The Instigator
Debatasaurus
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Balacafa
Con (against)
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Current European governments are generally left-wing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 380 times Debate No: 76847
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

Debatasaurus

Pro

This debate will have 5 rounds that should go on the lines of this:

1st: Opening statement, how you will structure the debate, initial thoughts and arguments.
2nd AND 3rd: More strong arguments, concrete, but no discussion regarding the opponent"s arguments.
4th: First comments about opponent"s arguments, arguments directed against opponent, more arguments for your opinion
5th: More of what is in 4th round, plus concluding discussion and statement.

I am not too strict about sources; I accept the use of Wikipedia as a source. In fact, I won"t mind if no source is given, so long as the statistics used or statements made are valid and not made up. If they are flatly contradicted by a reliable source, then I will not consider them.

I will argue that, overall, the major incumbent governments of Europe are generally left wing, meaning they roll the state forward regarding economics and they are very liberal. This is an interesting idea, because if it is true, the UK may want to consider its position in the European Union; as, economically, some see the UK as more like its English speaking friend across the pond, and its potential is being stifled by its European neighbours in the EU. This is something to think about regarding the UK"s referendum next year whether to stay in the EU or not.

I will describe what makes the major governments of Europe, including of Germany, France, and Italy, left-wing, in order of their population size.
Balacafa

Con

I accept this debate because I believe that European governments are generally right wing. Many of the major governments (in my opinion) are rights wing which I will explain in further detail in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Debatasaurus

Pro

First up, I would like to discuss Germany. It is the largest member of the EU by population size and by economic size. It is also one of if not the dominating force behind the EU. In the 2013 federal election, the CDU/CSU (led by Angela Merkel) won their largest victory ever, with almost half the seats of the Bundestag. The CDU is about centre-right, while its Bavarian sibling, the CSU, is more left-wing. The CDU/CSU"s old coalition partner was the FDP, a right wing party that has shown signs in the past of tending further towards the right, especially regarding economic liberalism. For the first time in German history, it failed to gain any Bundestag seats. Instead, Merkel had to turn to the SPD, the social democrat party, for a coalition. The SPD is the oldest German party and its founding principles were highly influenced by Marxist ideals that prevailed at the time. While it has moved more towards the centre from the far left, it is still a left wing party. It strongly supports the social market economy complete with strong welfare. The fact that German voters brought in more left-wing politicians into the Bundestag shows that Germany is becoming more left-wing. A key feature of the 2013 campaign was the promise by the winners of strong European integration and the need to counter eurosceptism, so a left-wing government of the EU's largest nation that is trying to integrate Europe further is likely to cause Europe to be ver more left-wing.

Germany"s tax revenue as a share of GDP is 37.3%. This is quite high compared with that of the USA, 24.1%, and of Japan, 26.9%. Germany has a social market economy, which is similar to a coordinated market economy rather than a completely free market, and it has a long history of one. It follows that if Germany, a driving force of the EU, has many social economic features, then it will, whether consciously or subconsciously, cause the European economy as a whole to have similar features. So, having looked at Germany, it seems that at least one major European government has quite left-wing tendencies.
Balacafa

Con

Balacafa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Debatasaurus

Pro

Having looked at the largest EU nation and finding that it is becoming increasingly left-wing, I now move on to its main partner in the EU, and one that makes Germany appear strongly right-wing: France. France is the second largest EU nation (based on the most recent figures) and is considered part of the core of the EU. In the 2012 French presidential elections, Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party displaced the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the UMP, a centre-right party. Hollande"s campaign featured promises to increase tax on the wealthy as well as decrease the retirement age. He also criticized the austerity brought by the Eurozone crisis, not too dissimilar to the Greek SYRIZA party currently making headlines. This, as his party name also suggests, is quite a strong sign of a left-wing presidential candidate. And he won the election. Sarkozy, meanwhile, lurched to the right in the second round of the campaign, and lost his presidency.
The next largest EU country by population (excluding the UK), Italy, also recently saw a victory for left-wing politics. The left-wing Democratic Party, in alliance with other left-wing parties, managed to achieve a majority in one of the houses but not in the other, so a centre-based coalition was needed for that.

