Another weekend, another German regional election, this time in Berlin. And in stark contrast to the recent outcome in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV), the Berlin Senate result gave a much-needed boost to the Left Party. But some trends are still worrying: in both elections, waged workers supported the right-wing populist AfD over the democratic socialists; and unlike the … Continue reading germany’s shifting political landscape — part two: what’s next for the left party?
Sunday’s regional election in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) saw the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (Alternativ für Deutschland - AfD) make significant gains. Not a complete surprise, but shocking nonetheless. The party — which didn’t even exist at the last MV election — is now the second largest in the state (20.8%), behind … Continue reading germany’s shifting political landscape — part one: the election shock
(research notebook) Last week, frustrated by a stubbornly empty page and my equally blank mind, I opened up a new document, set my phone’s timer to five minutes and began to just write. I wrote non-stop about the first thing that came into my head, without pausing to think, without reviewing and without corrections, until the … Continue reading rip it up and start again — the power of ‘freewriting’
Electoral systems aren’t sexy. But we’re hearing more and more about them. In the UK and in Canada, debates are taking place about alternatives to the First Past the Post (FPTP) majoritarian system. This blog looks at one of those alternatives — Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) — and answers some common questions and concerns, … Continue reading electoral reform: time for a sense of proportion
This is the second of two posts offering a theory-based interpretation of the current Labour leadership crisis. Part One set out the various faces of the party — the party in office/parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the grassroots membership and activists (party on the ground) — and how Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader has upset … Continue reading the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part two)
Still keeping up with the goings on in the Labour Party? Every day, there’s another twist and turn (of the knife). All of which leaves little time or energy for confronting the government or listening to the communities who have shunned Labour (or did Labour shun them first?). What explains the dramatic rift between the … Continue reading the faces of labour’s leadership conflict (part one)
A big lesson from Brexit is that while change is inevitable, there is nothing inevitable about positive change. With this in mind, the Green Party of England and Wales has sent an open letter [full text here] urging the respective leaders of the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru to explore the possibilities for a … Continue reading a progressive alliance for positive, democratic change
This is the first of a series of posts reflecting on the Brexit vote. I did start writing an earlier piece trying to make sense of my feelings right after the result, but it was a little overwrought! Even now, nearly two weeks later, it’s difficult to keep up with all that’s happening. But ideas … Continue reading after the brexit vote: more of the same — but more so?
Recently we’ve heard voices from Germany urging the UK not to vote to leave the EU. Chancellor Angela Merkel stated, “I personally hope and wish that Britain will stay part and parcel of the European Union” before suggesting that the UK wouldn’t be able to achieve the same “quality of compromise” in post-Brexit negotiations. Meanwhile, … Continue reading ‘der brexit’? views from the german left
It’s unusual for me to sit on the fence about any important political issue. But the decision whether to remain in or leave the EU has been a uniquely long and complex one, full of contradictions and riddled with doubt — hence the inordinate length of time it’s taken to write this piece. I'm not … Continue reading leave or remain? the story of a conflicted decision