Did ya'll know that there are whole other continents full of people out there? I find myself forgetting that often. Birmingham just feels like the center of the universe...
The French are involved in a very interesting election right now. French elections are all about winning the second election, because the first almost never produces a winner.
Note: European politics have always confounded me. In America, we keep one government and change administrations. They change whole governments. This whole coalition thing still is a little weird to me.
Anyway, there were three main candidates this time around in France. Sarkozy is center-right, Royal is socialist, and Bayrou was somewhere in the middle. I do not believe they had another far right candidate anywhere near as viable as Le Pen. Europe's flirtation with conservatism seems to have died with Pim Fortuyn.
Sarkozy and Royal came out ahead in the first election and are now courting the Bayrou vote. It looks like Sarkozy, who has been ahead in the polls all year, is claiming enough of the Bayrou vote to win.
In my humble analysis, immigration (by which I mean Muslim immigration) is driving Western European politics to the right. The demographic declines in France, Germany, Spain, and Poland will be offset by the influx of people from the Middle East and especially north Africa. Muslims have large families. Europeans do not.
I heard a Polish senator say that his country has about 10 years to set up a viable and self-sustaining economy before the wave of immigration will start sending GDP growth backwards.
Who knows if he's right, but it looks like Europe views the Muslim world not as a distant terror threat but as an invading horde.
Our world is such an interesting place.
And, Aunt Marty, I am studying.