Saturday, May 28

The mess keeps going

In 2016, when Prime Minister David Cameron, after surprisingly and remarkably successful in the general election, called a referendum on Britain’s continued membership in the European Union, it occurred to virtually hardly anyone that the result was going to be what it was. And yet, it was what it was. On June 23, British citizens decided to end Great Britain’s integration into the EU.

A few months later, in the presidential elections in November in the United States, although almost all opinion polls assumed that Hillary Clinton would be the new president of the country, it was Donald Trump who ended up occupying the White House. He was about to stay in it after losing the elections.

A few months ago, another pillar of the post-World War II world order collapsed in the elections held in Germany. The Christian Democratic party, the CDU, has not been just another European party, but has undoubtedly been the most important piece on the European continent of said world order. Although it is not the first time that he has stopped occupying the Government, it is the first time that he has stopped occupying it in the way he has done. On the two previous occasions, it was still a ruling party, even though it was in opposition. It is enough to remember who their leaders were in those periods, Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel, who would end up being Federal Chancellor for sixteen years each.

For five years in France no candidate from the two parties that have held the presidency of the Fifth Republic has participated in the second round of the presidential elections. On two occasions, in 1969 and 2002, the candidate of the Socialist Party did not participate, but the candidate of the Republican right had never failed to be present. In the last elections there has been no presence of either of them.

This Sunday the first round of the French presidential elections is celebrated and the trend that the polls are showing are disturbing. Although Emmanuel Macron is still the candidate most likely to renew the mandate as president, Marine Le Pen is closing the gap, bringing her closer in some polls to what is considered the margin of error of any poll.

We could continue with Italy and Spain and almost all European countries. In Western democracies, what we have traditionally called the “party system” is ceasing to exist. There are parties, but there is no party system that transmits reliability within each country and in the relations of each of them with the others.

In these circumstances Russia has launched the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, who has been trying since he became president of Russia to mess up the political systems of Western democratic countries, has perhaps made a miscalculation by thinking that Western democracies were even more deteriorated than they really are and that it would be difficult that could respond to an onslaught like the one Russia has staged with the invasion of Ukraine.

It is clear that the first attack has failed, but the outcome of the confrontation that is taking place is far from having been resolved. This past Sunday we have witnessed the resounding triumph of Viktor Orbán in Hungary, where, by the way, the great conference of the American right is going to be held this year. Let’s cross our fingers for what may happen in France in the coming weeks and what the progressive incorporation of Vox into the Governments of Autonomous Communities may mean, which may end their participation in the State Government after general elections.

There are many Putin fifth columnists in the rest of Europe and even in the United States. And it should not be forgotten that it is much easier to destroy than to build. Although surprisingly the reaction of the EU has surprised positively, I do not think the same can be said of each of the Member States. The disorder continues to advance.