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Is populism on the wane?

Statsman

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A new YouGov/Guardian poll conducted across 10 European countries indicates a drop in support for right-wing populism over the last three years.


Interestingly, one key statement polled is “the will of the people should be the highest principle in this country’s politics” and support for this fell across the board, even in Poland. Similarly, support for “my country is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them” is down, even in the UK.

The article linked is not too long and has a nice graph.

What it doesn't do is tease out possible reasons, but my own feeling is that both Brexit and Covid probably have a role in the decline. The former because it shows what a shit-show 'the will of the people' can produce and the latter because it has displayed the role of the state in a positive light, for the most part. There are probably local factors at play in each of the surveyed countries, but these two factors are common and extremely visible. The other factor that was external but also very visible was that other populist shit-show, the Trump 'presidency' in all it's tattered glory. Sometimes the greatest weapon in the fight against demagogues might just be demagogues.
 

publicrealm

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Nov 27, 2018
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A new YouGov/Guardian poll conducted across 10 European countries indicates a drop in support for right-wing populism over the last three years.


Interestingly, one key statement polled is “the will of the people should be the highest principle in this country’s politics” and support for this fell across the board, even in Poland. Similarly, support for “my country is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them” is down, even in the UK.

The article linked is not too long and has a nice graph.

What it doesn't do is tease out possible reasons, but my own feeling is that both Brexit and Covid probably have a role in the decline. The former because it shows what a shit-show 'the will of the people' can produce and the latter because it has displayed the role of the state in a positive light, for the most part. There are probably local factors at play in each of the surveyed countries, but these two factors are common and extremely visible. The other factor that was external but also very visible was that other populist shit-show, the Trump 'presidency' in all it's tattered glory. Sometimes the greatest weapon in the fight against demagogues might just be demagogues.
A thoughtful op - which I will consider and contribute to - but forgive me for posting this clip (again) discussing the issue:

 

hollandia

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A new YouGov/Guardian poll conducted across 10 European countries indicates a drop in support for right-wing populism over the last three years.


Interestingly, one key statement polled is “the will of the people should be the highest principle in this country’s politics” and support for this fell across the board, even in Poland. Similarly, support for “my country is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them” is down, even in the UK.

The article linked is not too long and has a nice graph.

What it doesn't do is tease out possible reasons, but my own feeling is that both Brexit and Covid probably have a role in the decline. The former because it shows what a shit-show 'the will of the people' can produce and the latter because it has displayed the role of the state in a positive light, for the most part. There are probably local factors at play in each of the surveyed countries, but these two factors are common and extremely visible. The other factor that was external but also very visible was that other populist shit-show, the Trump 'presidency' in all it's tattered glory. Sometimes the greatest weapon in the fight against demagogues might just be demagogues.
An open goal, chance now for left wing populists?
 

Gatsbygirl20

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A new YouGov/Guardian poll conducted across 10 European countries indicates a drop in support for right-wing populism over the last three years.


Interestingly, one key statement polled is “the will of the people should be the highest principle in this country’s politics” and support for this fell across the board, even in Poland. Similarly, support for “my country is divided between ordinary people and the corrupt elites who exploit them” is down, even in the UK.

The article linked is not too long and has a nice graph.

What it doesn't do is tease out possible reasons, but my own feeling is that both Brexit and Covid probably have a role in the decline. The former because it shows what a shit-show 'the will of the people' can produce and the latter because it has displayed the role of the state in a positive light, for the most part. There are probably local factors at play in each of the surveyed countries, but these two factors are common and extremely visible. The other factor that was external but also very visible was that other populist shit-show, the Trump 'presidency' in all it's tattered glory. Sometimes the greatest weapon in the fight against demagogues might just be demagogues.
Of course "right-wing populists" will insist that the word "populism" only gained real traction once the will of the people no longer reflected the views or wishes of the "liberal elites" or the "global elites" whose voice they regard as over-represented in academia and in the loftier organs of the media.

In other words they regard "populism" as a synonym for "democracy throwing up results we don't like"

Perhaps, if we believe in democracy we just have to ride out the "sh1t-shows" it will occasionally and inevitably throw up.

