Much of Europe held elections over the past week and weekend. And
just as in the US elections last year, the prevailing winds were to
toss out the powers that were and install a person or party that
promised to ease the hurting.

Europe has been in turmoil. Now the backlash comes.

However, this voting pattern does not derive from
nostalgia for Hitler and Mussolini, but far more simply from the way
that every European government has bent over backwards to favor Muslim
immigrants over local populations. In one country after another, the
government has privileged Muslim immigrants in matters of welfare
benefits, housing, communal subsidies, concessions over customs that
are illegal and brutal but supposed to be untouchable because
sanctioned by Islam, and even in the practice of law. The ensuing
Islamization of the continent is the source of immense popular anger,
hitherto unexpressed.

The European Parliament felt the backlash, too.

Center-right parties emerged Monday from European
Parliament elections claiming triumph over left-of-center groupings
that failed to draw political advantage from their adversaries’
handling of the global economic crisis.

Europeans across 27 countries voted between Thursday and Saturday
for the 736 seats in the European Parliament, an institution with
growing powers but still a low profile…

With the turnout at a record low 43 percent of the 388 million
eligible voters, provisional results showed governing center-right
parties in Germany, France, Italy and Belgium advancing along with
center-right opposition groups in Britain and Spain.

What’s happening here (or, there)?

Heather Grabbe, director of the Open Society Institute
in Brussels, said two striking features of the elections were the
failure of the left to make a significant impact and the advances by
the far-right and other fringe parties. In the Netherlands, the
anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders won about 15 percent of the vote,
according to early results.

Exit polls predicted the Austrian far-right Freedom Party would
double its vote from its showing in 2004, to 13 percent, while in
Denmark the anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party was also projected to
double its 2004 tally.

This is an interesting analysis vis-a-vis American politics…

“At a time of crisis,” Ms. Grabbe said, “people often
lose faith in the established political parties, but they will
typically move to the left when there is the prospect of higher
unemployment, in the hope that the state will look after them.”

Which happened here in the US. But when things get worse…

“This is a wake-up call to politicians,” she added.
“People no longer believe the narrative, particularly from the left, of
how to organize the economy and society.”

So the people took change into their hands. US politicians facing 2010 elections no doubt heard this call.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....