.

Meanwhile the two centrist parties remained neck and neck (Socialists & Social Democrats), same as in Parliament at the moment, while the Liberal party gained ground.

It could have been worse, in a nutshell.
posted by chavenet at 3:32 AM on June 10 [21 favorites]

It's easy to be doomerish with elections like this, especially when the press love selling the angle of a far-right surge. But even in Austria where the far right are 1st place it's only by 1% over conservatives and the socialists are only 1.5% behind that.

I helped out a Turkish German guy who was getting harassed and for this was called a traitor ("Verräter!")

I got told by a "local" to keep away from "his" lake when I was on a walk in the woods.

I witnessed an African man get followed and harassed by a Neonazi, broad daylight, many people around, nobody else did anything.

I witnessed a man in my neighborhood shouting "Judensau" at random passer-bys.

This isn't an extensive list, but all of this was in the last few months. I've experienced nothing like that in the last 10 years.

The Nazis are feeling good about their behavior, and they're numbers are growing.

I guess, I'm wondering...I hope it's better in Austria than it is here. I'm not suggesting we're turning into an all out fascist state or anything quite like that. But here at least, surge seems like a perfectly realistic description of what it feels like 'on the ground' and it feels as if the statistics are catching up to the reality.

Now they're empowered and gained a few more years of cash and support thanks to my tax euros to grow their ranks, could they reach a majority next time? I think probably not.....but maybe they could. I remember when them getting 5% of the vote was a shock but at least it's a minority who identify with the extreme right... Then 10% was a shock but it's still a minority. Now it's 30+% but hey the other parties still have 1% more votes than they do? Yikes. I'm not feeling doomerish but comforted I am not either.
posted by UN at 4:04 AM on June 10 [48 favorites]

Wolfgang Münchau: Emmanuel Macron is gambling with France’s future – and Europe’s.

Also saw this diagram on Mastodon which seems depressingly accurate about global politics.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:12 AM on June 10 [15 favorites]

Yes, "it could be worse" is scant comfort for us immigrants in Germany and France. A friend of mine who is very close to being able to apply for her French citizenship is worried it is going to slip away in the face of Macron's idiotic snap election.

And while I am angry at racist dickheads for being racist dickheads, I am even more angry at the centrists and even the left (looking at you, Grüne) who are uninsterested and incapable of making a positive case for a more open society (and for their own environmental policies). Every single time these parties chase bullshit rightwing extremism, the right wing benefits. Every fucking time. And they refuse to learn! Because they do not care, I guess.

Because, as my French friend says, the people who suffer most are not allowed to vote.
posted by dame at 4:25 AM on June 10 [20 favorites]

I am even more angry at the centrists and even the left (looking at you, Grüne) who are uninsterested and incapable of making a positive case for a more open society.

This, very much. At the same time, those pinched hardest by the economy of the last few years have a valid point: everything is more expensive than wages have grown. Where the 'sane' end of the political spectrum has dropped the ball is in not steering the discussion sucessfully/ enacting legislation to smooth out the economic bumps (and here I mean by taxing the very wealthiest. The older I get the farther left I go, but damnit...) so that the psycho opportunists have no foot-hold.

It occurred to me earlier, why the hell is the "left" always battling the "right" when the "right" are obviously in the service of a minority who could give a fuck about the people whose votes they're using to gain power?
posted by From Bklyn at 4:36 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

My French SIL is a definite RN supporter, and particularly a fan of Marine Le Pen. Le Pen has been running a strategy for years now of making RN look like just a normal right-wing political party. Macron is pretty unpopular, not least due to an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and ramming through the rise in retirement age without getting it approved by the Assembly.

There's also a hefty dose of xenophobia there, particularly against muslim and north african immigrants. Between the widespread recent riots after the police killing of an French Algerian teenager, and numerous extremist islamic terrorist attacks (many knife attacks), including large ones like the Nice Bastille day truck attack or the Bataclan Paris attack, often committed by naturalized French citizens, and cultural issues such as wearing veils in public, there's a widespread feeling that such immigrants are not properly French (culturally, politically, religiously), and 'don't want to be' - the poverty trap Banlieus, often with high immigrant populations, are seen as hotbeds of anti-french sentiment and dangerous to the French people and Republic, as well as responsible for 'stealing' money from the real French people by coming in, not working, and living on benefits in subsidised housing, a 'point' my SIL made repeatedly.

