Elections are won in the political centre, right? Leftists like Schröder or Blair redefined Labour-politics and went on to dominate elections; conservatives like Merkel or Chirac were able to govern by making concessions to the left. In American politics, moderates like Clinton are considered more likely to win elections than outliers, like Sanders or Cruz. So what do you do when parties start losing in the political centre? Continue reading Centrism might not be the smartest strategy for European parties
Sunday’s elections in Germany are generally considered a serious blow to Chancellor Merkel’s stance on refugees. Her conservative party did not gain majorities in two states, and does have an easy government option in the other one. Meanwhile, the AfD, founded on the basis of criticism of her european policies and incorporating a growing anti-refugee sentiment, entered all three state legislatures with 12 to 24 percent of the vote. However, despite both AfD and Merkel’s CDU being on the right wing of politics, they are not the main competitors in this political shakeup. Continue reading The big loser was not Merkel
With the presidential elections this year, the exciting primaries including characters like Trump and Sanders, and now the dead or judge Scalia, possibly allowing Obama to nominate another Supreme Court judge, American politics could change along a number of interesting paths. Yet, the most pressing issue is often forgotten amongst partisan rhetorics – the tedious political struggle accompanied by bipartisan governments. Continue reading Who is partisan now?
The dominant theme in last year’s coverage of Germany and migration was simple: A broad societal consensus, with the two major parties behind Merkel publicly welcoming refugees and working on a diplomatic level in their interest, while civil society actors would help as much as they could. Within that frame it can be hard to see that other side of the story. Continue reading Let’s talk about that “welcome culture”
2016 started off with Riyadh executing an influential Shia cleric, resulting in a massive diplomatic crisis with Iran. This is not the only risk taken by the Gulf monarchs recently, raising a question: Why is the monarchy, once so careful, now so proactive in their foreign policy? Continue reading The Saudi Dilemma