Paul Lachine

Les Centristes n’ont aucune chance

WASHINGTON – Dans la plupart des démocraties avancées, un grand parti de centre-droit s’oppose à un grand parti de centre gauche. Bien sûr, le degré d’importance qu’accorde un système électoral aux grands partis – par l’établissement de seuils électoraux élevés pour entrer au parlement, ou par un système de circonscriptions où le gagnant rafle la mise – influe sur le degré de fragmentation politique. Mais les démocraties développées sont généralement caractérisées par une concurrence entre un grand parti de centre droit et un grand parti de centre gauche. Alors que doivent faire les vrais centristes comme Mario Monti, Premier ministre technocrate de l’Italie ?

Bien sûr, les allégeances régionales et ethniques jouent un rôle plus important dans certaines régions d’Europe – en Ecosse, en Belgique, ou en Catalogne par exemple – mais bien plus encore dans les pays émergents où les clivages politiques reflètent aussi des contextes post-coloniaux spécifiques ainsi que l’héritage d’un régime à parti unique. Néanmoins, même dans les démocraties des « marchés émergents » comme le Chili, le Mexique, la Corée du Sud et l’Inde, le clivage gauche-droite joue un rôle important – tandis que ceux qui revendiquent le centre politique sont généralement en retrait.

Les Libéraux Démocrates britanniques par exemple, tentent depuis des décennies de devenir un troisième pari centriste fort – sans succès. Le vocabulaire politique est différent aux Etats-Unis mais le parti Démocrate est véritablement, depuis la présidence de Franklin Roosevelt, une force de centre-gauche tandis que le parti Républicain occupe la droite, et aucun autre parti n’a véritablement de poids significatif.

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