April 19, 2011
Will the Euro-Elites Listen to the European Voters?Another anti-EU, anti-immigration party now stands on the verge of political power in Western Europe.In Finland’s national parliamentary elections this past Sunday, the spanking-new True Finns Party came in with 19% of the popular vote. That third-place finish virtually ties the National Coalition Party and the Social Democrats for seats in Finland’s 200-seat Parliament. The governing, conservative Centre Party lost 16 seats.Reported results show the following breakdown:NCP – 43SD – 42True Finns – 39Centre Party – 24The Economist responded to these results by calling them “TRULY AMAZING.” They’re not.What’s amazing is the continuing refusal of Western Europe’s governing elites to recognize that large numbers of European voters now reject that elite’s agenda. The True Finns’ surge is only the latest evidence of a wider disenchantment with governance and the governing class across Europe. Germany’s Der Spiegel provides a handy chart of the rise of populist conservatives throughout the Continent.Like Finland, Great Britain, Greece, and Ireland have all ousted governments in the last year. In Spain, now in its third year of 20%+ unemployment, the socialist prime minister just announced he will not seek reelection. Belgium has had no government for several months. And the less said about the state of Italian politics the better.Bad economies and massive, unregulated Muslim immigration have driven these election results. In Switzerland, voters last year approved a referendum outlawing minarets on new mosques. France has just outlawed the public wearing of the Islamic veil by women. The leaders of Germany, France, and the UK have all pronounced European multi-culturalism to be a failure.France Sunday closed its borders to Africans (read: Muslims) coming from Italy.Persecution of Gypsies and anti-Semitism have been rising for some time. The problem is dramatically sharpened by Europe’s aging population, declines in Christian worship, and shrinkage in numbers of the native-born.So: did Europe’s leaders mean what they said?Specifically, will the True Finns be invited to join a coalition with the NCP — which, as the largest vote-getter, gets the first chance to form a government? Or, as has happened elsewhere (Holland is the most recent example), will the True Finns, despite their showing, be excluded from government? The Finnish election offers the first test since the recent public repudiations of multi-culturalism of whether an anti-immigration platform still puts a Western European political party beyond the pale.The answer matters greatly.As the Finnish election shows, there’s widespread opposition to the so-called EU Project. That Project — to solve the problem of Germany by abolishing European nation-states and substituting a transnational regime of secularism, social democracy, and open borders, led by an unelected elite based in Brussels — is now well-advanced. And now so is the rebellion against it.When the Lisbon Treaty creating the enlarged and more centralized EU in the last decade was first put to popular votes, several sets of European voters rejected it. Those objections were later circumvented. Most nations opted not to hold popular referenda at all. Britain’s Conservatives, having, when out of power, promised a popular vote, now take the position that a vote is unnecessary.The result is voter anger, with the Lisbon Treaty and the EU Project routinely denounced as anti-democratic. That’s led to a crisis of legitimacy among European governments. Support for what had once been fringe parties has risen accordingly.Europe’s mainstream media and political parties have responded by equating any hint of Euro-skepticism with fascism and racism.So far, this hasn’t worked. On the other hand, the Euro-skeptics have yet to elect a national government either. But the Great Recession, the bail-outs of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, and the high visibility of the Muslim minority may change that. Last week, shocked Britons learned that their nation is now 20% foreign-born — thanks to the open borders policy of the ousted Blair-Brown government.Next to vote will be France, which holds presidential and parliamentary elections in April and May, 2012. Immigration has already become the central issue there, fracturing President Nicholas Sarkozy’s government. Meanwhile, Marie LePen’s National Front Party is surging. The National Front, under her father, finished second in the French presidential elections in 2002, after coming in ahead of the Socialists in the first round.Until then, watch to see what happens to the True Finns. Are the results in Finland and elsewhere only a dead cat bounce? Or do they suggest that maybe, just maybe, a Christian, small-L liberal democratic Europe isn’t dead yet?Stay tuned.