Liberal Democrats Are the Least Bad Option in Britain’s Election

British Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron
British Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron (Shutterstock/Finbarr Webster)

This British election is an impossible choice for liberals like us.

We can’t possibly support Jeremy Corbyn, whose policies of nationalization and unilateral nuclear disarmament would compound the disaster of Brexit — which he did far too little to prevent — many times over.

But we are not impressed with Theresa May either. She was the best possible candidate to succeed David Cameron last summer, but only because the alternatives were worse. Many British voters could make the same calculation this week. Read more “Liberal Democrats Are the Least Bad Option in Britain’s Election”

Four-Party Talks to Form Dutch Government Collapse

Mark Rutte
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte arrives in Brussels for a meeting with other European leaders, February 12, 2015 (European Council)
  • Four-party talks in the Netherlands to form a coalition government have collapsed.
  • Immigration, climate and income policy were among the most divisive issues.
  • The liberal party of caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte had been negotiating with the Christian Democrats, liberal Democrats and Greens since the election in March.
  • The obvious next step is to swap the Greens for the Christian Union. Read more “Four-Party Talks to Form Dutch Government Collapse”

Emmanuel Macron Wins Election in France

Emmanuel Macron
Former French economy minister Emmanuel Macron changes his tie on a train, December 31, 2016 (Facebook)
  • Emmanuel Macron, France’s former economy minister, has defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen with 66 to 34 percent support.
  • Macron is slated to be inaugurated as the eighth president of the Fifth Republic next week. He will serve a five-year term.
  • His next test will come in June, when France holds parliamentary elections. Macron’s centrist party, En Marche!, has no seats in the National Assembly. Read more “Emmanuel Macron Wins Election in France”

France Eyes Macron-Le Pen Runoff After First Voting Round

  • The French voted in the first round of their presidential election on Sunday.
  • The centrist Emmanuel Macron placed first with 24 percent support, followed by nationalist party leader Marine Le Pen at 21.3 percent.
  • The center-right Republican candidate, François Fillon, the far-left Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the ruling Socialist Party’s Benoît Hamon were eliminated from the contest.
  • A runoff between the two leading contenders is scheduled for Sunday, May 7.
  • Surveys show Macron beating Le Pen by a 20- to 30-point margin. Read more “France Eyes Macron-Le Pen Runoff After First Voting Round”

Elect Macron to Move France Forward

Emmanuel Macron
Former French economy minister Emmanuel Macron changes his tie on a train, December 31, 2016 (Facebook)

For once, the French are spoilt for choice.

Their presidential elections used to be a battle for the center between the mainstream left and the mainstream right. Now there are five candidates with a reasonable chance of qualifying for the second voting round in May, including a big-government socialist, a small-government conservative, a nationalist of the left and a nationalist of the right.

Our sympathies lie with the fifth man in the middle: Emmanuel Macron. Comfortable with neither the statist inclinations of the Socialist Party nor the social conservatism of the Republicans, he launched his own progressive movement last year for the rejuvenation of France. It represents the best alternative to the anti-globalism of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen. Read more “Elect Macron to Move France Forward”

Trump Strikes Syrian Base in Wake of Chemical Attack

The American guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens fires a missile at an airborne drone during a live fire weapons shoot in the Pacific Ocean, September 20, 2012
The American guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens fires a missile at an airborne drone during a live fire weapons shoot in the Pacific Ocean, September 20, 2012 (USN/Paul Kelly)
  • American cruise missiles struck a Syrian air base near Homs early on Friday from which the United States said a chemical attack had been launched earlier in the week.
  • It was the first direct American military action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in six years. Read more “Trump Strikes Syrian Base in Wake of Chemical Attack”

The European Union at Sixty Reading List

Europe celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on Saturday, which created the European Economic Community that has since morphed into the EU.

It’s a day to appreciate what has been achieved: sixty years of peace and comity between the peoples of Europe.

But it’s also a day to look to the future. Europe, after all, is not done. Nor can European unification be taken for granted. Britain is leaving. For the first time in its history, the EU has a president in Washington who doesn’t support it. And it must cope with a president in Moscow who actively seeks to undermine the European project.

The Atlantic Sentinel has selected several stories from its archive to help readers understand where the EU is at — and where it is going. Read more “The European Union at Sixty Reading List”

Dutch Mainstream Defeats Populist Geert Wilders

  • Prime Minister Mark Rutte won the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Preliminary results put his liberal VVD in the lead to form the next government.
  • The Christian Democrats (CDA), left-liberal D66 and nationalist Freedom Party (PVV) would share second place.
  • The Greens have overtaken Labor as the largest party on the left.
  • Given that all major parties have ruled out a pact with the Freedom Party, a coalition of four or five parties close to the center is expected to come to power. Read more “Dutch Mainstream Defeats Populist Geert Wilders”

French Socialists Nominate Far-Left Hamon for Presidency

Benoît Hamon
French Socialist Party lawmaker Benoît Hamon (Alchetron)
  • French Socialists nominated Benoît Hamon, a former education minister, as their presidential candidate on Sunday.
  • Hamon got 58 percent support in a second voting round against 41 percent for his opponent, the former prime minister Manuel Valls.
  • Hamon is to the left of the party. His policies include the legalization of marijuana and the introduction of a universal basic income. Read more “French Socialists Nominate Far-Left Hamon for Presidency”

Hamon, Valls Push Montebourg Out of French Presidential Contest

  • Former education minister Benoît Hamon and former prime minister Manuel Valls have won the first voting round in the French Socialist Party’s presidential primary.
  • Arnaud Montebourg, a former industry minister, finished third. He has endorsed his fellow leftist Hamon.
  • Polls suggest Valls, a social democrat, would be more competitive in a general election. Read more “Hamon, Valls Push Montebourg Out of French Presidential Contest”