Despite doing my best to talk to my SIL that the same far-right backers behind Trump, and Brexit, are backing Le Pen, that the immigrant population are poor because of exploitation and that when you look at wealth distribution in France, it's the same problem (though not quite as severe) as elsewhere in the west - the top 10% own 47% of the wealth, and the inequality keeps getting worse; that it's not the immigrant poor taking all the money (by definition, they have very little), that they come to Europe partly because of our colonial past imposing our languages on them, that it's the rich getting ever richer taking from everyone else that's the real problem; she literally refused to even consider any of it.

That Le Pen was far too buddy-buddy with Putin, and the risk that poses to the rest of Europe if he wins in Ukraine. (not France's fight, in her view)

That I, her English BIL, would be also be an unwelcome person under RN, fell on deaf ears - obviously I would waved through, it's all about the Muslims, not people 'like me'. I pleaded with her not to make the same mistake so many of my own countrymen did with Brexit, turning our back on the world in a wave of nationalism, xenophobia and lies of better days that has ultimately made us so much poorer, financially and culturally (she thinks the UK went completely mad, and she's not wrong there); she insisted Le Pen was different, she was a 'defender of France'. It did get a little heated after that after she espoused reducing the world population (forcibly!) to deal with climate change, and we no longer talk, which has made trips to France with my wife... awkward. SIL'll definitely be celebrating the EU results.

She was always right-wing politically, but to see such a smart woman fall for their lies, when I've seen the same xenophobic bullshit and the same empty promises wreck my own country and turn us all against each other over the last decade, that they're going to make the exact same mistakes we made in believing these charlatans, and that nothing I said made the slightest difference to her beliefs... It feels like standing in a tunnel, staring at the light an oncoming train, the passengers cheering it on. I don't know how French immigrant families are feeling, but I bet it's not positive right now.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 4:39 AM on June 10 [31 favorites]

It's sad how many people can't connect the dots between migration and climate change. They have no idea what's in store.
I think this is really an important point. One of the notable trends globally right now is that the right-wing parties are much better at having simple, easily understood messages. Climate change is already causing real problems but so many politicians are afraid to truly acknowledge that and the initial backlash to status quo disruption makes me fear that more politicians will pull a Hochul on what little progress we’ve had. We really need a vocal movement linking things we’re seeing – not dealing with climate change will cause skyrocketing food prices, refugees, etc. – so there’s a constant answer for why we need to accept the minor inconveniences from doing anything about it.
posted by adamsc at 4:45 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]

This is the first election in over a decade that's seen support for SD diminish from previous performance.

Legit question from someone who lives in Sweden, is interested and follows Swedish politics (but is not a Swedish citizen) - is SD in decline long-term? I know there was a major smear scandal / expose recently, which no doubt has led to some major backlash. Just curious.
posted by photo guy at 4:51 AM on June 10

Disclaimer: I am majorly talking out my ass at the moment.

I wonder if this EU trend might be behind the US and the UK? The shock I'm seeing here looks like the shock more liberal had in 2016 when Trump and Brexit happened.

And in both places, there's been at least enough of a counter-swing to get Trump voted out in 2020 and the Tories are on fairly thin ice in the UK as well. It's not quite the trouncing we'd like to see, in either case, but at least the courts are safe enough for twelve random people to have found Trump guilty on 34 counts.

It's still a long, long way to go, but it is a sign that more people are waking up and realizing "oh shit, maybe I gotta do something to push back here". I have a feeling that this might become a wake-up call for voters across the EU as well.

I grant it's also entirely possible this is an optimist's view of things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:55 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]

that they come to Europe partly because of our colonial past imposing our languages on them

I mean, even more than that, the wealth that Europeans think is "theirs" directly comes from colonized nations. The weealth that built the postwar public states that right wingers think they are voting to protect came from colonies and from the Marshall Plan after the war. The labor that built the physical manifestations of that came from guest workers whose children and granchildren they want to "remigrate".

And I just wish one party would say that. Your wealth is not yours, but your principles of a supportive state are, so let's treasure that as a real value and build it back up. Let's value the egalitarianism that was actually the light in the DDR, the part you miss. And if you are actually so worried about immigrants coming now, then you need to be working for peace and prosperity globally, not letting poor fuckers who are no different from you die in the woods of Belarus so Viktor Orban can feel like a big man.

Like, ugh, there is a real positive case to be made here but no one in the neoliberal consensus has the imagination to actually make it.
posted by dame at 4:56 AM on June 10 [31 favorites]

Are there any exit polls showing how the votes broke down by age group, education level, etc? I did a quick Google but didn't come up with anything.
posted by clawsoon at 5:17 AM on June 10

adamsc: One of the notable trends globally right now is that the right-wing parties are much better at having simple, easily understood messages.