This chart (https://upload.wikimedia.org...) shows the percentage tax revenue is of the total national GDP for OECD member countries. What is so striking about it is that it is European countries that dominate the top of the list, with the top five being Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and Norway; while the bottom five are South Korea, Turkey, the USA, Chile and Mexico. Europe is clearly very keen on its taxes. Europe is, in some ways, one of the more reluctant continents regarding globalisation and expanding world trade. The EU is, essentially, a customs union; though it encourages trade within it imposes tariffs and taxes on exports from without. The TTIP, a trade agreement that is now being forged between the US and the EU, is facing difficulties from protests from Europe, not America. Many Europeans do not like the idea of corporate power and are therefore reluctant to accept TTIP. All this suggests that Europe, and specifically the EU, is overtly left-wing and a discussion about the UK"s role in the EU is warranted.

In the next round, I will have a look at other political events and systems in Europe and hopefully complete the portrait of a continent with increasingly left-wing politics.

And, concerning my opponent's forfeiture of round 2, I don't mind if he/she will like to include their argument for round 2 with that of round 3 or in the comments.
Balacafa

Con

Balacafa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Debatasaurus

Pro

Debatasaurus forfeited this round.
Balacafa

Con

Balacafa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Debatasaurus

Pro

Debatasaurus forfeited this round.
Balacafa

Con

Balacafa forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Debatasaurus 1 year ago
Debatasaurus
Thank you for all your comments. If the next round is also forfeited by my opponent, then I will address your arguments in the next round. Otherwise, I will respond to them here.

As I said in my introduction that my purpose is to deal with the future of the UK in the EU, I am focusing on the major EU governments excluding the UK. And, while from across the Atlantic Ireland may seem a major nation (!), it is quite a small nation in the EU so I will deal with it on a much smaller extent than others if at all.

If you are interested in the EU, I recommend this book: "The Trouble with Europe" (http://www.amazon.co.uk...), written by an economist. I don't think you can get an accurate assessment of the EU's economic success from the EU's website. The EU's purpose is very different than what it has actually done. While I am not totally against the EU - it does bring some major benefits - I am aware that it is not perfect and does bring many problems, and these need to be considered by the UK.
Posted by Episteme 1 year ago
Episteme
Further, since the EU is trying to develop TTIP, doesn't that indicate that it wants to do business with the United States and that it is willing to be part of a global economy? It's not a very isolationist move. What would be isolationist would be if the UK were to leave the EU, thereby securing that the UK doesn't really want to be part of the global economy. TTIP is an agreement with the EU and the US - not just the UK. Also, remember, that Ireland is another important country and they are not likely to leave the EU. This is what TTIP plans on doing:

opening up the US to EU firms
helping cut red tape that firms face when exporting
setting new rules to make it easier and fairer to export, import and invest overseas.

You know why some Europeans are against TTIP? One reason is because they fear that the US will have lower standards in regards to product quality and bring down all the rest of the product standards already set here. I don't blame anyone for thinking that the US could possibly have products that aren't up to scratch. Some American's are also against TTIP because they're worried about less financial regulations and an end to the US being as hegemonic as it is. (American's must have known the power would end eventually.) Although these are concerns, TTIP could be beneficial for the countries involved or it could be a total disaster where all our products are just ridiculously cheap for ridiculously high prices.

http://ec.europa.eu...
Posted by Episteme 1 year ago
Episteme
The point of the EU was never to stifle competition and it hasn't. The point of the EU is , "To promote economic and social progress. This involves the single market, the euro, environmental protection and social and regional development." The European Commission told RBS to sell itself off to become a much smaller banking organisation. They were told to divest as a slap on the wrist for having to be bailed out by the UK.It was intended to promote competition because otherwise RBS, with the help of the UK government, would potentially become the largest bank in Europe. Monopolies aren't really wanted in a free market or a market that wants economic or social progress.

"Europe is, in some ways, one of the more reluctant continents regarding globalisation and expanding world trade. The EU is, essentially, a customs union; though it encourages trade within it imposes tariffs and taxes on exports from without. The TTIP, a trade agreement that is now being forged between the US and the EU, is facing difficulties from protests from Europe, not America. Many Europeans do not like the idea of corporate power and are therefore reluctant to accept TTIP."

