Letter from …

Letter from … Berlin

Michael Miebach  |  16 September 2013

Would this be possible in the United Kingdom? Only two months before the elections, German chancellor Angela Merkel went off for a three-week holiday. This year, hiking in South Tyrol has only partly to do with relaxation: with her conservative CDU-CSU leading by 15 percentage points over the SPD in the polls, Merkel wants this …

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Letter from … Sydney

Richard Angell  |  4 July 2013

From afar all looks well for our Australian cousins. A Labor government has delivered sustainable growth and ensured this is the only country in the G20 not to suffer recession following the global financial crisis. Domestically, it is making majoritarian, nation-building investments in public life that sit firmly in the centre-ground of politics but are …

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Letter from … Ottawa

Andrew Cardozo  |  10 June 2013

Canadian politics could be in for a change, as we now have three parties with strong leaders. Once again. Or so it seems. The venerable Liberal party, which got quite a drubbing in May 2011’s general election, has elected a dynamic and charismatic leader, 41-year-old Justin Trudeau, the son of the popular, albeit controversial, Pierre …

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Letter from … Paris

Renaud Thillaye  |  15 May 2013

The cheers that accompanied François Hollande’s election seem a distant dream. Dismal economic results, a terrible press at home and abroad, and confusion about what the French president stands for, marred the anniversary of his first year in office on 6 May. His ratings have plummeted from more than 60 per cent in May 2012 …

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Something old, something new

Shamik Das  |  5 April 2013

The left may have fallen short in Italy, but we can learn from its campaign nonetheless, reports Shamik Das It may seem perverse to talk about the lessons we can learn from Italy’s recent deadlocked election – the one in which the crook, the comedian and the centre-left candidate shared the spoils, while the technocrat …

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Treading water

Michael Miebach  |  7 March 2013

Despite the need for reform in Germany, the SPD will have difficulty dislodging Angela Merkel this year, says Michael Miebach Six out of 10 Germans say they are dissatisfied with Angela Merkel’s conservative-liberal coalition. They have good reason: the government is mainly associated with reducing the taxes of hotel-owners, controversial social measures, and zigzagging on …

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A cheap political pantomime

Paul Howes  |  4 February 2013

Paul Howes reports on the unappetising prelude to Australia’s general election campaign ‘An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry,’ wrote George Eliot in 1866. 2013 might be an election year in Australia, but there are no signs of universal peace, …

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Letter from … Stockholm

Nick Pearce  |  28 November 2012

After a difficult decade, the Swedish social democrats have set clear priorities and are riding high in the polls, finds Nick Pearce For many years in Britain admiration for the ‘Swedish model’ was a preserve of the left. That started to change in 2006, when the centre-right Moderate party took power in Sweden under the …

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Letter from … Virginia

Sarah Bickerstaffe  |  30 October 2012

Winning the ground game The Obama campaign is at once highly centralised and localised ‘Welcome to the president’s campaign!’ This was the message I woke up to on my first day with Organizing for America, the grassroots campaign to re-elect President Obama. The field organiser delivering the wake-up call told me to get ready – …

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Letter from … The Hague

René Cuperus  |  28 September 2012

The return of the political centre René Cuperus on the dramatic comeback of the Dutch Labour party in last month‘s general election The story of the Dutch general election last month is a tale in two dramatic chapters. The first, of polls predicting a historic collapse of the political centre, and the second of the …

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