I dunno. The far right seems to have some pretty complex alternate-universe theorizing going on.
posted by clawsoon at 5:24 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

A neo-nazi party on the rise in Germany would warm the cockles of Putin's heart, if he had one, but my take-home from these results is that incumbents get spanked when they screw up (Germany's energy debacle, France's elitist authoritarianism), but generally the centre is holding, and apart from France and Germany, fash-adjacent parties did not do particularly well (Portugal, Finland). More consequential will be to see what happens in upcoming national elections in UK, France etc.
posted by aeshnid at 5:29 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]

Thank you for this post. None of this had made it in a big way to the news sites I usually check, or (more oddly) been shared on my social media. These are good to know about, and I was particularly interested/worried to see the AFD's gain. After reading about the 2023 Potsdam far-right conference, which I might (?) also have learned about on MetaFilter, my antennae have been a bit more elevated.
posted by cupcakeninja at 5:50 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

Here in Belgium the feeling is generally that it's not great, but better news than we were braced for. The far-right party did well, but not well enough to come in first, which is what all of the polling was expected. They also did (just!) poorly enough that the cordon sanitaire can hold, at least for now.
The biggest surprise was the success of PVDA, the Marxist/Socialist Worker's Party; they ended up ahead of a couple of the more classical/traditional parties.
We've got the city council elections in October, so it'll be interesting to see how this election influences the results then. I've got my fingers crossed that people come to their senses and realize that voting far-right as a protest vote isn't a good idea.
posted by Karmeliet at 6:01 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]

cupcakeninja, here in America I got an exasperated WhatsApp message from my friend in Paris last night, and could find very few stories about it online in U.S. sources at that point. For other Americans who might want some context, here is a gift link to this morning's Washington Post piece about the elections.

I am interested in the rise of the far right in the former DDR. We drove from Berlin to Austria in 1988, and only got to see East Berlin for a day -- and I have always been very curious what life is like there, day-to-day. I am sad to think that they never shook off the weight of the DDR years.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:15 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

>> ...much better at having simple, easily understood messages.

> ...pretty complex alternate-universe theorizing going on.

These are both true; the complex Expanded Conspiracy Cinematic Universe must get continually re-built and grown daily, as each new reductive, simplistic easy-answer slogan requires additional explanatory epicycles, or as new events must be re-interpreted in light of the ancient scrolls.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:15 AM on June 10 [11 favorites]

In Denmark (15 seats), SF (the Socialist People’s Party) came out on top as the biggest party, which came as a bit of a surprise to everybody, especially the Social Democrats, who came second (and who hitherto have never lost an election to SF).

In general, our center coalition government (consisting of the Social Democrats, the Moderats, and Venstre (literally ‘Left’, but in reality a center right liberal party)) did rather poorly. The Conservatives surpassed expectations, and the big surprise on the right was that Liberal Alliance did not do nearly as well as expected.

Voter participation came out at 58.2%.
posted by bouvin at 6:18 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

I recently became an Austrian citizen, so now I can enjoy being a member of not one but two nations with slightly terrifying politics. I'm trying not to be alarmist about it, but the FPÖ's victory is a bummer.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:25 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

I do not think that we're on the brink of another world war that will make the previous two look like playground slap fights. That implies that wars involving genocide, trench warfare, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons, firebombing of civilian populations, and countless atrocities could ever be rendered down to the level of a slap fight, and I don't think that's where we are. There are theoretical next steps, of course, but they are such steps as would render most human activity meaningless, and I do not see evidence of that right now.* On top of which, history is full of dire situations involving freedom of movement, rapacious and abusive local nobles, etc., which humanity managed to survive. As many have pointed out in this thread, these election results can be read different ways in the aggregate.

* Unless you wish to define "brink" as "at some point in this century," much as the "Fall of Rome" took 100-1200 years, depending on one's perspective. I could make predictions about global conflict in 60-75 years, but a lot can happen in that span.
posted by cupcakeninja at 6:44 AM on June 10 [11 favorites]

But even in Austria where the far right are 1st place it's only by 1% over conservatives and the socialists are only 1.5% behind that.

This is not the comfort the author thinks it is. 25% of the eligible population gave this party their vote. This is the first time ever the far-right got in 1st place at the EU parliamentary elections, where they historically did not do particularly great. (The last time they got more than 20% of the vote was in the 20th century, with four parties up for election instead of this year's seven.)

Another thing to remember is that the FPÖ have been big here before and then they collapsed after a huge scandal and that will happen again because they will be stupid again and they have no real answers to anything.

