The Hindu Editorial (Holding the centre) 18 May 2019

The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary

 

The Hindu Editorial (Holding the centre) 18 May 2019

Holding the centre: on European parliamentary elections

On May 23, as the results of the Indian elections emerge, in Europe the world’s second largest democratic electoral process will get under way. More than 425 million voters are eligible to participate in elections that will take place over a four-day period to select 751 members of the European Parliament for a five-year term. There would have been 705, but for the delays to Brexit, which means Britain will participate too.

Thousands of candidates from hundreds of parties as well as independents will seek votes, and the winners will form cross-national groupings in the House based on their political ideology. With turnout usually low (43% in 2014), predictions can be tricky, but expectations are that far-right and Eurosceptic parties will make gains. Last month, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and figurehead for the far right in Europe, Matteo Salvini, launched the campaign for the European Alliance of People and Nations, alongside allies from Germany to Denmark, on a platform invoking tougher immigration rules and in some cases Euroscepticism, uniting parties that had once been split between groupings. In Britain, the appeal of anti-European sentiment has manifested itself in the success of the Brexit Party, formed in January by former UK Independence Party head Nigel Farage — it is projected to win a 34% share of the vote. In Germany, the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland is expected to make gains, while in France the right-wing National Rally (former National Front) could to do better than President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche.

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The Hindu Editorial (Holding the centre) 18 May 2019

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There is a risk that centre-right and centre-left coalitions will fail to command a joint majority. The temptation will be for centrist parties to see these elections as yet another sign that populism is on the rise, and a cause they must in one way or another pander to. In Britain, this has certainly been the case with the rightward lunge of the Conservative Party, while in Germany the centre-left SPD has toughened its stance on asylum-seekers. Yet, this would be the wrong message to take. What is under way is vastly more complex.

It is certain that people are seeking alternatives amid stagnating wages and living standards, with many shunning mainstream parties in their quest — but to infer that all see populism as the route ahead would be naive. Green parties, for example, are expected to make their best showing yet across the continent, as public support for an agenda that encompasses progressive climate change policies and social justice has grown. European parliamentary elections should certainly trigger alarm bells for the mainstream parties, but should also motivate them to look imaginatively for fresh answers, rather than attempting to rehash decades-old

The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Wordlist

1) IDEOLOGY (Noun) = philosophy, ( विचारधारा )
Synonyms = creed, dogma
Antonyms = fascism, experimental work

2) PREDICTION (Noun)  = portent, ( भविष्यवाणी  )
Synonyms = presage, prognostication.
Antonyms = reality, proof.

3) INVOKE (Verb) = conjure, ( आह्वान करना  )
Synonyms = summon, appeal.
Antonyms = dismiss, avert

4) MANIFEST (Adj) = evident, ( उजागर )
Synonyms =  apparent, obvious
Antonyms = unclear, conceal

5) COALITION  (Noun) = league, ( संगठन )
Synonyms =  union, association
Antonyms = isolation, disassociation

6) TEMPTATION (Noun) = enticement, ( लालच )
Synonyms = lure, attraction.
Antonyms = anxiety, discouragement

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