Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Social democratic parties under pressure?

Having just watched "C dans l'air", a political TV show on "France 5", I had a strange déjà-vue:

It seems as if in France and in Germany the same discussions concerning the social democratic parties are taking place. Both, the Socialist Party (PS) of France and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) are facing strong internal debates not only concerning the general political and programmatic direction but also concerning the leadership of the parties. And in both countries, the social democratic parties have difficulties handling their competitors to the left, the Communist Party in France and the Left Party in Germany, which are able to take up many classical issues formerly occupied by social democratic discourses.

The move to the political centre of the social democracy and the continuing disputes about leadership and political orientations will most probably strengthen both, the centre-right parties as well as the more extreme left in the upcoming years. I don't see that without a particular charismatic leadership the social democratic parties, at least in France and Germany, can get back their former strong positions.

And this will bring about quite interesting political constellations (both, positive and negative)...