I've found that the FPÖ, and far-right and right-wing populists in general, are particularly immune to huge scandals. The Ibiza affair still had them locked in 3rd place after a 10% loss, and only five years later they're polling to take 1st pace in the national elections (later this year) as well.

It's difficult to see the silver lining right now.
posted by bigendian at 7:12 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]

I think also that people go straight to World War III, which is probably not on the immediate horizon, but there are all sorts of awful things that can happen when far-right politics get normalized, and they're really bad, even if they're not literally World War III.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:22 AM on June 10 [9 favorites]

but there are all sorts of awful things that can happen when far-right politics get normalized

Aye, Europe had 70-120 years of Bonapartism and imperialism and other general right-wing fuckery before the last set of world wars.
posted by clawsoon at 7:37 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

I'm 53. I am very left wing. I never once voted for a politician or party who was "inspiring" or "exciting" to me. I think this bizarre framing of voting as an expression of "excitement and inspiration!" has done nothing but bad things for this country (and maybe others?) in the last 60 or so years.

I vote for candidates who have a decent chance to win and are the closest to my preferred politics. Protest voting and supporting obvious losers to telegraph your impeccable ideals doesn't make any sense. Politics is the art of the possible, it's been said. My relative (who went to Woodstock, and he will Tell You About It) spent two years bashing Hillary Clinton and supporting the Green Party and Jill Stein for the 2016 elections. Mr. Woodstock had a son very late in life, who is now in college. We'll be stuck with Trump's Supreme Court until that kid is in his 50s, and Mr. Woodstock has long been gone from this Mortal Coil.

Mr. Woodstock stopped mentioning the Green Party sometime around December 2016, and has been very quiet about presidential politics in general since then. I don't dislike the guy, he's a very nice man, and his son is amazing.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:49 AM on June 10 [24 favorites]

I'm waiting to see more granular info on how Romania's elections went. It's looking like more of the same at first glance, but I will probably spend way too much energy trying to read teal leaves to see if they're nudging further to the right or following Hungary's lead and making the left more relevant via increased turnout.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:57 AM on June 10 [5 favorites]

I'm sorry SoberHighland you seem to be posting about American politics in a European politics thread. We have Green parties here that actually get elected and are (sorta) part of the left.
posted by dame at 8:28 AM on June 10 [28 favorites]

That's great that you have a Green Party that's effective! My point wasn't about US politics specifically (though it ended up being so because that's where I live and what I have the most knowledge and experience with), but about supporting realistic candidates and not giving a flip about the "excitement" or "inspiration" level of individual candidates.

Perhaps I should not have worded it like that. By bringing specifics of US politics into the post, I muddled my point.
posted by SoberHighland at 9:02 AM on June 10 [7 favorites]

We all face some flavor of compromise, SoberHighland, like harder leftists say Olivgrün for the German Greens, meaning camouflage colors for pro-military Greens, but..

Any proportional "list" system requires much less onerous compromises than first-past-the-post systems used in the English speaking world. Also, parliamentary system wind up less problematic because they can form coalitions, so even the UK has 43 SNP, 15 Independent, 15 Lib Dem, and 14 minor party (Sinn Féin, etc). America is just particularly stupid, so not really comparable.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:15 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]

I realize this is getting into the weeds of electoral systems, but in elections for the European Parliament, excitement and inspiration translates to real political gains.

So, basically, parties get seats apportioned proportionally to their vote in each member state. So, for instance, if a country has 10 MEPs, a party with around 10 percent of the vote gets 1 seat, 20 percent nets you two seats, and so on (this is assuming no ‘wasted’ votes, which never happens, but let’s ignore that for now).

Anyway, so different states use different methods to vote, but almost all of them use some version of the party list system. That means your vote will always go to the list. However, a majority of the countries allow you to vote for a specific candidate on the party list.

So, to go back to Li Andersson, who I mentioned above, that she caught people’s attention didn’t just mean that she got a lot of votes, but that her party as a whole got a lot of votes, and so she’ll bring two more MEPs with her to Brussels.

This isn’t a first-past-the-post system, where an exciting candidate who gets 25% doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected.
posted by Kattullus at 9:15 AM on June 10 [18 favorites]

Ironically, FN could pretty easily govern France visibly better than Macron over the near-term, provided they adopted even mildly left economic positions that revert problematic moves made by Macron: Add more nurses, doctors, and teachers. Reopen some hospitals closed by Macron, maybe some schools too. Also, revert some kleptocracy that benefits nobody but Macro's buddies. If they did, then FN could lock in Le Pen for president, with FN holding a majority.

