It’s not really a shock election here…it is being reported right now that the Conservative Party of the UK will fail in maintaining the majority. PM Theresa May went into this thinking that the Tories would increase their lead.
But is this the end of populism or is this just the media not understanding how global democracies work? I would argue the latter. The media does not grasp the disgust that democratically elected leaders foster from their own peoples. This is because what the people want when they go to the polls is for something to be done. The leaders campaign on promises and nothing gets done and they fall short of their promises. Or a group of people or ideas is associated with one party over the other.
It was the Labour Party’s constituents that backed Brexit by two-thirds so it is not a surprise that Theresa May’s Tory Party is receiving back-lash today. This vote is not a referendum against Brexit because the Labour Party will be forced to carry out at the very least a “soft” Brexit much the same as President Trump is actually not anti-globalist so much as he is rather a soft globalist talking down NATO, re-negotiating NAFTA, and then withdrawing from the Paris Climate Deal. The matter of Brexit was that the UK would get a nation that works for them in which they could control how much participation they had with the EU rather than the EU deciding this for them.
So no, this is not the “death of populism”. Populism is not entirely nationalism so much as it is a shift of political power to the people who live in the government. Put simply–populism is an assault on political leaders. Specifically, failed political leaders. The Labour Party took a swipe with Brexit but the Tories get the swipe here. It is an “apox on both your houses”.
Here in the U.S., we witnessed the same. Donald Trump’s nomination by the Republicans was an apox on the leadership of the GOP. His election as President was an apox on the Democratic Party and consequentially on D.C.
I had a thought this election would not be easy for Theresa May. I was correct. I make no predictions on her future as Prime Minister of Britain at this point.