Believing that one is is oppressed by exploitative , corrupt elites is an entirely reasonable position to take, in the view of certain people. They are entitled to hold that view, and to vote accordingly, however misguided such a stance may seem to others

The danger in trying to overturn the will of the people, whether in the case of Brexit or Trump, is that it absolutely confirms their belief that there is an out-of-touch , anti-democratic elite trying to suppress "the will of the people"
 

soccop

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I think the departure from austerity policies has helped in this area also. We seem to be moving in a more Keynesian direction, at least the European trade union council think so:


https://www.etuc.org/en/pressrelease/eu-economic-review-no-return-austerity-rules



Folks are less frightened of what their own Government might inflict on them. Cameron and Osbourne were a ferocious pair of chancers who didn't mind the butler class suffering badly.

That said, the real beneficiaries of the old status quo must be pleased enough- the giant global corporations.

If I made depart from the topic, can I advise that there's a proposal for Tesla and Microsoft to merge the name of the new company will be

Elongates.


Me coat's in the car.
 
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Statsman

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Of course "right-wing populists" will insist that the word "populism" only gained real traction once the will of the people no longer reflected the views or wishes of the "liberal elites" or the "global elites" whose voice they regard as over-represented in academia and in the loftier organs of the media.

In other words they regard "populism" as a synonym for "democracy throwing up results we don't like"

Perhaps, if we believe in democracy we just have to ride out the "sh1t-shows" it will occasionally and inevitably throw up.

Believing that one is is oppressed by exploitative , corrupt elites is an entirely reasonable position to take, in the view of certain people. They are entitled to hold that view, and to vote accordingly, however misguided such a stance may seem to others

The danger in trying to overturn the will of the people, whether in the case of Brexit or Trump, is that it absolutely confirms their belief that there is an out-of-touch , anti-democratic elite trying to suppress "the will of the people"
The will of the people has to be limited by the rule of law and natural justice if democracy is to avoid becoming the dictatorship of the majority. Demagogues seek to overturn the rule of law.
 

ted08

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I think the tide has turned against them chiefly because of sheer incompetence. Blind loyalty to the creed promotes the idiots and then they're exposed as idiots who have zero clue how to deal with a crisis.

Mind you the same incompetence jibe can be validly thrown at our own government
 
Nov 27, 2018
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There is a general correlation between populist politicians being in power and people ending up poorer or with a lower standard of living - first comes the "sweeties for everyone" vote-grabbing initiatives, followed up by the need to pay for state overspending - higher utilities costs, inflation, stealth taxes etc.

Economic incompetence isn't necessarily a factor of populist politics, but, in the real world, the former holds hands firmly with the latter.

From my personal perspective, I can't work out which is worse about the government of the country I live in; their bigoted, opportunistic politics or the fact that they have shown themselves to be woefully incompetent in every aspect of governing a country and any issues that have arisen. They're just so awfully bad at it. Even the "heartless, corrupt, elitist, etc.) Neo-liberals that preceded them had a nominall level of skill in leadership and governance.

Fundamentally, I think the turn away from populist politics and politicians comes from the fact that, once the consequences become obvious, more and more of the general population realise that they are far worse off financially and in term of quality of life, not better, as was promised.
 
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Shaadi

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It must be noted that it wasn't the "centrist opposition" that has attracted back voters by offering to change the very things that drove voters into the arms of the Right Wing populists.

Those things are, the price and availability of housing and similar burdens that the Centrists will promise to fix in opposition but which they will barely touch in Govt.

The sense that nobody in power gives a continental about the real distress that Joe Soap is experiencing will not go away.
 
Nov 27, 2018
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It must be noted that it wasn't the "centrist opposition" that has attracted back voters by offering to change the very things that drove voters into the arms of the Right Wing populists.

Those things are, the price and availability of housing and similar burdens that the Centrists will promise to fix in opposition but which they will barely touch in Govt.

The sense that nobody in power gives a continental about the real distress that Joe Soap is experiencing will not go away.
Yep, a depressing trend seems to be that, where the "populist right'" have gotten into power and have proceeded to screw things up, the opposition are happy to be the "second worst choice". The bar's been set low enough that "not being utterly incompetent" and "not being psychopaths" are active virtues.
 