It's of course possible FN would screw themselves by doing too much nasty, being too economically right wing idealists, etc. Yet, I've zero faith in all these commentator saying how FN would sink themsleves before 2027. It's just too easy to do a better job than Macron, while still being nominally right wing, provided you're not beholden to his corporate kleptocrat economic coalition.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:19 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

Ireland, which is an english speaking country, uses PR-STV which allows voting across parties and is less constrained that either first past the post or the list system used in many other European countries.

As an aside Sinn Féin MPs elected to Westminster don't take up their seats to participate in that parliament. The big story of the EU and local elections in Ireland has been an unexpectedly poor showing for SF.
posted by roolya_boolya at 9:29 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]

Mod note: One comment deleted. Let's avoid doom predictions. Also, let's be mindful and avoid recentering this issue around the US Politics.
posted by loup (staff) at 9:37 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

My point wasn't about US politics specifically (though it ended up being so because that's where I live and what I have the most knowledge and experience with), but about supporting realistic candidates and not giving a flip about the "excitement" or "inspiration" level of individual candidates.

Guess what! That is a doomer American perspective that is not accurate to this election or the current situation in Europe and is irrelevant to this thread.

However, that center right and sometimes center center parties do worse than the far right when they validate the far right's talking points is historically true, and is a real problem that saw some validation in this election, especially in Germany and France and recently was true in the Dutch elections. I personally do not know enough about the Finnish specifics to this election to know if it proves the counterpoint, if Li Anderson did well by actually supporting more leftist values, but that is a relevant question.
posted by dame at 9:45 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]

Poland: In some other good news, the nationalistic conspiracy theorists were beaten by normal politics, yet again. Yay! After years of madness, it's nice to get two victories in a row.
posted by UN at 9:52 AM on June 10 [19 favorites]

A perspective I saw somewhere:
A lot of countries (if not all) are using the EU to get rid of their worst politicians, who are too important or influential to be gotten rid off in other ways but are either completely incompetent and an embarassment otherwise so off they go to Brussels.

But than, when any kind of european level crisis hits - like Covid or the Ukraine War, in the name of Unity and probably in the hope of a cordinated response being better we confer a leading role on EU institutions that are full of national rejects... Madness and utter idiocy.
So maybe this is a situation where fringe politicians are usually shuffled off to postings that are largely ceremonial and meaningless, up until when an emergency happens.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:41 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

but about supporting realistic candidates and not giving a flip about the "excitement" or "inspiration" level of individual candidates.

As I see it, there's two kinds of electioneering:

- choosing/changing your position based on how likely voters will vote
- encouraging people who already like your position(s) to bother with voting

"Excitement" and "inspiration" are describing the latter. Anyone reading this thread is very likely in the first camp, and don't need a reason to go vote. Other people do. To give you an idea of how big the problem / opportunity is, the 2022 French presidential election had a turnout of 76 percent. If I'm understanding correctly, voter turnout in the EU parliamentary election is around 50 percent.
posted by pwnguin at 10:48 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]

I'm actually kind of encouraged by just how little the far right has gained electorally given how much control extreme far right players now have over major media and how much leverage far right wealthy people have over even non-far-right-wing parties via being potential donors who will be courted with tailored policies.

Despite the incredibly massive resources and huge finance based political leverage of the far-right the votes of normal, calm and reasonable people still matter. Good job normie army!
posted by srboisvert at 12:08 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]

pwnguin puts the importance of the emotional component in voting really well, to extend the French example further:

The 2022 French presidential election had a turnout of ≈ 74% / 72% (first round narrowing down to Macron / Le Pen, second round Macron won 58.5% / 41.5%).

The 2022 French legislative election, only 6 weeks later, had a turnout of ≈ 47% / 46%, ending with Macron's bloc almost tied with the left alliance on 26%, the FN on 19%, and leading to the whole minority government / hung parliament situation that's suited the FN down to the ground (they've been able to play opposition, bend legislation and discourse rightwards through strategic support when it suits them, and come over as sensible disciplined legislators when shown sat across from the shrillest parts of the left).

In contrast, in 2002 when Le Pen senior got to round 2 of the presidentials for the first time, turnout jumped from 71% to 80% in the second round, and Chirac beat him 82% / 18%. The discourse at the time was full of "vote for the crook, not the fascist" and "vote even if you have to put a clothes peg on your nose". Chirac was detested by the left yet the Socialists still went all out with emotional canvassing on his behalf, even if they did set up ritual showers outside some voting stations.

Political apathy has never been a strong tradition in France, and that's been a very effective firewall against extremism. Hopefully the last showing was an aberration.
posted by protorp at 12:52 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]

One of the notable trends globally right now is that the right-wing parties are much better at having simple, easily understood messages.

