The left and the global financial crisis
The Financial Times has an article called 'Global Insight: Europe’s left is failing', which asks:
"But why should the left be doing so badly at precisely the time when raw and unregulated free-market capitalism has precipitated a global financial crisis? State intervention and regulation are returning with a vengeance. Yet the parties of the left are getting none of the credit for saying: “We told you so.”"
But is 'the left' really doing that badly in response to the global financial crisis?
In the past month, left and centre-left parties were re-elected in Norway and Portugal, and gained power in Greece. In their worst result since the 1950s in Germany, the left mustered 46%, compared to 48% for the right wing parties.
Outside of Europe, the centre left is in power in some of the world's biggest countries, from the USA to India, Brazil to Australia, South Africa to Japan. Left-wing parties recently won power for the first time in Iceland, and are cruising to re-election in Uruguay and Bolivia.
There are other countries where the Left is doing badly - France, Italy and the UK, Poland and Hungary, Canada, New Zealand and Israel (not to mention countries where left-wing campaigners run the risk of prison or worse, such as China, Russia and parts of Asia and Africa).
But there are probably now more people living in countries with left-wing governments than at any previous time in history, and the trend since the start of the economic crisis has been that more people are supporting left-wing political parties, not fewer. So those countries where the left is doing badly should look to their many successful and diverse sister parties all over the world for good ideas.