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Home Opinion Ideas & Debate Progressive Coalitions for a Fragmented Left

Progressive coalitions for a fragmented left

Globalisation, the advent of the post-industrial knowledge-based economy and other sweeping societal transformations have all combined to radically change voter preferences and the electoral map. It is increasingly clear that the pressures of division and fragmented constituencies necessitate progressive coalition building among parties and actors on the centre-left, in particular within systems of proportional representation.

Focusing on experiences of coalition-building across Europe, this section aims to identify the latest developments in the balance of power between parties across the left and ask whether traditional "Volkspartei" – and especially social democratic parties- can still be the champions of a cross-coalition of voters.



The failure of Sweden's Red-Green alliance
Rather than propelling the Social Democrats to power it appears that the electoral alliance with the greens and the left party only served to antagonise traditional voters. Niklas Nordström argues that talk of a new political identity is futile unless it is based on our own values.
By Niklas Nordström


Bridging and bonding on the left
A volatile electorate has turned the Dutch political map on its head at the recent elections. A progressive alliance is but the first step in creating a powerful new ideological force, argue René Cuperus & Frans Becker of the Wiardi Beckman  Stifting, the thinktank of the Dutch Labour Party.
By René Cuperus & Frans Becker


Divided and defeated? The politics of a new social order
Fear, anger, and cynicism are the sentiments of our time. Looking at Germany and the SPD as a case-in-point, Oliver Schmolke, head of the SPD Parliamentary Group’s Policy Planning Unit, argues that bridging societal divisions will require social-liberal alliances and the return of political internationalism.
By Oliver Schmolke


The SPD's coalition moment?
As support for Germany's traditional "catch-all" parties declines, Charles Lees argues that Germany's changing political landscape might prove highly advantageous for the SPD if new coalition formulas are pursued with political courage and strategic imagination.
By Charles Lees


A common house for the left? The French Socialist's 2012 vision
The 2nd round of the French regional elections exemplifies how efficient coalition-building can catch floating voters and overcome traditional fragmentation and "factionalisation" within the progressive left. Le Monde's political editor, Michel Noblecourt, looks at the obstacles Martine Aubry's gauche solidaire will have to overcome during the 2012 presidential race.
By Michel Noblecourt