Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Social democrats are in decline, issues involving refugees and extremists have harmed them

In Slovakia, social democracy has continued but in Europe it is in decline. It fails to face extremists, or to talk about refugees.

L-R: Former Czech PM Jiří Paroubek is out, and now evne his party declines; Slovak PM Fico holds on.(Source: Sme)

It used to be an election tradition that the only open question was who gets more votes. Since World War II, the Social Democrats have been missing in only three Austrian cabinets.

When the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern left the meeting with his probable successor – People's Party leader Sebastian Kurz – on October 22, he seemed far from enthusiastic. He said only that the Social Democrats of the SPÖ party must prepare for opposition. “It was clear we would find little in common,” the Austrian Standard daily quoted him as saying.

At the same time, when the Austrian government started to shift more to the right, the Czech Social Democrats were searching their collective conscience. Their election defeat is part of a Europe-wide trend, however, as the driving force of European politics moves ever more towards the margins. Who is to blame?

They stopped interesting people

“This is a tragedy,” vice-chair of the Czech ČSSD party, Jan Birke, reacted to their election results. “The party which won the previous election with 20 percent is now on a mere seven percent, and is preparing for opposition.”

“We should probably have talked more about what we are doing,” the party leader, Lubomír Zaorálek, commented on the result, as cited by the ihned.cz website.

Behind the slump in votes for the ČSSD is not just their failure to present their achievements or to manage the summer cabinet crisis but rather something which social democrats in other countries also tend to struggle with.

-How has the situation with Social Democrats chairing the cabinets changed? Is there a chance to return to truly social issues and to use new ones?

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access


29 €
You save 17.80 € compared with monthly subsription
9.90 €
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
0.98 €
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90€

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

UPDATED: Enough of Smer, people chanted in streets Photo

The resignation of the government is not enough. The crowd called for early elections.

Fico fell. These are good, not perfect, developments

Unlike Kaczyński’s case there are two other parties in the coalition with Smer who can still bring the government down at any time.

Media are the ultimate frontiers in defending freedom in society today

Miklós Haraszti’s keynote speech at the Budapest award ceremony of the European Press Prize, March 14, 2018.

Fico is going. So why does the crisis continue?

These 10 answers will help you understand why the coalition’s decision to rebuild the government from scratch does not satisfy the critics and protesting masses.

Most-Híd chair Béla Bugár comes to the Government Office, March 13.