In democratic societies, elections are determined by the vote of the people. The democratic process in the United States elected President Trump in 2016. Four years later, after all legal votes are counted and verified, the same process may require that he peacefully transfer that power to someone else.
Poland’s incumbent president, Andrzej Duda, a nationalist and conservative, topped the first round of the presidential election on June 28 with 43.5%. However, on July 12 he will go up with his liberal challenger, Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw, who got 30.5% in the first round. Numerous polls suggest that the race is too close to call.
Paweł Kukiz can be considered as a typical product of “post-politics”, one of many types in the gallery of populists. Somewhere between Beppe Grillo, Thierry Baudet, Vladimir Zelensky, and Joseph Estrada. He is the symptom of the times we live in.
“How Do Democracies Win?” was the main theme of this year’s edition of Freedom Games, an annual prestigious forum of ideas organized in Lodz, Poland. Needless to say, the title of the forum is a question uneasy to answer. I would also not dare to provide a straight-forward answer to it.
Both liberals and the left-wingers have a wide range of options for cooperation in Poland. This space encompasses not only typical overlapping areas in terms of their views as regards minority rights, civil rights or cultural changes within the society, but also defending the political system.
Even though the victory of Zuzana Čaputová in the presidential elections in Slovakia is undeniably a positive development for the Central European region, it should not be perceived as a new macro trend.
The Law and Justice party did not win the election in 2015 because it had had a good political program, but because those who were supposed to defend freedom turned out not to be too devoted to their cause.
Viktor Orbán’s right-wing populist Fidesz party won a third consecutive term in office with a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliamentary election of April 2018. Orbán is known for building an “illiberal state”, which he officially announced in the summer of 2014.
Karácsony believes that political liberalism works best in Northern states, which are not classical liberal countries, but highly redistributive policies and various welfare state services are implemented. These countries also follow the model of consensus democracy, which should also be applied in Hungary.
Angela Merkel’s party, CDU, came in first in the German national election. However, this is not a great victory because what’s important here is that for the first time in post-World War 2 history, an extreme right-wing party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), came in third in the national election, getting around 13% of the votes.