Liberal Ideas Get Rejected Around the World
Last week, the European Union (EU) held its elections in 28 of its member states and a few clear trends emerged. Voters rejected liberal ideas such as spending on Global Warming and unlimited immigration as mainstream political parties who champion those ideas faced significant setbacks.
Let’s start with our most important ally, Great Britain. Nigel Farage, an ally of President Trump formed a new party just six months back and won the most seats with 32% of the vote. In a total repudiation of mainstream parties, the opposition Labor Party came in fourth and Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party came in fifth. Prime Minister May had resigned just before the election and another Trump ally Boris Johnson is the frontrunner to be the next Prime Minister.
Over in France, Marine Le Pen’s party defeated President Emmanuel Macron’s party. This comes on the heels of the Yellow vest protests which were triggered by an increase in gas prices, part of the pro-Green agenda. The protests have continued unabated despite the withdrawal of the tax. In Italy, conservative Matteo Salvini’s Lega Party took over as the largest party with 33.6% of the vote with the center-left Democratic Party coming second with 23.5%. In Greece, the conservative New Democracy movement won 33% while the ruling left-wing Syriza came in second with 24%. In Hungary, the right-wing Fidesz party won 52% of the vote leaving all other parties far behind. With few exceptions, far-left and left-leaning parties suffered significant losses.
The losses in EU elections are just one more in a series of setbacks for left-leaning politics. Just last month, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison won reelection overcoming unanimous predictions of his demise. His opponent bet the farm on global warming in what was dubbed the “climate change election” and lost. Morrison, who displays a migrant boat trophy with the caption “I stopped these”, forced migrant boats to turn back as Immigration Minister. Similarly, in Canada, Justin Trudeau’s climate policy was repudiated when global warming “sceptic” Doug Ford was elected premier of Ontario, Canada’s largest province. The Dutch and the Finns also rejected their climate change action plans by electing “sceptics” in the past year.
One final point: Ideas espoused by the far-left often sound good but the devil is in the details. As I outlined last December in my column Bernie Sanders has a math problem, the costs of these policies are prohibitive. Green New Deal sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t like solar panels and not having to pay power bills every month? Well, until you realize the cost is estimated at around $93 trillion and the entire US economy is around $20 trillion. Medicare for all sounds great. Who doesn’t want to provide healthcare for everyone? Well, until you realize the cost is around $2.6 trillion a year. Open borders sound great. Who doesn’t want to help the impoverished in search of a better life? Well, until you realize it costs around $8251 for each illegal immigrant every year. Our resources are not limitless, we have to draw the line at some point. The voting patterns in recent elections around the world indicate the rest of the world understands that constraint and is acting on it.