By Florian Wilde May 6, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission — Is it a shortcut, if it’s seemingly the only path on offer? Many left parties in Europe today see participating in a center-left coalition government as the only realistic way to win reforms. They often justify joining these administrations by reasoning that having a left party in government will at least block the most regressive policies and keep a more reactionary formation from taking power. These parties also believe government participation will increase their credibility in the eyes of voters and members, ultimately strengthening their prospects to govern on their own. Twenty-five years of history, however, suggest that these expectations are rarely met.