I always find it perplexing when people claim that the new national populism is a threat to life, liberty and democracy in Europe.
Because there is indeed a threat to life, liberty and democracy in Europe today.
But it isn’t coming from populists. It’s coming from anti-populists.
With European elections weeks away, nationalist and far-right parties across Europe are sensing an opportunity.
A boom in voter support has led to the far right sharing power in Austria and the nationalist League forming a populist coalition in Italy. Spain – once thought a barren ground for such politics – elected multiple far-right politicians to parliament for the first time since the country returned to democracy in 1975.
Now, some of these parties are attempting to organise into a pan-European power bloc.
In part, this can be seen as a backlash against the political establishment, but the wave of discontent also taps into concerns about globalisation, immigration, a dilution of national identity and the EU itself.
Around 10% of voters plan to use their vote in the European Parliament elections to back far-right or right-wing populist parties, according to a study published by the Bertelsmann Foundation on Friday.
Most other EU citizens will use their ballots to thwart parties they oppose rather than support a particular group. The researchers said this type of “negative” voting could benefit political movements on the fringes and make it more difficult to form a majority in parliament.
One of the fascinating things about populists is that, on one hand, they’re pro-democratic, says UBC political scientist Antje Ellermann.
What if populists aren’t as crazy as their opponents often say?
Populism is today’s hot topic. It’s the term many use to try to explain — and deride — right-wingers like U.S. President Donald Trump, as well as nativist parties in Europe. Others remind us that populism applies as well to the socialist left, like U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.
The trouble is that too many commentators use the term populist so loosely that, instead of providing insight, they mostly ignite strong emotion, usually laced with mockery. But we can get through the confusion.
We can come to see that various kinds of populists often, not always, make worthwhile points. And some of what they do can even be good for democracy.
The leader of the Spanish far-right party Vox is following in the footsteps of Donald Trump with demands for a wall at the border to stop the flow of immigrants.
Santiago Abascal believes that not only should “insurmountable walls” be built at the borders of Spain’s north African enclaves to halt “the wave of illegal immigrants”, but that Morocco should foot the bill.
In a new book published this week, called “Santiago Abascal: España vertebrada” Abascal reveals more about the immigration policies of the Spain’s newest political party.
Around 200 protesters marched to the Italian village of Collepardo this weekend to protest Steve Bannon’s takeover of a monastery where he plans to train the next generation of nationalist leaders.
Mr Bannon, who is credited with masterminding Donald Trump’s electoral success, has rented the 800-year-old Carthusian monastery as a training centre for his political network, The Movement, which aims to forge a pan-European rightist movement ahead of May’s European elections.
The deal for the lease was struck at a concession with the Italian government.
For many, the decision to live in an all-but-abandoned 13th century monastery atop a mountain in a foreign country with no cell phone reception and only a grounds keeper, an octogenarian monk and 19 feral cats for company would not be an obvious lifestyle choice.
Add to that the second protest in three months planned for Saturday of locals and other activists wanting you gone, and you just might have a few regrets.
But not Benjamin Harnwell, the 43-year-old former British parliamentary assistant and Catholic convert who last year moved into the crumbling Trisulti Charterhouse perched above the town of Collepardo, a two-hour drive south-east of Rome.
The German’s sure spend a lot of time worrying about the fragility of the EU.
Estonia’s surging far-Right is threatening to bring down the country’s liberal government in elections that mark the spread of populism to the furthest corners of the EU.
The country’s extremist EKRE party has more than doubled its support ahead of today’s election, threatening a significant upset to the country’s two main parties.
The party, which is set to increase its share of the parliament’s 101 seats from 8 to 20, has previously called for an “Estxit” referendum, with recent successes mirroring the rise of right-wing populism across Europe and the US.
BURNABY—Twenty minutes before the first Burnaby South byelection debate, a sudden influx of People’s Party of Canada supporters with shiny signs and newly minted pins filled all the remaining chairs in the room.
And they were ready to be heard, not just seen.
The following two debates — attended by roughly 100 people, on average — were dominated by this group’s grievances. They were louder and rowdier and far outnumbered the supporters of any other national party in the House of Commons.
The third debate descended into chaos when the topic of immigration arose, leading to finger-pointing and shrieking in the audience.
“Canadians first,” yelled several in the crowd, donning PPC pins. Roars from the crowd drowned out the candidates as others shouted “racist” and “fascist” in response.
References to “religion” and “pure people” The usual bigoted code for NAZIS!!!!.
In one fell swoop, a lead editor from one of Canada’s main national media outlets tarred and feathered a grassroots movement of tens of thousands of Canadians.
When a Muslim commits an act of terror he always acts alone but when a Yellow Vest supporter makes a racist remark All Yellow Vest protesters are guilty. That’s how our media works. Keep that in mind as you read the story.
There have been some people elected in Europe and South America who have been branded by the MSM not only as populists but harboring dangerous attitudes toward democracy despite being elected in open elections in their countries. Are these leaders problematic or are they just not left-of-center politicians?
The mainstream media pretends that their scorn for President Trump is almost universally shared overseas. While globalists everywhere (along with their media allies) dislike him for standing up for national sovereignty, a rising tide of populist revolt is shaking them to their core. And Trump is a hero – even a superhero – to the growing number of anti-globalist populists around the world.
Populist parties and figures dominated global political news in 2018. That dominance looks set to continue in 2019, with populist parties gaining in popularity and threatening to further upend traditional political settlements across the West. Here are five elections to watch.
Soon after Maxime Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada, the mainstream media pursued a campaign to undermine and slander the PPC as a gathering grounds for racists, the uneducated and the backward thinking.
National treasures like Maclean’s writer Paul Wells called the PPC voter base the “stupidest people on Twitter”.
Europe ‘coming apart before our eyes’, say 30 top intellectuals
Liberal values in Europe face a challenge “not seen since the 1930s”, leading intellectuals from 21 countries have said, as the UK lurches towards Brexit and nationalists look set to make sweeping gains in EU parliamentary elections.
The group of 30 writers, historians and Nobel laureates declared in a manifesto published in several newspapers, including the Guardian, that Europe as an idea was “coming apart before our eyes”.
“We must now will Europe or perish beneath the waves of populism,” the document reads. “We must rediscover political voluntarism or accept that resentment, hatred and their cortege of sad passions will surround and submerge us.”
The message: Populism is bad for the business of the left.