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Bonkers

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Every poll I have seen has suggested if there was a referendum the people would vote for a return of the death penalty for crimes such as child murders.
Yet MPS have avoided the issue
I just checked and it hovers around 50%. What you mean is that you want it back.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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Alan Kelly's speech at the Lab Conf had a pop at the lower taxes and higher services nonsense espoused by certain populist parties. A sense of "we may be a mudflap/junior coalition govt member party, but we tend to be competent and sane. It's a niche arguement.

Here, I can't figure out why land zoning is not taken out of local govt hands. Between "no REITS, ever", and "no transients" (transient= vomit). nothing gets built.

If housing was on the way to being fixed, if there were eye-watering punitive vacant gaff taxes, and no nimby B.S., housing would be fixed and no one would really care about other issues.

Instead, we'll have a populist reaction that will change nothing.

Then, populists will look for a scapegoat. And then you get Trump or brexit. And an utterly divided state or dysfunctional society.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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There is a general correlation between populist politicians being in power and people ending up poorer or with a lower standard of living - first comes the "sweeties for everyone" vote-grabbing initiatives, nut followed up by the need to pay for state overspending - higher utilities costs, inflation, stealth taxes etc.

Economic incompetence isn't necessarily a factor of populist politics, but, in the real world, the former holds hands firmly with the latter.

From my personal perspective, I can't work out which is worse about the government of the country I live in; their bigoted, opportunistic politics or the fact that they have shown themselves to be woefully incompetent in every aspect of governing a country and any issues that have arisen. They're just so woefully bad at it. Even the "heartless, corrupt, elitist, etc.) Neo-liberals that preceded them had a normal level of skill in leadership and governance.

Fundamentally, I think the turn away from populist politics and politicians comes from the fact that, once the consequences become obvious, more and more of the general population realise that they are far worse off financially and in term of quality of life, not better, as was promised.
It's the sweet spot between cruel austerity but financial stability, and a reasonable amount of empathy towards the less "well got" or "shafted" in society.

Because many of the "very well got, but low relative income" brigade vote populist . Because they know they'll be grand.

The above are embodied by middle tier pensioners who are very well got in Ireland.
 

Cruimh

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Put up a link where the majority want to murder people.
if you are going to play this sort of silly bugger dishonest game I’m going to ignore you - majority don’t want to murder people - if the death penalty was legal by definition it Wouldn’t be murder

but for example

Yet when it comes to extreme cases, such as acts murder undertaken as part of terrorism, nearly six in ten Britons (58%) back the death penalty for such a crime with a third (32%) opposed.
58 to 32 percent - 2019

 

Bonkers

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if you are going to play this sort of silly bugger dishonest game I’m going to ignore you - majority don’t want to murder people - if the death penalty was legal by definition it Wouldn’t be murder

but for example



58 to 32 percent - 2019

That would've worked out well for the Birmingham 6, wouldn't it? It's murder whether you like it of not.
 

Derryman

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if you are going to play this sort of silly bugger dishonest game I’m going to ignore you - majority don’t want to murder people - if the death penalty was legal by definition it Wouldn’t be murder

but for example



58 to 32 percent - 2019

Six in ten Britons I see.
What about the normal people though?
 

Shaadi

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if you are going to play this sort of silly bugger dishonest game I’m going to ignore you - majority don’t want to murder people - if the death penalty was legal by definition it Wouldn’t be murder

but for example



58 to 32 percent - 2019

The argument over terrorism or child abusers encourages a kneejerk reaction.

In coldly analytical terms. Executing your political enemies which is usually what terrorists are to the state that is imprisoning them is likely to inflame further tensions and lead to more killings. It's counterproductive.

Other countries like the USA execute murderers and their murder rate continues to climb. It doesn't work, so if it's just for the sake of vengeance then the supposed killer is going to suffer for minutes or seconds and that's the end of their suffering while the murder victim's family will live with their suffering for the rest of their lives.

There's a case to be made for making a murderer's sentence particularly uncomfortable by giving them a more grim prison experience than that of the other prisoners.
 
Nov 27, 2018
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That would've worked out well for the Birmingham 6, wouldn't it? It's murder whether you like it of not.
There’s a larger problem with the death penalty, other than mistakes being made at sentencing.

Outside of war (and war is only justified if a people are under extistential threat by an aggressor), the premeditated killing of a person (without their consent - with their consent then we’re into the area of assisted suicide, not murder) is not acceptable. So it cannot be an acceptable punishment for the state to use against murderers, as it legitimises what the murderer did.