Yes, utter disregard for facts makes for easy stories. Especially easy for dimwits to swallow.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:07 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]

Also, l'Assemblée Nationale uses two-round runoff voting too, so expect a bunch of second round races having RN (FN) vs NUPÉS (Mélenchon) races, but also UDC etc. It also creates some redistricting problems, nothing like the stupidity in the US, but makes me wonder if any districts were drawn to supress the left in 2010.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:42 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

I'd say a core part of the crisis is that conventional liberalism/ neoliberalism has failed to adopt even one popular (not populist) policy.
It is, if you will, "what's the matter with Kansas", or a variant of that old Monty Python joke: "sure, the EU has given us security, prosperity, decades of peace, freedom of travel, a powerful trading bloc, and a stable currency, but other than that, what have they ever done for us? NOTHING."

Establishment Politicians, over and over again, have this transactionist delusion: I do X for you and in return for delivering X you will reward me with your votes and support. Humans are primates, they're not rational actors. Rational behavior is only utilized, at best, after custom and habit have been exhausted.

Fascism is on the road to triumph in Europe and the world in this time of population explosion and climate crisis. And that is not because it is a superior ideology, but rather because a non-ideology (Fascism is fundamentally incoherent, as per Eco), being liberated of the needs for honesty and coherence, is fundamentally superior in manipulating and capturing the allegiances of the stupid, bald, eternally cowardly ape that is Homo Sapiens.

Hundreds of millions are going to die in a hemoclysm in this century that exceeds the 20th and 19th century. And being a professional historian, sadly, is just damning yourself to be a Cassandra, watching history repeat endlessly, only with even more violence, crudity, stupidity, and venality than the prior outing.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 2:04 PM on June 10 [13 favorites]

One of the notable trends globally right now is that the right-wing parties are much better at having simple, easily understood messages.
I dunno. The far right seems to have some pretty complex alternate-universe theorizing going on.
Yes, utter disregard for facts makes for easy stories. Especially easy for dimwits to swallow.
To be clear, I’m not saying that decent people should start lying. It’s just that they tend to pick a very simple narrative and repeat it over and over, while many of their opponents (especially bureaucratic centrists and lefties) often tend to get bogged down in mushy prose and, especially, dancing around clear statements which might offend their opponents or trying to distance themselves from a previous position (probably unsuccessfully).

For example, yes, we must reject fear-mongering about immigrants but anyone who cares should be very clearly stating that not mitigating climate change will lead to people being forced to leave their homes on a scale normally only seen in wartime. Given the scale of the attacks, I think they have to be confidently challenged - disorganized, vague responses aren’t convincing and might make some people think the original attack is partly correct.
posted by adamsc at 4:14 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

France24: France leftwing parties present united front for snap elections
French left-wing parties including the Socialist Party, the French Communist Party, the Greens (EELV) and France Unbowed presented a united front Monday evening, a day after President Emmanuel Macron called for snap legislative elections.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:11 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]

I was in Paris for work and was with a French woman for most of one afternoon. She was very nice, and we chatted about a lot of different things, and then somehow we got down a conversational track and she told me about how she didn’t mind immigrants who settled into French culture, but the fact was that that they increased crime and dealt drugs and were terrible criminals…

posted by PussKillian at 6:01 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

Politico.EU: France’s far-right forces hold talks on teaming up to beat Macron
Only a day after French President Emmanuel Macron called a high-stakes snap election, the country’s two leading far-right forces explored the possibility of teaming up against him in a showdown that stands to prove crucial for the future of both France and the EU. [...]

Marion Maréchal, the lead candidate for the Reconquest party during Sunday’s EU election, on Monday met with the far-right National Rally’s presidential candidate, her aunt Marine Le Pen, and the movement’s President Jordan Bardella to discuss a potential alliance.

Maréchal, a former National Rally parliamentarian and the granddaughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, had turned her back on her aunt to join the ranks of Reconquest — a party founded by maverick journalist and pundit Éric Zemmour — ahead of the 2022 presidential race.

Although her party is far smaller than National Rally and on Sunday only squeaked past the 5 percent threshold necessary in France to elect MEPs, those supporters could well be critical in a close-run national contest.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:55 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

Detail from a couple of days ago, Macron's bloc announced very quickly that they wouldn't oppose candidates "from the Republican field" in the snap parliamentary election.

I've not seen clear confirmation whether this means no opposition at all, or just in the second round (rules are that the top 2 candidates from round 1, plus anyone else who got 12.5% or more of the round 1 vote, go through to round 2. The previously habitual "front républicain" uses (used) this to keep the FN well out of contention as 3rd place left or right candidates would pull out to unite the vote against the FN).

