Monday, April 24, 2017

The Real Lessons of the French Election

Fifteen years ago, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the far-right Front National, gained 17 percent of the vote in the first round of the French election and unexpectedly advanced to a runoff against Jacques Chirac. The world was aghast. Millions of people came out to the streets to protest Le Pen. All major candidates urged their supporters to vote against him. In the end, Chirac, a deeply unpopular president, won re-election with a margin of more than 60 percent.
This time around, according to Yascha Mounk, a lecturer on government at Harvard, the margin would be  much smaller and there won't be any protest march. The political  mood has changed drastically. The  illiberal forces are emerging as major contenders in our time.
Even after Sunday’s results, liberal democracy remains under threat throughout Western Europe and North America. This is not the time for premature triumphalism.
To read Mounk's article, click here.

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