The Burden of Power – what Denmark and Finland can teach Sweden about left-wing populism
The burden of power is easy to talk about, but the major difficulty for left-wing populist parties are to bear government responsibility. Right-wing populist parties have the same problem.
Ruling from the left is never easy. It’s so hard, in fact, that many progressive politicians think it’s impossible—that’s one reason they tack to the center. In this club, you’ll find Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Andrew Cuomo. During the Clinton and Blair Administrations, I received practically identical briefings from senior officials on both sides of the Atlantic. The days of left-wing populism are over, I was told. Remember what happened to François Mitterrand and Gerhard Schröder, two European Socialists who were forced to reverse course. If you want to get anything done, you have to look responsible, reassure independents that you’re no dangerous radical, and cozy up to business and financial interests.
– John Cassidy in his blog at The New Yorker, 31st of March 2014