I just read that LePen is not voting for any Candidate in the French Presidential Election. Marine LePen the leader of the National Front in France, and the candidate who stood third in the First Round of the French Presidential Vote has decided not to cast a vote for either the Right Wing Candidate Sarkozy or the Left Wing Candidate Hollande. She has been the most interesting candidate to watch as she has realised the version of Nationalist Parties which would succeed in Modern Europe are the authoritarian, but not extreme authoritarian, versions of SNP and Plaid Cymru. Only this would be palatable to the modern European Voter as Extremes are considered distasteful in that part of the world. Whether she can make the voters forget the history of the NF is a different matter altogether. In that sense parties such as the English Democrats or UKIP do much better in matters of public perception as they don’t carry the historical extremist baggage. If you read about the history of economics by the likes of people like Niall Ferguson etc you realise that Nationalist Parties with Socialist philosophies are the ones to generally do better during a recession. Europe, thanks to the Germans in the 1930′s, has already experienced the fruits of extreme Nationalism. Thus extreme Nationalists will always be abhorred there however moderate nationalist parties do have a chance to fill the gap between the liberal left-wing parties and authoritative right-wing parties. The concern I have about these nationalist parties is not their xenophobic views but their views on Globalisation. The issue which concerns me is that there is a chance that due to their increasing influence there maybe a partial rollback of positive political attitudes towards Globalisation in Europe. As such it would be very interesting to see if pro globalisation parties across the political spectrum can create policies which may calm the fears of the natural voters of these nationalist parties.
The Nationalists in Europe
May 2, 2012