Much soiling of silky shorts in European corridors of power today, as one-worlders, socialists and "progressive thinkers" recoil in horror at the sweeping gains made in European Parliament elections by Eurosceptic and right-wing parties. BBC News headlines the story "Eurosceptic 'earthquake' rocks EU elections".
The aim of parties like France's Front National and Britain's United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is to slash the powers of the European Union or, even better, abolish it altogether. Their countries, they say, have all but completely ceded national sovereignty to the huge and unwieldy EU, making it impossible to determine their own destinies or even control their own borders. (If you think that means "restrict immigration", you're probably right!)
Yesterday, 21 of the EU's 28 nations held elections to choose representatives to the European Parliament. The other seven countries, including Britain and the Netherlands, had voted earlier in the week. And the big winner? ... May I have the envelope, please? ... Step forward France, where Marine Le Pen's Front National topped the polls with 26% support -— 4.1 million votes.
In her victory speech, Mme Le Pen said, "The sovereign people have spoken...acclaiming they want to take back the reins of their destiny!" She called the results "the first step in a long march to liberty." See "Against Islamization, the French send in La Marine!"
Need I tell you that the French government took a rather different view. Prime Minister Manuel Valls called the National Front win "more than a news alert...it is a shock, an earthquake." And President François Hollande is supposed to be holding a crisis meeting -- his office called it "urgent talks" -- with his top ministers even as Walt writes.
But France is not the only country experiencing widespread disillusionment with the EU and the Islamization of Europe. (Don't kid yourself. That's what this is really all about!) In Not-so-great Britain, Nigel Farage, leader of the fiercely Eurosceptical United Kingdom Independence Party, said, "It does look to me [like] UKIP is going to win this election and yes, that will be an earthquake, because never before in the history of British politics has a party that is seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election."
The first official results announced late Sunday had UKIP at about 30% -- 12% better than their result in the last European elections in 2009.
In Denmark, although the governing Social Democrats hung onto their five seats to remain the biggest Danish party in the European Parliament, the big winner was the populist Danish People's Party, which gained three seats for a total of four.
In Germany, a year-old party that wants that country to stop using the euro single currency reportedly won 6.7% of the vote.
In Greece, the leftist Eurosceptic Syriza party led with 26.49%, but the far-right Golden Dawn party finished a respectable third, with 9.33%.
In the Netherlands, however, the right-wing Party for Freedom, led by Geert Wilders surprisingly dropped a seat from five to four. As the Dutch voted in one representative each from a radical feminist party and an animal rights group, it's just possible that they didn't take the exercise very seriously. However, Mr. Wilders, optimistic as ever, said his party looked forward to working with Mme Le Pen, calling her "the next French president."
Are there any lessons in this for American and Canadian political parties? Probably not. Lamestream pundits in the USA are pushing the line that this year's mid-terms will show the Tea Party on the wane, with moderate Republicans moving the GOP towards the centre. And, as Ron Paul and a long line of others have found out, it's all but impossible to get Americans to actually vote for any group which the media call "extreme"... even if the "extremism" is in defence of liberty and personal freedom.
Canada is even worse. The old-line Conservative and Liberal parties are not nearly as far to the right or left as their names would suggest. Rather, they are parties of the "radical centre". Even the New [sic] Democratic Party, nominally of the left, hews so close to the centre that its members have changed the party anthem to "The Very Pale Pink Flag". Don't look for any political earthquakes in North America any time soon.