New trends in politics

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New trends in politics

Editor: Draco Copper | Tactical Investor

New Political Trends Gathering Momentum

Why do people vote for or sympathise with Donald Trump in USA, Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Alexander van der Bellen in Austria, and Jimmie Akesson in Sweden, and other leaders of populist and protest parties? Some of those who voted for Brexit in UK also belong to this new form of opposition. They want something different, although they may not quite know what they want.

Today, maybe there is something in the right and the far-right protest parties that we must listen to? And then, not all they say is protest either; it is more a shout for being included, for the politicians to bother to understand them, the downtrodden and poor, mixed with the successful and selfish.

Often, politicians have become like civil servants, and their language and way of working have distanced them from the people in our complicated, technocratic world. Thus, it is the fault of the time, not only the politicians. Yet, the politicians are our leaders and they are charged with helping us find new and inclusive ways, and address issues people think are important in a language we all can understand.

Recently, Anna Kinberg Batra, leader of the Conservative Party (Moderaterna) and candidate for Prime Minister for the autumn 2018 elections, said that there might be a limit for how long the SDs should be considered untouchable, considering that they also are the third largest party in Parliament, after the Social Democrats (113 MPs, 31% of votes) and the Conservatives (84 MPs, 23%). Expectedly, she was criticised for saying it, but at least she opened the debate. I believe that was important, and it could also make the SDs skip some of their more far-right ideas.

In neighbouring Denmark and Norway, there have been parties to the right of the conservative parties for several decades; Denmark was first in the 1970s, and Norway followed suit. At that time, the parties were mainly against import duties, high taxation (including the 15-20% VAT sales tax), and the often detailed government regulations, what was seen as the state’s interference’ in too many aspects of people’s everyday life; they would also emphasise law and order issues, and later came their active opposition to immigration.

I would suggest that today’s political parties, the old, established ones, and the new, populist and quite extreme ones, need to reconsider their ways and priorities, and as importantly, how they organise their parties, present their policies and engage with the voters. The divide in communication must be entirely changed; if there is something that has been successful in the recent decades, it is the extensive, new communication technology and forms, but we must find better ways of using it in democratic politics. Full Story


 Nations are Increasingly Polarized

Politics in many countries has become increasingly polarized. This should come as no surprise. Geographic area, gender, age and education are the main drivers of this polarization. The zeitgeist for many voters and politicians alike is to reinforce what they agree with, but not really to expose themselves to the other side’s arguments.

The ever-increasing volatility of the electorate

The electorate is becoming increasingly volatile across Europe. I have long been experiencing this during my work in developing countries, but now we even see it in the Western world. Last year in Germany, the two big parties (the CDU and SPD) together lost a stunning 13.7 per cent of their vote share. In France, the established parties basically collapsed.

New challenges for public opinion research

Related to the development of an appealing and timely message is the importance of public opinion research. There has been much talk in recent months about the challenges faced by survey research professionals. The American pollsters Anna Greenberg and Jeremy Rosner have news in that respect: neither the election of Donald Trump nor the Brexit vote in the UK changed the basic laws of statistics.

Digitalization is changing political campaigns

I have long been sceptical about the influence of social media on election campaigns. I noticed that somehow those who are so adamant about its effectiveness are the ones who make their living off social media

 Negative campaigning

For a long time, negative campaigning was seen as the heart of U.S. election campaigns. Political consultant Dick Morris has recently argued, however, that negative ads are losing their impact in U.S. campaigns. Voters have seen so many of them, that they have become increasingly cynical and unreceptive to them. Full Story


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