Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Today's Useful Analysis: The Decline of Dutch Social Democracy


Continuing the theme of the Crisis of European Social Democracy™, there are parties from that family that have done worse than the German Social Democrats' awful performance in last Sunday's election. One such party is the Dutch Labor Party, usually abbreviated as PvdA. In last March's election, they polled an amazingly low 6 percent of the vote and lost 29 of their 38 seats in the Dutch parliament. Their parliamentary representation is now just barely above that of the mighty Party for the Animals. 

So what explains the crash of the historically very powerful PdvA? I recommend this lengthy interview with Rene Cuperus of the PdvA's think tank, the Wiardi Beckman Foundation. I know Cuperus from various European conferences and have always found him a very astute observer and analyst of the left. In the interview, he discusses the historical evolution of the PdvA, the rise of populism, the fragmentation of the left and the urgent need for new approaches and coalitions across the left. Much food for thought for anyone who is interested in the fate of progressive parties in Europe.

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