The Rise of Hard-Right Political Parties in the PR Systems of Western Europe

Two stories, one from Germany, the other from Spain, illustrate this dynamic. These stories also exemplify the political fragmentation that now characterizes the PR democracies.

On Germany, from Bloomberg, both summaries via John Ellis’ substack:

The Alternative for Germany, or AfD, which denies the impact humans have on global warming and wants to stop more foreigners from coming to Germany, is now tied with Scholz’s Social Democrats as the second-most popular party in the country, polling only behind an alliance of opposition conservatives. Once viewed as a radical fringe group, the AfD is now attracting frustrated supporters of established parties. Its rise coincides with public resentment over high energy and food costs resulting from Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine, and over escalating expenses linked to Europe’s efforts to reduce climate-damaging carbon emissions. By focusing on these issues, the populist party has successfully exploited cracks in Scholz’s ruling coalition, which includes the environmentalist Greens, the pro-business Free Democrats and the chancellor’s center-left Social Democrats.

On Spain, from the UK Sunday Times:

Its next king-maker may well be an ultraconservative ideologue who sounds nostalgic for General Francisco Franco, the fascist dictator, and wants to get Gibraltar back from the British. …But now Vox, formed in 2013, is the third-biggest party in parliament — and it doubled its share of the vote in local and regional elections last weekend, when humiliating losses for the ruling Socialists prompted Pedro Sánchez, the prime minister, to dissolve parliament and call a snap general election. Vox, which wants to expel tens of thousands of immigrants, now stands to enter several regional parliaments with the conservative Popular Party (PP) and there is speculation that the two right-wing parties will form a national governing coalition after the vote on July 23.

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