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In September the school starts, and it is also the beginning of a new political course. This year is expected especially intense and exciting. I do not mean only the lack of Cabinet in Spain where we are even with a real chance to have new elections in December, the third in a row within a year, without having launched any of those necessary measures needed in Spain. It could be defined as pathetic and dangerous to the interests of the Spaniards. But with the kind of political leaders we have today, and in particular the so histrionic and recalcitrant, the socialist Mr. Sanchez, this is the way it is.
It is an exciting political course indeed. In Europe and North America are coming important election processes with the real possibility that the populist formations rule in their respective countries, or at least, have the ability to reach major influence in their respective countries. In the domestic policy these cabinets must face some major economic, political and social challenges which are currently occupying the western policy, such as the consolidation of economic recovery; the preservation of the environment; or how to deal with the increasingly dangerous jihadist terrorist threat. Regarding the international relations, there are transcendental matters seeking a joint solution about the Middle East´ wars (Iraq, Syria), with their tragic ramifications on the refugees´ crisis in Europe; the management of those displaced by armed conflicts and the subsequent issues which are entailing the economic and social immigration.
In this upcoming political year, some major Western countries are going to face election´ processes of crucial importance and significance, which will not only affect their domestic issues, but will be influencing many events around the world. In these elections are formations which are representing very different political options: For the first time in decades, we are facing antagonistic political and social choices, with proposals to these great challenges which are radically opposed, and will be competing to seize the power in their respective nations.
The scenario is very different comparing of the past elections in Europe since the fall of the Berlin´ Wall: i.e. the election of an administration between a more or less liberal political option and a more or less social democratic. Or in the United States, with the choice between Republican or Democrat options, with their small and big differences. Today in Europe as in the US, are competing new policy options which are demanding very dangerous and radical social changes in some cases, which will affect many key issues that will shape the citizens´ future, our future.
The eccentric and histrionic Donald Trump, who has a main measure in his political program, the raising of a concrete wall all over the US- Mexico border. Trump recently visited the Aztec country (who invited him, anyway?). The visit was inopportune and ridiculous, both for him and for the current Mexican President Peña Nieto, to whom Trump humiliated as soon as he left Mexico, when heading to a political rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where again he said sarcastically “Mexicans still don´t know, but they will pay the wall. ” He has also been favorable to implement a racial labeling when assessing suspects. That is, to consider the appearance when stopping someone on the street or conduct a body search on public transport. Trump will struggle for the US presidency on coming November, against the controversial and not very beloved Hillary Clinton.
In France, the far-right National Front of Marine Le Pen could reach the French presidency in the elections in April 2017. Marine Le Pen is deeply anti-European, and among many other populist measures, she proposes to withdraw France from the EU.
The Netherlands face parliamentary elections in March 2017. So far, it have not been published any polls, perhaps because of the so unflattering results, it seems like the populist far-right Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam, Democracy and Freedom party, is leading the election polls. Among the Wilders´ proposals, very focused on the issue of Islam in the Netherlands, are the closure of all Islamic schools and the Koran´ ban, all of these within a country with more than 10% of the population is Muslim, mostly of Turkish and Moroccan origin.
On coming October 2nd, Austria will hold a presidential election which the candidate Norbert Hofer, also ultra-right, is given by winner by all media. The very same day, the Hungarian cabinet has summoned a referendum in which offers its citizens to break away with the EU´ immigration policy.
And finally in Germany, Angela Merkel (CDU) will call the parliamentary elections which are likely to be in 2017 second half. Merkel is being increasingly questioned by her policy towards the refugees and the recent attacks´ issue in Germany. Merkel finds a far-right radical party on her right, the Alliance for Germany (AFD), which is reflecting the discontent and has emerged victorious in Merkel and CDU´ feuds such as, Saxony-Anhalt, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate, in which she has suffered a serious setback.
As a result, it could be the year in which the extreme far-right seize power in some European countries. And the populism reaches the US administration. We must ask ourselves why these populist choices are attaining such popularity among the citizens. It seems that the history repeats itself and not just satisfactorily. The political issue is on fire and indeed it will be very interesting. I do not know if it is fascinating, but no doubts it is worrying and disturbing.