Wall Street Journal: The Left's Collapse… In Europe, that is.
Of late, the winning political formula in Europe is simple: Promise to ease heavy tax and regulatory burdens and shake up stagnant economies. The welfare system is seen as broken. France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi took this path to power. In the largest economy, Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel looks poised to defeat a divided left in September's elections.
Across the Continent, the left is in disarray. France's Socialist Party, which last won a Presidential election in the 1980s, refuses to move to the center -- and further sinks in the polls. Italy's leftist parties compromised themselves in a brief two-year stint in office, before Mr. Berlusconi swept them out in April of last year. The center-left ruling parties in Britain and Spain, which inherited economies revitalized by courageous politicians who implemented free-market ideas, are also in trouble.
Even in a recession so widely attributed to unfettered capitalism, socialists are unable to take advantage. Consider the results last week of elections for the European Parliament. Center-right parties gained in Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and across most of eastern Europe. Sweden, Denmark and Greece were exceptions. ...