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What are the pros and cons of Populism in politics?

2016 established the ascendancy of Populist parties. The UK Brexit vote was soon followed by the election of former property magnate Donald Trump to the US Presidency. In the years since, this political trend has become an even more powerful force. Especially in European democracies. Newer parties are being elected on anti-establishment platforms that threaten the post-war liberal consensus. Whether right-wing or ultra-leftist, populist parties are now setting the political agenda across the continent . What does this mean for Europe's democracies, economies and political landscapes?

Populism is disastrous for politics

Populism is poison to Europe's political, economic and social wellbeing.

Populism makes for worse policy

Populism has no regard for the feasibility or inherent value of the policies it promotes. Rather than build realistic manifestos for social good, its parties build support by appealing to emotion.

Populism scapegoats minorities

Populism is based on divisive policies built on a platform of intolerance. Its rise is cheap: votes come easily when the unifying principle is finding a common enemy.

Populism is at odds with liberal democracy

Populism rejects any consideration for protecting minority rights. Its belief that nothing ought to constrain the "will of the people" therefore poses dangers to the survival of European liberal democracy.

Populism means healthy politics

Populism has grown for reason. It is an ideology that people respond to, support and agree with.

The growth of Populism represents a working democracy

Healthy democracy depends on representing all perspectives. The rise of Populism is therefore symptomatic of democracy in action.

Left wing populism is based on policies for the greater good

The assumption that all Populism is based on hate is false and misleading. Politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are pushing politics for a fairer and more equal world.

This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jul 2020 at 09:51 UTC

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