Skip to content

Blame the populus?

The European Union has often been criticised for being too technocratic to properly be called a democracy by the people. But is letting the people govern really the better option? We have seen what happens when there is political unrest and the ballot boxes are opened, first Brexit, then Trump got elected as president in the USA and now in Italy, a right-wing populist prevailed in the previous election. How this is possible can be explained by many but mostly lacking angles. You can think education curriculum is at fault for not focusing on civics because due to its limited yield potential, or democracy as a government structure is simply at its cycle’s end. But none of these have a feasible or logical remedy.

I have been long of the opinion that when a person in question is elected they have the representative legitimacy to be in the office where he was voted in. This is one of the key mechanics of a democracy. But what if those who are voted for aim to make the government structure less democratic? The term associated with this is often illiberal democracies and is a serious topic of concern. Checks and balances are there to ensure a proper democracy, but elected populist rulers do threaten political stability and thrive on discord in the political realm.

For the Italian case I do not think it is a lost cause, merely a temporary setback to phrase it rather optimistically.

One of the bloggers I follow wrote an article criticising LSE for a recent post stating that; “the future of the Italian left looks grim indeed – but so too does the future of Italy and of Europe.”. Wood argues that the left has transformed from working-class representatives to that of the ‘educated classes’. But left-wing parties cannot depend solely on the well-off who have room to concern about things such as climate change and creating a hospitable environment for refugees. This is also their downfall, they lost the support of their backbone and tiptoe around all sensitive topics to scared to join the debate right-wing populists parties head on.

Hopefully, with the new populist government we can either get a perfect case example of why demagogue leaders are just hot air and improve nothing, or preferably the left finally gets a wake-up call to get their priorities straight and their boots on the ground.

Once again everything but certainty is evident in the political sphere. With the European elections coming up next year I highly doubt we are going to see much difference in results if no proper strategy of arms is implemented by the pro-EU side. Luckily, we do have the home-field advantage since most people who are willing to go to the ballot boxes for the EP elections are involved enough to see the EU in its true colours.