The past month or so saw three major elections and many fascinating political events that came hand in hand with them. On the other side of the continent Vladimir Putin’s Russia-first mandate is stronger than ever following the presidential election there. Closer to home Italy and Hungary have chosen to drift further to the right, with Italy’s nationalist Lega Nord and anti-establishment Five Star Movement making massive gains at the expense of social democrats, while Viktor Orban’s Eurosceptic Fidesz party consolidated its strength and won a supermajority in Hungary.

These elections come on the back of at least two years in which politics across the Western world has lurched dramatically towards anti-establishment populism, usually (but not in every case) on the right of the political spectrum. In 2016 we had Brexit and Trump – no further details needed. 2017 saw a French presidential election where Le Pen’s National Front doubled its vote share to 34%, while the centre-left collapsed to 6.3% in the first round. The Labour Party in the Netherlands saw a 20% decline, their worst result in history. The centre-right and nationalists in Austria collected a combined 55% of the vote.

Perhaps most remarkably a nationalist party entered the German parliament for the first time since the 1950s as the AfD leapt from 4% to 13% at the expense of Merkel’s Christian Democrats party and the socialist SPD to become the third largest party in the Bundestag. Naturally this was much to the horror of the far-left protesters who violently rioted rather extensively at the announcement of the results of the democratic election.

Other less important but noteworthy and perhaps worrying events include the massive gains made by everything from the centre-right to neo-fascists in Slovakia. Poland’s 2015 election which saw the right-wing Law and Justice Party take power cannot be forgotten either (although Poland tends to lean further right than anywhere in Western Europe). And of course the re-election of Czech president Milos Zeman – who survived a multitude of scandals and a targeted Western media smear campaign to no doubt continue his Eurosceptic agenda.

I think we’re beginning to see something of a trend here, don’t you?

If one observes this trend to the right then Italy’s and Hungary’s election results should come as no surprise. History both long-term and short-term predicted their outcomes. Italy’s troubled democracy which has seen nearly as many Prime Ministers as years (65 changes) is hardly indicative of a stable system. That’s without even delving into the issues of economic crisis, mass migration and unravelling social fabric which have plagued the country for years.

Italy has had a long tradition of political radicalism, after the Second World War the country almost voted to be a monarchy again (46%). Ever since, communists, monarchists and fascists have received notable amounts of support, at least when compared to the Anglo-centric world and northwestern European politics which we know best.

Let’s break down their  election results in a bit more detail; we see that the anti-establishment Five Star party which takes a wide range of ambitious and sometimes unusual positions from both left and right became the overall largest party at 32%. The Social Democrats which had previously been in government fell to a measly 19%. The conservative nationalistic Lega Nord scored big, more than quadrupling their last result to get 18%, they lead a coalition of the centre-right Forza Italia (14%) and nationalist Brothers of Italy (5%). Combined they have 37%. In short, the anti-establishment took 70% of the vote in Italy.

More than two thirds of Italian voters are evidently very unhappy with the way things are being run, and this is hardly surprising when you take a look at the situation the country is in.

Financially it is in ruin, the past few years have seen stagnation following a recession that sliced hundreds of billions off the Italian economy. Debt is at an astonishing 133% of GDP, and many are rightfully skeptical about whether this can ever be paid off, especially seeing as the lenders’ interest accumulates at an eye-watering €2,700 per second. While great potential lies in the Italian economy, especially its highly advanced industrial sector, it has seen only decline and poor management by successive governments.

On the social front it doesn’t look much better. It might be true that Italian society is more cohesive than countries such as the US, UK and France in which people on opposite ends of the political spectrum are extremely polarised and become more so by the day, but that doesn’t mean huge problems don’t hide simmering under the facade of the dolce vita.

Italy’s total fertility rate (TFR) is a comatose 1.34, one of Europe’s lowest. There has been natural population decline nearly every year since 1993, with 2017 being the worst year yet at a natural loss of 183,000 people. This decline is near terminal. A country with no children is a country with no future. The new leaders of Italy must quickly and decisively move to fix this problem just as Russia did in the early 2000s, elsewise we might not have an Italy by the end of the 21st century.

On the topic of the death of nations, uncontrolled mass migration is a major problem for Italy. Millions of economic migrants trafficked from Libya have used Sicily as their beachhead into Europe, travelling through Italy to reach countries with famously comfortable social welfare such as the UK, Germany, and Sweden while causing widespread disruption en route.

Hundreds of thousands have remained in Italy however and so it is the controversial policy of Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini to deport near all 600,000 of them. This has proved popular given the crime wave that voters associate with migration, including a particularly emotive case where a teenage girl was murdered by Nigerian mafia members in a voodoo ritual that involved dismemberment and cannibalism. Her remains were found dumped in suitcases on the roadside.

Combine all this with the general feeling among the electorate that the previous government was simply ignoring their needs, and it is no surprise that 70% of voters turned out for various anti-establishment populists either on the right, or in Five Star’s case, splattered across the political spectrum. A government has not yet been formed, but no matter what the outcome, we can expect major changes in Italy.

As for Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party won its best result yet, a two thirds supermajority of 134 from 199 available seats. His largest opposition is Jobbik, an ultranationalist party that many condemn as extremist, they occupy 26 of the 65 seats not in the hands of Fidesz.

So where is the Hungarian left you might ask? Where are the liberals? Well, the various left-leaning parties account for a measly 38 seats altogether. Anyone who was following politics in the 1990s might ask how this could possibly have happened. Hungary has only recently escaped the clutches of half a century of Soviet domination with Western-loving liberals leading the charge – Viktor Orban one of them no less. So why would they return to what the Western media keeps calling authoritarianism and restrictions of rights and freedoms?

The truth is that Hungary didn’t really change, they still bask in their hard-won freedoms, it was the West that changed. You’ll find London and Paris were very different places in 1989 than now almost three decades later, not to mention that countries which jail people for jokes and Facebook posts can hardly criticise anyone for restricting freedoms.

Hungary is fairly prosperous now, it has money and life gets better year by year. So why would it follow the same route that it watched the West go down? A route that has led to no-go zones, sex-crime epidemics, and cities that look their worst since explosives were dropped on them in the 1940s.

That’s not to say Hungary doesn’t have problems, like the rest of Europe their fertility rate is dangerously low at 1.5 and their population is slowly declining. Their economy isn’t quite spectacular after suffering a 6.4% contraction in 2008 and with 70% debt to GDP (although their growth now outshines the majority of the EU), but clearly Hungarians look to the West and no longer see something worth emulating. I certainly don’t blame them and neither do 70% of Italians apparently.

Later this year there will be a general election in Sweden, a country utterly notorious for its left-liberal government and their lackadaisical approach towards controlling immigration and policing. It has experienced some of the worst consequences of the modern multicultural globalist world, with ghettos and no-go zones being at epidemic levels. In some places, ambulances need a police escort. Therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise if right-wing nationalist Sweden Democrats make massive gains at the next election. For better or worse this change will continue for the foreseeable future.

A shift to the right and to anti-establishment sentiment has washed across the continent of Europe and consequently triggered a great wave of far-left rioting against democracy and a cacophony of pained voices in the mainstream media exclaiming and lamenting the inexplicability of the change. They ask which of the usual suspects could be behind it – Russia perhaps? A vast right-wing conspiracy maybe?

Or perhaps it is just because the majority of the ~800 million people on this continent (and those in the Americas too) want to have a voice again after decades of playing second fiddle to those who put finances and globalism ahead of their own people.

Michael O'Dwyer Connolly

Posted by Michael O'Dwyer Connolly

Long-time geopolitics and history enthusiast.