March 2, 2016 - admin
Volume 42, Issue 1: Class Politics and the Reactionary Electorate
The recent election in Turkey resulted in a failure of left parties to unseat the ruling AKP, thought to be weak on the economy, as a result of its threat to personal freedom, and mired in corruption but it turned that campaign into one about security concerns to win an outright majority. While the Scottish National Party saw incredible gains in recent UK elections (at the expense of Labour in Scotland), overall the Conservatives increased their hold on Parliament, gaining a net 24 more seats. The Conservatives in Canada suffered a major defeat to the centrist Liberals, a result foreshadowed by the Conservative losses in Alberta months before. And in the USA, while everyone focuses on the upcoming presidential elections of 2016, conservative Republican candidates managed gains in local elections. At the same time, the leading candidates or strong challengers running for president in the USA are those politicians who appear to come from outside the political mainstream – candidates like Bernie Sanders for the Democrats and Donald Trump and Ben Carson among the Republicans. Each, in their own way, caters to a large and growing segment of dissatisfied voters. What is troubling is how the electorate seems not to take responsibility for those officials they elected to national office in the past, and how class politics is being set aside in favor of a populist right-wing rhetoric.