And what standards they'll apply to define "Republican" is also not yet clear.

More info here (in French)
posted by protorp at 12:04 AM on June 11

> Marion Maréchal

wait wait wait her last name actually is “maréchal”? like maréchal, nous voilà? that’s some top-notch nominative determinism there

do they at least have the self-restraint to not use the song at rallies?
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 12:13 AM on June 11

Also, I just dropped my kids to school; my polling station is the school gym hall outside which are still set up the official temporary billboards from the EU elections which provide mandated equal, randomly ordered space for election posters for every party.

I was extremely pleased to see that those of the FN / Reconquête had already been covered with professionally produced anti-facho flyposters. No link to any other parties, just the very simple message "don't vote for fascists".
posted by protorp at 12:17 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]

Poland has an ongoing problem with a disconnect from the European Parliament and seeing it as a way for politicians to make money from higher salaries while doing nothing basically. Not helped with actual MEPs treating it the same way, mostly because their poor grasp of foreign languages made it harder to get actual work done in committee. 40% of turnout is twice as good as our first European election.

I really hope that low turnout is why 30 freaking percent of Gen Z voted extreme right wing. That guy who put out a Hanukkah menorah with a fire extinguisher? He's an MEP now, for our sins. I did my tour of duty in a polling place and only the fact I saw so few young people voting stopped me from despair over that.

I'm just happy that despite the democratic coalition bungling so much since they recovered power in December they still clearly won over the two right wing parties. And that even for right wingers, a few of the most dire offenders didn't manage to hide behind parliamentary immunity. Even the oligarchs who did are about to find out it's easy to lose that immunity, especially for clear corruption committed before the election.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:20 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]

> Marion Maréchal (FR)

It's actually her (former) step-father's surname, but yeah, quite some gift of fortune to be able to hang that dog whistle around your neck given her particular vocation.
posted by protorp at 12:25 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]

Eric Ciotti, the president of Les Républicains (LR: centre-right to right, formerly the UMP under Chirac, historically Gaullist, national support gutted by the rises of both Macron and Le Pen but still holders of substantial party apparatus and local government positions) wants to ally with the FN.

Thus far almost all other figures in his party are quite emphatically renouncing him for this. His no.2, Florence Portelli, said ≈ "He is resigning and in any case he is effectively excluding himself. If he doesn't have the decency, which doesn't seem to be his first virtue, to leave, we'll make him leave"

Valérie Pécresse (afaik not Mefi's own), the LR candidate in the last presidentials, came out with one of those turns of phrase that still after nearly 20 years living here leaves me amazed by the French language's ability to evoke so much scorn in such simple words:

"Vendre son âme pour un plat de lentilles et draper cela dans l’intérêt du pays..."

"To sell one's soul for a plate of beans whilst draping it in the interests of the country..."

More info (FR) here
posted by protorp at 6:31 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]

I've briefly met Manon Aubry once at this degrowth event, presumably she'll remain MEP since she's head of the list for la France insoumise.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:58 AM on June 11

I'm 53. I am very left wing. I never once voted for a politician or party who was "inspiring" or "exciting" to me. I think this bizarre framing of voting as an expression of "excitement and inspiration!" has done nothing but bad things for this country (and maybe others?) in the last 60 or so years.

I vote for candidates who have a decent chance to win and are the closest to my preferred politics. Protest voting and supporting obvious losers to telegraph your impeccable ideals doesn't make any sense. Politics is the art of the possible, it's been said.
posted by SoberHighland

And can never be anything else.

Ideological and moral purity in politics is the philosophy of losers.
posted by Pouteria at 12:37 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]

It typically works out poorly when leadership approaches ideological purity too, including all our free trade treaties, some communist history, etc. All those originate from too much ideology all in one place, but it's common to have the opposite problem too, with each representative out for their own pork.

These parliamentary systems have the advantage that people could vote relatively ideologically, after which the parties negotiate. Ideology survives into the real negotations over who holds what power, but without any necessarily achieving some absolute victory.

Appears Belgium held elections the same day, so one Belgian coworker expect they'll take at least 6 months before they negotiate some government. Belgium holds the record for longest period without a government at 652 days, which broke an earlier record of 541 day. lol
posted by jeffburdges at 2:48 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]

Ideological and moral purity in politics is the philosophy of losers.
GodMurdoch forbid any politician should stray from ideological puritypolicies palatable to corporate news media and attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, discrimination against marginalised people, or (gasp!) wealth inequality.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 3:14 AM on June 12

Please do regale us with the many examples of ideologically pure politicians or political movements, who never ever compromised in any way, but were successful in practically implementing their policies and getting them to stay implemented.

