Unravelling Populism and its threat to democracy

Despite a rise in economic inequality, individuals prefer immigration over the provision of basic rights. In such a scenario, the rise of populism remains a mystery.

Unreasonable rise of populism

The erasure of democracies has become prominent in the current timeline. With voter trends turning away from traditional democratic systems, the world is left to search for the right choice. These debates and differentiations have led to a rise of populism. Populism focuses on the rhetorical portrayal of “us versus them”.

Populism focuses on challenging the elite class and erasing the existence of ruling establishments. Thus, diverting its attention to the rights of the majority. Populist leaders are known to derive their voice emerging from the frustration felt by certain segments of society. While populism materializes to combat the democratic norms, its popularity seems peculiar.

Since the establishment of globalization and open markets, individuals who have been dissatisfied by their governments have chosen to either immigrate or to follow the traditional norms laid out by society. In such a scenario, individuals left behind are left to lament the absence of job security and the presence of economic instability in their lives.

Populism seems to have observed such changes and sentiments in society. Thus, making a leap of faith and entering the political landscape. As mentioned above, traditional democratic parties have seen a decline in their voter base. This prevents the parties to participate in the elections out of the fear of either losing or not getting enough votes. As a result, emerging political parties have adopted populism to garner support of the fear-stricken voter base.

Weighing the positives and negatives

Populism as a system may further strengthen democracy. By voicing majoritarian sentiments, governments might be inclined to formulate policies catering to the needs of the middle class or lower middle class income groups. A change in policies might lead to the decline in tensions arising from job insecurity and economic disparity.

Governments can start holding more diverse dialogues when it comes to important political decisions. In this way, diverse opinions can be addressed before making vital decisions. By utilizing this approach, governments can erode the fertile grounds on which the populist movement thrives.

While populism introduces a range of positive actions, its discrepancies seem to far outweigh its positives. Populism poses a direct threat to the existence of democracy. By valuing the eradication of political parties and establishments, there will be an erasure in checks and balances. Ruling parties are often kept in check by the opposing party, the judiciary and the press.

Through removing the concept of establishment and authority, populism assures the entrance of turmoil in the global landscape. The term populism focuses on the key word popular. This includes the upper, middle, and lower middle-class groups. If such a sentiment is to be followed, populism finds itself riding the hypocritical wave of ignoring the lower-class groups.

A contrast

Although populism seems to hold its own in the modern context, it strikes a contrast within its movement that clashes with its main aim. By turning away from the lower-class groups, the movement seems to widen economic stress instead of removing it. Education and government intervention is required to combat the emergence of populism. In an attempt to formulate peace, the movement might end up amplifying existing problems.  

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