The European ruling class might have gotten their first glimpse at pitchforks and torches over the weekend when anti-EU parties made gains across the continent. That doesn’t mean the European Parliament is being quickly ushered to the guillotine; but the anti-EU victories can’t possibly be a comforting sight to the bureaucrats who have run Europe’s economy for the last decade. From Scotland to Greece, citizens seem to be growing increasingly weary of the European experiment. A Margaret Thatcher renaissance seems to have swept Europe over the weekend.
Breitbart London began their report on the political earthquake by quoting Charles de Gaulle. “Europe is France and Germany. Everything else is just the garnishes.” (Actually, that’s pretty modest for a Frenchman.) In that light, the anti-EU victories throughout the rest of socialist-land (Europe) seem somewhat insignificant… But, that doesn’t mean they are unworthy of mention.
For the first time in British history (and, let’s face it, that’s not exactly an insignificant stretch of time) a political party with no MPs in the House of Commons has come in first in a national election. Britain’s United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) trounced its left leaning competitors, and beat out many of the center right, Euro-friendly, adversaries. The Euro-skeptic party sailed to a surprising victory by campaigning against the centralization of government, and the disintegration of UK sovereignty. Nigel Farage encapsulated the revolutionary feeling of the victories by declaring that the “people’s army” was on the march against the ruling class… He should be careful. Parliament is likely to begin taxing his tea at any moment.
The Spanish Socialists saw their political stock plummet over the weekend as their number of seats in Parliament fell by nearly half. (Don’t worry… I’m sure they’ll ask for the votes to be more “fairly” redistributed.)
The populist right-wing parties of Europe also made strides in Austria and Greece. Even France (I’m looking your way de Gaulle) saw right wing parties pick up roughly 20 seats. In other words: More Euro-skeptics will be sent to the European Parliament… And, heck, not all of them will speak with an English accent.
Germany, however, was a slightly different story. The anti-EU activists didn’t see much of a manifestation in Angela Merkel’s backyard. In fact, the pro-EU party of Merkel held fast to their majority. But, then again, why would the Germans give up the EU? I mean, heck, they pretty much are the EU right now. Charles De Gaulle, it turns out, might have had a bit of a point… The day UKIP is allowed to form EU Policy will be the day the Germans kindly excuse themselves from the party of central European power. (I would warn Germans to reconsider their enthusiasm for the EU… After all, who do you think will be asked to bail everyone else out when the experiment goes south?)
Both pundits and investors are showing a bit of anxiety over the proletariat’s apparent disdain for central European government. But, really, the elections are a good sign for the sovereignty of European states. It is also an encouraging sign for more coherent monetary and fiscal policy throughout the region. It might surprise EU-advocates to learn that the nations in the Eurozone differ widely, and therefore might perform better under a system that allows them more sovereignty.
The elections, however, are a disastrous omen for the bureaucracy loving admirers of centralized government. The success of Euro-skeptic parties across the continent basically articulate one uncomfortable fact for cheerleaders of big government: even European socialists can only handle so much “Utopia” before they start raging against the ruling elite.