Even dictators have to compromise to stay in power and get stuff done. Most certainly any politician in a democracy has to.

The hard shitty reality is that the stubborn take-it-or-leave-it purity stance is a losing strategy.

So the smart response is to get to figuring out how to make the best compromise you can in the circumstances. Because that is all that is ever on the table. Rinse and repeat.
posted by Pouteria at 3:38 AM on June 12 [6 favorites]

Proportional representation systems are much better for letting the voters stay pure in their ideology, but much worse for politicians who wish to do so. The politicians have to compromise and build coalitions. In first past the post systems, the voters themselves must do this in order to win.

But either way nobody gets to govern without making compromises. (Which is as it should be. Everyone has a voice, and gets to be part of the negotiations. Even the stupid and evil people. That's democracy. Becaue the other side thinks WE are the stupid or evil ones, and who can be trusted with the power to say which side is right and decide whose voices don't get heard?)

Hopefully the institutions of European democracy can survive well enough for these jerks who just won a bunch of elections to lose a bunch of elections later. That is going to require some people who disagree with each other on other stuff to cooperate to make that happen. Even if voters don't have to vote for someone of a different party because of proportional representation, they're at least going to have to vote for people who have compromised with other parties.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:41 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]

The view from Turkey
Rise of far-right in the West
posted by adamvasco at 9:07 AM on June 13

Huh. Although I've expressed my view here that it's an extremely bad result for the EU, but the above article is just way off the mark. The extreme right isn't about to "dominate" the EU. The far right gained in some places, but also made losses in others. And they simply don't have the seats to dominate anything, it's just not how things work at all. Also:
Recently, Western countries have been largely governed by far-rightist, ultra-nationalist and fascist governments.
Really? Some countries have been, but largely? As in most countries, the majority? That's quite the statement to make.
posted by UN at 9:27 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]

Daily Sabah is a conservative, government mouthpiece probably a bit like the Torygraph. Turkey is one of Europe's largest trading partners.
A Map of the Hard Right in the EU is probably larger than most people realize.
posted by adamvasco at 10:46 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]

I vote for candidates who have a decent chance to win and are the closest to my preferred politics. Protest voting and supporting obvious losers to telegraph your impeccable ideals doesn't make any sense. Politics is the art of the possible, it's been said.

This really depends on the political system. In some countries public funding for political parties is calculated off the vote share in previous elections so voting for a third or fourth tier party can actually make some difference (small). Also countries with coalition government possibilities make voting for small parties more important because they can tip the balance in coalitions (to both good or ill effect).
posted by srboisvert at 2:03 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]

Also, politicians still have some "pulpit", even if only a minor party not in the coalition.

Around this, Irland was not mentioned here yet, but overall centrists gained MEPs in Ireland. In particular Clare Daly and Mick Wallace both lost their MEP seats, likely everyone here saw clips of them both speaking before. Also Sinn Fein lost like half it seats in local elections, but gained one MEP.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:35 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]

“Far right en marche,” Jonathan M. Katz, The Racket, 13 June 2024
Europe proves again that meeting fascists halfway is a bad strategy
posted by ob1quixote at 6:40 PM on June 13

A map of German election results, but population-normalized: It's not the land that votes, rather the people
posted by daveliepmann at 12:07 AM on June 14

Politico lists new MEPs. One dynamic possibly not widely acknowledged can be seen if one selects e.g. Germany and parliamentary group Greens/EFA: enough Germans voted for Volt to send three people to vote in the Greens bloc without being part of the Greens. This adds some nuance to analyses of election results which discuss vote shares of only the top national parties — Volt is one of the tiny parties, but because we have a properly engineered parliamentary system votes for small parties aren't "wasted" on ideological purity. See also the Animal Protection Party candidate who will stand with the Left.
posted by daveliepmann at 12:50 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]

As JeffBurges notes, Ireland _finally_ delivered the next crop of MEPs: more or less six days after polling closed. With STV, there is A Lot of count, eliminate, redistribute, count. The final three MEPs were elected on the 21st ! count. With polling 'cards' the size of tea-towels, just moving stacks of votes is a work-out. At least the result is more a regression to the mean rather than a lurch Right. Clare Daly had a great Nope! when the state broadcaster tried to interview her afterwards: "You've no interest in talking to me for five years, so I've no interest in talking to you."
posted by BobTheScientist at 5:05 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]

« Older Does Ed Balls still count?   |   Airports caught thousands of travellers with... Newer »

You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.