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Old 11-05-2011, 01:48 AM   #316
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Aren't the Democrats basically centre-right in nature? They sure as hell ain't left from what I have seen.
In Europe, in some countries, Democrats are seen/perceptioned as right, and Republicans as exteme-right. Most policies chosen by american Democrat Party and respective politicians if they were implemented in european countries would be perceptioned by people here in Europe as right (even as extreme-right) policies.

It's all a question of political marketing. For example, most european parties called "Socialist Party" (or "Labourist Party") aren't socialist at all. Portuguese, Spanish, French, Slovenian, Greek "Socialist Party" are, most of all, parties of the Third Way and, in some cases, they're social-democrat parties.
In Portugal there's also a party called Social-Democrat Party, but I guess they have no idea that social-democracy is a center-left ideology and their party is a center-right party composed, not by social-democrats, but by Conservatives (in social way of living) and Liberalists (in economics).
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:09 AM   #317
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In Europe, in some countries, Democrats are seen/perceptioned as right, and Republicans as exteme-right. Most policies chosen by american Democrat Party and respective politicians if they were implemented in european countries would be perceptioned by people here in Europe as right (even as extreme-right) policies.

It's all a question of political marketing. For example, most european parties called "Socialist Party" (or "Labourist Party") aren't socialist at all. Portuguese, Spanish, French, Slovenian, Greek "Socialist Party" are, most of all, parties of the Third Way and, in some cases, they're social-democrat parties.
In Portugal there's also a party called Social-Democrat Party, but I guess they have no idea that social-democracy is a center-left ideology and their party is a center-right party composed, not by social-democrats, but by Conservatives (in social way of living) and Liberalists (in economics).
Ah yes, I get what you mean, we have the same thing going on in Australia, with the Liberal party being conservative and the Labor party being ... conservative, but not to the level of the former.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #318
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Like Labour here under Tony Blair was pretty bang on centrist though they were the party of the left and unions etc, hence the branding of 'New Labour'. Now they are returning to their centre left fold.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:53 PM   #319
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Like Labour here under Tony Blair was pretty bang on centrist though they were the party of the left and unions etc, hence the branding of 'New Labour'. Now they are returning to their centre left fold.
In fact, european opinion-makers say that Blair was the "firestarter" of the shift that Labourist, Social-democrat (that call them selves Socialist for marketing purposes) parties made from center-left to center/Third Way/emptiness in the 1990's/2000's.

These kind of parties now understand the mistake and are being forced to get back to their center-left origins. The problem is that many of these parties lost credit and are having trouble about being seen as center-left again.
In Germany, the SPD [Social-Democrat Party/center-left/no marketing in the name] had to turn center-left again and make real oposition to Merkel's "club". The pressure was so big and their loss of credibility was so big that, in some German states, to stop Merkel's party to get "there", SPD was forced to Govern in coalition with... The Green Ecologist Party (left/center-left) that had a huge boost in popularity (about from 8 to 20-24%).
In France, the PS spans so many and diverse kind of people (old fashion socialists, social-democrats, third way-ists, centrists, social-liberalists, etc) that is having lots of trouble to redefine it self. The only thing that saves PS and that will make it will 2012 elections is the huge loss of credibility that Sarkozy is having. If it wasn't for Sarkozy, french PS would lose again.
The same problem has the center-left italian party (they don't use "socialist", "communist", "social-democrat", "christian-democrat" terminologies there), but they'll will in 2012 only because Berlusconni is being held by a tiny string.
In Portugal, Greece and Spain, because of having been Third Way for a long time, and because of having been forced to implement severe austerity plans, pseudo-socialist parties are having very bad results whether in elections or in polls. In June, center-left lost the government and had only 28% (38% for center-right). In Spain, elections will happen next November 20th and PSOE will have its biggest defeat (30% against 47% of the right-wing party). The response is the shift to right governments again.
In Greece, opinion polls give only 19% to PASOK, which explains Papandreou's last actions these last 10 days. But Greece's situation is so complicated now that no one knows what's really gonna happen (there's even the possibility of an imminent coup d'√Čtat).

