Political fear 

It's not a bad thing that these days it is basically too hot in these quarters to bother about Central European politics. The resulting lack of daily political activism spawns a distance that can be revealing. When our leading politicians take a step back from their habits, it seems, they become afraid, and rightly so.

What you get then is the conservative Austrian Chancellor proposing the Tobin tax [DE], his socialdemocrat challenger getting tough with asylum seekers [DE], and the Greens falling eerily silent about economic topics [no link].

Hypothesis: In all three cases, this is not Clinton-Blair-style triangulation, but rather it shows a lack of confidence in the own recipes, both party-internally and in confronts of the voter. It is not their fault, I'd say. Rather, we live through a moment when there is a profound lack of promising recipes in economic policy.

Enter, if you are in Germany, the PDS/WASG married couple, which keeps rising [DE] in the polls to currently 12% with its catchphrase that "four neoliberal parties [CDU, FDP, SPD, Greens] are enough for Germany". The WASG believes it has a recipe, courageously defended by Ulrich Maurer against a hostile podium from the established parties in last night's Sabine Christiansen [DE] discussion program on ARD television. Back to state interventionism and Keynes is a formula that is so out of fashion that its pull is almost irresistible.

I'd like to offer some kind of inspirational dialectic synthesis at this point, but my mind is blank. I'm still waiting for that refreshing thunderstorm that was promised for tonight.

[Alternate ending, less elegant: better education and innovation.]


and what is mr. haider proposing now? i know i has changed party. has he changed his mind also?

btw very nice blog. i'll keep following it!

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