"Europe is the world's largest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and is itself the biggest export market for around 80 countries." This is from europa.eu. How does this indicate that the EU is reluctant regarding globalisation? To say that 'many europeans do not like the idea of corporate power' is misleading. The US doesn't actually have the lowest corporate tax rate, in fact some EU countries are lower in regards to their corporate tax rate. Does that mean that American's don't like corporate power?

http://www.citizensinformation.ie...
http://ec.europa.eu...
http://taxfoundation.org...
Posted by Existentia 1 year ago
Existentia
The EU is, as an institution, pretty right-wing. It's telling Greece to make further cuts and impose further austerity. These aren't left-wing ideas. Given how well Front National did in France or UKIP did in the UK in the recent European elections, I wouldn't say each country is, either.
To be fair, Germany has a right-wing chancellor. The Conservative Party in the UK are pretty right-wing. Ireland has a coalition between Fine Gael (the right-wing party) and Labour. Poland's Prime Minister is liberal-conservative. Putin certainly isn't left-wing. People are clearly voting in right-wing parties.
You shouldn't consider it as being 'more left-wing than the US' because that's pretty easy. You should consider such governments as being left-wing in and of themselves. Just because a country has tax and welfare doesn't necessarily mean that the current government is left-wing. It just means a previous government was left-wing. (E.G. The Conservatives in the UK are not at all left-wing. But the UK has the NHS.)
Also depends what you consider as 'European'. Are you meaning the entire continent? Or do you mean within the EU?
Posted by Debatasaurus 1 year ago
Debatasaurus
The EU issue is not too clear cut. While the EU allows trade internally, it imposes tariffs on imports from out of the EU which could affect our economy. While leaving may have some disadvantages, staying also has. The harmonisation of economies that the EU is doing to fully integrate all EU countries economically has led, in some ways, to a stifling of competition.
Posted by Episteme 1 year ago
Episteme
I'm guessing you're pro some right wing ideas? Not all right wing policies are good and not all left wing policies are good, either. What's bad about welfare and higher taxation? Too high a taxation is bad (no money left to do anything), too much welfare (not enough distributed to other services like healthcare or schools or savings) could be bad, just as too little taxation could be bad (not enough given to the government for providing welfare or giving to the police and military) while too little welfare could be bad (no safety net for people if they lose everything). The EU isn't anti-business. The european commission aims to make sure there is enough competition in the markets and make sure there aren't any monopolies created. It regulates to provide a freer and more competitive market. Cameron doesn't really want to leave the EU, he just wants to change its relationship with the EU. Leaving the EU would be one of the worst economic decisions because it means that the UK would no longer be part of one of the largest areas where trade has barely any import duties, VAT and other import charges. That is good for overall trade around the EU and the UK benefits from this.
Posted by Debatasaurus 1 year ago
Debatasaurus
I don't think this is about good/bad, though if I am right I won't be too happy :)
The US is strong right-wing(good for them!) especially economically, but welfare is much more present in Europe and higher taxation. But an important point is the fact that the EU is known for its anti-business policies, including with all its unnecessary red tape. So, if I am right, the UK might want to reconsider its position in the EU in next year's referendum.
Posted by Episteme 1 year ago
Episteme
This is an interesting debate, but I was just wondering what the ending concluding point is meant to be. Is it good that European governments are more left-wing? Is it bad that European governments are more left-wing? Is it good or bad that European governments might be right wing? What policies are most beneficial for the EU as a whole? What is your definition of right or left wing? It's a very different definition to left and right in the US or in other countries. I guess I'm not really following. I'm trying to find the normative side of this - and I feel like I'm only seeing a descriptive debate. Just wondering! Thanks!
Posted by Debatasaurus 1 year ago
Debatasaurus
There is something to argue about this - it is not so simple. Unless every single person in the world agrees with me on this.
Posted by Theunkown 1 year ago
Theunkown
This is more of a truism. Just a statement of facts.
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