“An eye an eye” is not valid.
 
Nov 27, 2018
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The argument over terrorism or child abusers encourages a kneejerk reaction.

In coldly analytical terms. Executing your political enemies which is usually what terrorists are to the state that is imprisoning them is likely to inflame further tensions and lead to more killings. It's counterproductive.

Other countries like the USA execute murderers and their murder rate continues to climb. It doesn't work, so if it's just for the sake of vengeance then the supposed killer is going to suffer for minutes or seconds and that's the end of their suffering while the murder victim's family will live with their suffering for the rest of their lives.

There's a case to be made for making a murderer's sentence particularly uncomfortable by giving them a more grim prison experience than that of the other prisoners.
snap.
 

hollandia

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The main issue with the death penalty is its finality. Its irreversibility. Given the human factors involved in investigation and trying a case - think prejudice, need for vengeance, political pressures, the need for a result, and many more influences on police, judges and jurors, there is always the chance of the result being wrong. History and indeed modern America is littered with the corpses of wrongly executed people.
Nor does it work as a deterrent. Human history is littered with murders - since Cain and Abel if you're of a biblical bent - and it's only recently that western liberal democracies have removed capital punishment. Murders have always occurred.
 

Shaadi

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There’s a larger problem with the death penalty, other than mistakes being made at sentencing.

Outside of war (and war is only justified if a people are under extistential threat by an aggressor), the premeditated killing of a person (without their consent - with their consent then we’re into the area of assisted suicide, not murder) is not acceptable. So it cannot be an acceptable punishment for the state to use against murderers, as it legitimises what the murderer did.

“An eye an eye” is not valid.
Executing people also gives politicians cover for not being tough on the causes of crime.

Take a State Governor in the USA who puts on a show of being tough on Crime by pushing for more executions. He gets his wish and the public are fooled into thinking he is tough on Crime when all the time he was doing nothing to successfully reduce the incidents of Crime occurring during his Governship.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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Six in ten Britons I see.
What about the normal people though?
Death penalty is wrong on so many levels:

Wrongful conviction is the big one. But also, killing society and humanities' failures teaches you nothing. Doubtful if it brings victims and families peace.

Monsters exist. Never release them, but extermination is wrong.
 

Cruimh

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That would've worked out well for the Birmingham 6, wouldn't it? It's murder whether you like it of not.
whataboutery - ignoring you now

The fact is that murder is illegal killing - so if the death penalty was legal any executions could not be murder. If you are too stupid to understand that then it is as well I’m not wasting any more time on you ….
 

Cruimh

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Death penalty is wrong on so many levels:

Wrongful conviction is the big one. But also, killing society and humanities' failures teaches you nothing. Doubtful if it brings victims and families peace.

Monsters exist. Never release them, but extermination is wrong.
i tend to agree with you - but if we live in a democracy how can we justify ignoring the will of the people? Who decides when the will of the people should be ignored?
 

Statsman

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i tend to agree with you - but if we live in a democracy how can we justify ignoring the will of the people? Who decides when the will of the people should be ignored?
Natural justice, the rule of law, a constitution, a parliament elected to enact laws in accordance with the above.

If the majority want genocide is it right?
 

Gatsbygirl20

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If housing was on the way to being fixed, if there were eye-watering punitive vacant gaff taxes, and no nimby B.S., housing would be fixed and no one would really care about other issues.
I can't agree that once housing was fixed "no one would really care about other issues"

They would move on to the next big thing without a backward glance.

Ten or twelve years ago the Big Thing was unemploymant. We had too many houses but no jobs. Young people emigrating. A real sense of hopelessness. Joblessness was the scandal that had to be addressed after the Crash ...

It was addressed, and we ended up with almost full employment. Problem solved.

But "no one would really care about other issues" ?

Not quite...
 
Nov 27, 2018
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whataboutery - ignoring you now

The fact is that murder is illegal killing - so if the death penalty was legal any executions could not be murder. If you are too stupid to understand that then it is as well I’m not wasting any more time on you ….
I think the point here is that the death penalty, while hypothetically becoming “legal”” via legislation, is not and cannot be legitimate, irrespective of whether it is “legal” or not.

