Letter from …

Letter from … Valletta

Joseph Muscat  |  24 August 2015

An old adage has it that a rightwing politician who ‘borrows’ progressive ideas is smart, while a social democrat who takes a leaf out of the book of commonsense conservatism is a traitor. Political parties are not pressure groups. Their aim is not to press government to make changes, but to be in government and make those changes. …

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Letter From … Ottawa

Andrew Cardozo  |  7 July 2015

The next federal election in Canada takes place on 19 October – and it is pretty difficult to tell what will happen. The three major parties are running neck and neck in the public opinion polls – the Conservatives, the New Democratic party and the Liberal party. In addition, the Quebec separatist party, the Bloc Québécois, which was almost …

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Letter from … Norwich North

Jessica Asato  |  31 March 2015

I sit writing this after listening to George Osborne’s budget with my new baby girl sleeping nearby. Since I have had a child I worry even more about what the decisions being made today might mean for her in the next 20 or 30 years. Issues which were once a matter of high principle become …

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Letter from … Queensland

Sam Dastyari  |  17 March 2015

On the last Saturday in January, the people of Queensland kicked out a conservative government, led by former army officer and lord mayor of Brisbane, Campbell Newman. The result astonished everyone, including the Queensland state Labor party. On the eve of the vote, as I called my friends in the party around the Sunshine State, …

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Letter from … Israel

Marcus Roberts  |  12 February 2015

Let’s face it. As important for Britain as election 2015 may be, so far it has not been the most interesting spectacle. #IlovetheNHS versus #longtermeconomicplan does not always surprise and delight. Israel’s election, on the other hand, is worlds apart. In this we have the suddenness of the snap poll as Binyamin Netanyahu’s patience with coalition …

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Letter from … Stockholm

Katrine Marçal  |  3 December 2014

Social democracy has not returned to Sweden. For something to come back it needs to have been gone in the first place. The most astounding thing about the election of Social Democratic prime minister Stefan Löfven in September was how quickly his predecessor, Fredrik Reinfeldt, was forgotten. Reinfeldt, the centre-right leader who had governed Sweden for …

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Letter from… Sydney

Bruce Hawker  |  5 November 2014

As backbench pressure mounts on David Cameron to either strike some sort of deal with Nigel Farage or co-opt his policies, it is time to ask: what is the prime minister’s campaign director, Lynton Crosby, planning? The answer might be found by looking at Crosby’s campaign history. In 2001 he was directing Australian prime minister …

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Letter from … Paris

Gérard Grunberg  |  2 October 2014

Ideological divisions within the French Socialists are nothing new for a party whose refounding moment in 1971 saw it seek to make a clear break with capitalism. But, today, these divisions have taken on new gravity, for three main reasons. The first is that, up until now, these divisions have been expressed above all when …

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Letter from … Wrocław

Michal Syska  |  17 September 2014

After the fall of communism, central and eastern European states faced the challenge of building pluralist party systems, requiring authoritarian communist parties to adapt. Most underwent a reorientation towards social democracy and in time became the strongest leftwing parties in their respective states – including in Poland. Here the postcommunist social democratic left, represented by …

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Letter From … Tel Aviv

Hilik Bar  |  15 July 2014

The political commentator Yossi Verter recently suggested in the Haaretz newspaper that the chair of the Israeli Labor party, Isaac Herzog, ‘gives the impression of being a figure who could endanger Benjamin Netanyahu’s election to a fourth term as prime minister’. There are stirrings in the air to suggest just that possibility. One of the sad hallmarks of …

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