That election saw the defeat of a right-wing coalition which, allied with the far-right Danish People’s Party, earned Denmark the label of the Arizona of Europe, due to immigration policies and xenophobia. Here in Denmark, most people are happy that time’s over. A left-wing coalition has the opportunity to show what they can do, particularly in terms of growing the economy. But this isn’t just happening in Denmark, and a rising left could shape Europe’s next decade just when everyone was writing it off.
In Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, and other big players, the left has been toothless for a long while. In fact, almost the whole continent has turned conservative blue. Look to recent and future elections an a different picture emerges: local elections in Norway won by the left; regional elections earlier this year the Germany where the Greens took a conservative heartland for the first time. Should a decent, honest socialist take France’s presidency as the “safe” candidate, and 75-year-old Berlusconi lose Italy, then maybe we’ll start to see countries try things other than cutting their way to growth.
While I think the left will make fewer cuts, not using austerity as a guise to shrink government, but the BBC quickly supplanted my optimism with worry. In relation to the ongoing Greek saga, they present five options: Depression, moral hazard, political turmoil, global meltdown, and Pyrrhic victory. Beyond any victory, political turmoil doesn’t sounds so bad. Then again, this crisis is hardly multiple-choice.