If premeditated killing is acceptable in certain circumstances, then murder is only a case of where the line is drawn between legal killing and illegal killing.

“We’re allowed to kill people but you’re not” doesn’t work, as a society which holds to this is a society that fundamentally believes that killing is OK, and the differentiation between murder and justice is based only on technicalities.
 

Gatsbygirl20

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It must be noted that it wasn't the "centrist opposition" that has attracted back voters by offering to change the very things that drove voters into the arms of the Right Wing populists.

Those things are, the price and availability of housing and similar burdens that the Centrists will promise to fix in opposition but which they will barely touch in Govt.

The sense that nobody in power gives a continental about the real distress that Joe Soap is experiencing will not go away.
But many issues--not just housing---can "drive voters into the arms of right wing populists"

Immigration, for example.

There is, with issues like that, "a sense that nobody in power gives a continental about Joe Soap" ---to quote your post

Supposing a sufficient number of Joe Soaps genuinely want and desire something that the regular parties won't touch with a barge pole---an end to uncontrolled immigration, for instance, or a reversal of the current stance on the death penalty (mentioned by another poster)

Of course they are going to vote for the politician or party who will attempt to deal with that issue---which they regard as a pressing one.

They feel that that is their democratic right. They think that uncontrolled immigration is bad for society, or certainly for the part of that society that they inhabit. They want it stopped. They will vote for whoever seems most likely to stop it.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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I can't agree that once housing was fixed "no one would really care about other issues"

They would move on to the next big thing without a backward glance.

Ten or twelve years ago the Big Thing was unemploymant. We had too many houses but no jobs. Young people emigrating. A real sense of hopelessness. Joblessness was the scandal that had to be addressed after the Crash ...

It was addressed, and we ended up with almost full employment. Problem solved.

But "no one would really care about other issues" ?

Not quite...
The other cases are not as populist friendly. So, unless they go race bating.
 
Nov 27, 2018
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But many issues--not just housing---can "drive voters into the arms of right wing populists"

Immigration, for example.

There is, with issues like that, "a sense that nobody in power gives a continental about Joe Soap" ---to quote your post

Supposing a sufficient number of Joe Soaps genuinely want and desire something that the regular parties won't touch with a barge pole---an end to uncontrolled immigration, for instance, or a reversal of the current stance on the death penalty (mentioned by another poster)

Of course they are going to vote for the politician or party who will attempt to deal with that issue---which they regard as a pressing one.

They feel that that is their democratic right. They think that uncontrolled immigration is bad for society, or certainly for the part of that society that they inhabit. They want it stopped. They will vote for whoever seems most likely to stop it.
And then said population faces big problems in their industrial, hospitality and agricultural industries because those industries relied on low-paid migrant workers.

And, while the fault partially lies with the electorate, it also lies with both the populist politicians and the media outlets that supported them, as they deliberately misinformed the electorate as to what the consequences to closing the door on immigration would actually be.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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But many issues--not just housing---can "drive voters into the arms of right wing populists"

Immigration, for example.

There is, with issues like that, "a sense that nobody in power gives a continental about Joe Soap" ---to quote your post

Supposing a sufficient number of Joe Soaps genuinely want and desire something that the regular parties won't touch with a barge pole---an end to uncontrolled immigration, for instance, or a reversal of the current stance on the death penalty (mentioned by another poster)

Of course they are going to vote for the politician or party who will attempt to deal with that issue---which they regard as a pressing one.

They feel that that is their democratic right. They think that uncontrolled immigration is bad for society, or certainly for the part of that society that they inhabit. They want it stopped. They will vote for whoever seems most likely to stop it.
We will also see that with climate change taxation. Someone else should pay.

Bit like water tax. Someone else should pay.
 

Cruimh

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I think the point here is that the death penalty, while hypothetically becoming “legal”” via legislation, is not and cannot be legitimate, irrespective of whether it is “legal” or not.
Semantics. Murder is a legal term.

I have no problem with opponents of the death penalty arguing that regardless of whether or not it is legal it should not be viewed as acceptable.
But it is a contradiction in terms, an Irish Bull if you wish, to say that a legal killing is murder. It may be unacceptable, it may be immoral etc - but in a democracy if the public think certain crimes deserve the death penalty, then legislation should be enacted - otherwise it is undemocratic.
 
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