On the other hand, the "new left", the "neo-socialist", the ecologist and the "left confederations" are having an increasement of popularity. Examples:
- the Ecologists and the "Pirate" parties in Germany (19% and 9% in opinion polls, respectively);
- the Communists, the neo-Socialists and the Anti-Capitalist parties in Greece (14%, 9% and 4% in opinion polls, respectively, which represents the double or triple than what they had in 2009);
- the neo-socialists and the communists having a soft increase in popularity in France;
- the increasement of Socialists and Social-democrats in Denmark in recent elections, leading them to a coalition government and the shift from center-right to center-left.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:26 PM   #320
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When your continent's political parties are made up of Socialists, neo-Socialists, Social-democrats, Greens, anti-Capitalist, third way-ists, social-liberalists and Communists...

...I now understand why you consider the Tea Party crazy.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:38 PM   #321
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ever spend much time outside of the country, INDY?
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #322
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When your continent's political parties are made up of Socialists, neo-Socialists, Social-democrats, Greens, anti-Capitalist, third way-ists, social-liberalists and Communists...

...I now understand why you consider the Tea Party crazy.
When did I say that?
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #323
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When did I say that?
Sorry, not you singular but you plural as in all our European commentators.
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:55 PM   #324
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Something I do admire about US politics is that your choice between parties is much more stark, even if it is a choice between the extreme right and centre right. Here it can get a bit more confusing, as you often have the right here using left rhetoric, such as the Tory support for NHS, to get into power, but when in power they employ more right wing policies. The left at least under new Labour started a lot of the right wing policies when they were in power that the Tories have simply continued.

There are differences but they are more subtle I suppose between them, which is maybe why at least in the UK we are turned off by politics than before as our choices are less stark. We all generally agree the NHS for instance is a good thing, there's little disagreement on rights for the gay community etc. So most are socially to the left.

I'm not going to be disingenuous and say that I think a lot of the rhetoric I hear from the right of the States is reasoned, but what I really fail to understand is the unflinching adherence to the ideology, there aren't as many subtleties of opinion, it's your either for it or against America. I suppose I've only seen this in more recent years, where it appears the rhetoric has become more extreme.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:40 PM   #325
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Something I do admire about US politics is that your choice between parties is much more stark
There is noting enviable about US politics since the 2000 election. Especially not the choice between parties.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #326
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Admire is probably the wrong choice of word, it's more that there is a choice to be made. Here they are fairly much the same on so much, it makes any election an inane process.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:09 PM   #327
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When your continent's political parties are made up of Socialists, neo-Socialists, Social-democrats, Greens, anti-Capitalist, third way-ists, social-liberalists and Communists...

...I now understand why you consider the Tea Party crazy.
This is as asinine as it gets.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:48 PM   #328
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what I really fail to understand is the unflinching adherence to the ideology, there aren't as many subtleties of opinion, it's your either for it or against America. I suppose I've only seen this in more recent years, where it appears the rhetoric has become more extreme.


what has happened over the past 15 years, and increased with the internet, is the conflation of politics with identity, that it's not about the issues, it's about where you stand on the issues. it doesn't matter if your opinion is a good one, or even a remotely informed one. it just matters that you have one.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:33 PM   #329
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Confirmation bias also seems to have increased with the internet. It's rare for people to actively seek out information which may contradict their stance.

It's probably also a side effect of the two party system though, as surely political opinion at the grass roots must have a wider range of views, than can be adequately represented at state or national level. With more parties the extreme sorts would gravitate to their own party, leaving a more reasonable centre majority.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:20 PM   #330
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When your continent's political parties are made up of Socialists, neo-Socialists, Social-democrats, Greens, anti-Capitalist, third way-ists, social-liberalists and Communists...

...I now understand why you consider the Tea Party crazy.
Inhabitants of countries with normal and well-developed political systems tend to regard the Tea Party as crazy.

Sarkozy is the elected French president. Sarkozy, the paid-up friend of big business, the former mayor of the wealthiest district of Paris, the guy that relished watercannoning brown-skinned youths back in 2005. If you think he and his party are on the left, you need your head examined.

Actually, come to think of it, most, if not all, of the larger European countries, and a fair smattering of the smaller ones also, have capitalist-friendly conservative parties running their governments at this point.

So, I'm afraid that we cannot blame the financial crisis on Europeans' voters arrant stupidity and childishness in electing "a motley collection of Socialists, neo-Socialists, Social-democrats, Greens, anti-Capitalist, third way-ists, social-liberalists and Communists" into office!

No, Indy500, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but the jury will be out soon, and I'll wager they will not find the long-haired hippie green commie students to blame.
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