Sánchez Is the Reasonable Choice in Spain’s Election
As long as Spain’s mainstream right would rather do a deal with the far right than the center-left, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’ Socialists are the most reasonable choice in the country’s general election on Sunday.
Sánchez’ only possible partners are the far-left Podemos and regionalists from the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Catalonia and Valencia. Even if, as the polls predict, the Socialists expand their plurality in Congress, the next coalition government could be unwieldy.
Podemos will require concessions and its platform is full of unwise proposals, from abolishing spy agencies to nationalizing energy companies to withdrawing from international trade deals.
If the regionalists end up as kingmakers, they can be expected to leverage their position to extract more money from Madrid. The two largest parties in Catalonia insist they will only back Sánchez if he comes out in favor of a legal independence referendum. Sánchez insists he won’t.
But those complications are preferable to the alternative: a hard-right government that would need the Franco apologists in Vox for its majority and exacerbate the separatist crisis in Catalonia by once again suspending self-government in this part of Spain. Read more
Left-Right Coalition Would Be Best Outcome for Italy
There are two realistic outcomes to Italy’s election on Sunday: a right-wing government that includes the xenophobic Brothers of Italy and Northern League or a German-style grand coalition between Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Democrats.
The second would be better for Italy and for Europe. To make that outcome more likely, Italians should vote for the center-left. Read more
There is little doubt Angela Merkel will win reelection in Germany on Sunday. Her Christian Democrats are projected to win up to 40 percent support against 25 percent for the second party, the Social Democrats.
The two could continue to share power in a “grand coalition”, but we’re hoping the liberal Free Democrats will win enough seats to help form a center-right government instead.
Polls suggest that the two parties might just fall short of a majority. Conservative and liberal voters who want to keep the left out of power ought to give the Free Democrats their support. Read more
Liberal Democrats Are the Least Bad Option in Britain’s Election
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
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
Hillary Clinton Is the Only Serious Candidate in This Election
Four years ago, the Atlantic Sentinel was split on whether to endorse Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for president. We share the Democrats’ social liberalism and respected the president’s foreign policy, but we were drawn to the Republican’s energy and fiscal policies.
This year, it’s no contest at all. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, is totally unfit for the office he seeks. Read more
France and Poland team up to block a trade pact with South America, fearing cheap agricultural imports. Opposition to a trade agreement with the United States grows in Germany and Italy, possibly dooming the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Countries in Central Europe feel squeezed in between their former occupier Russia and an accommodating Germany.
It’s as though the last few weeks have been a preview of what the European Union might look like without the United Kingdom.
The British vote in a referendum next week whether to stay in the EU or leave. We hope a majority will vote “remain”, which is the better option for everyone. Read more