There is an interesting (long) article in a recent issue of Time that writes about the rise of the far-right in Europe. One of the favorite shooting grounds of these parties are immigrants in general and Muslims in particular.
Parties such as the BNP (British National Party) of Great Britain won two seats in the European Parliament in June as did in the Netherlands Geert Wilders´Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom, PVV) grab second place in the Euro poll.
The article continues: “Around Europe a ragbag of extremist parties, as varied as the countries that produced them yet united by a vehement nationalism that singles out minority groups as a growing threat, scored in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Slovakia. Confronted with sliding economies and disappearing jobs, voters kicked the mainstream parties they held most responsible.”
Even though the article only mentions Finland once, we know that the True Finns (Perussuomalaiset/9.79% of the votes, a +9.25% gain) were the biggest winners of the Euro Parliament elections, with the Center (19.03%/-4.34%) and Social Democrats (17.54%/-3.72%) taking a beating.
One of the interesting points in the article is that these far-right parties have remade themselves. Like in Finland, some do not admit openly that they are in the “extreme right” nor that they are racist as True Finn President Timo Soini has said repeatedly.
The article continues: “Now outfits such as the BNP are learning from past mistakes: they’re slicker, and combine old-fashioned grassroots activism with Internet campaign techniques borrowed from the Obama playbook. They’re also well placed to exploit the disillusionment with traditional politics that has seen voter turnouts in European and national elections plummet, and membership of big parties dwindle.”
Even though it is always easy and sexier to be in the opposition, I wonder what these parties would do if they held a majority in the legislature and government?
How much of our civil lberties would they shelve in order to promote their political agendas?
Would all hell break loose?