Category: Europe

Italy at the Polls between Violence and Silence

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By Laura Serra 

Interesting political times are anything but over. The upcoming Italian general elections seem bound to shake again both national politics, and the politics of Europe at large. As in several other countries, and especially due to the impact of the refugee crisis on its shores, the populist wind blowing throughout Europe has found in Italy an especially receptive audience. Two out of the four main parties running can be considered ‘populist’, with the Five Star Movement (which supposedly has no political colouring) and the Northern League (which has a very dark political colouring) respectively making use of the anti-establishment and anti-immigration rhetoric; and finding common ground on their vigorous Euroscepticism. Immigration, specifically, is the issue most heavily discussed in political debates and the one most likely to be driving Italian votes. Like elsewhere in Europe, the ‘economic cleavage’ of working class and white-collar voters is being superseded by the ‘cultural cleavage’ of those who support cosmopolitanism and multiculturalism and those who do not. Continue reading “Italy at the Polls between Violence and Silence”

European Withdrawal Bill: What Role Should Parliament Play in Brexit?

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By Thomas Sherlock

Currently passing through the Committee Stage is the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which is proving, somewhat unsurprisingly, controversial. Alongside the actual contents of what will be one of the most important components of Brexit, the Bill has provoked a wider debate on what exactly Parliament’s role should be in Brexit. Should Parliament be actively trying to shape Brexit and holding the Government accountable, or should it be taking a backseat and allowing the Government a freer hand?

 

As with everything to do with Brexit, this is not a clear-cut debate. Fundamentally this division relies on a problem inherent with referendums, what is the role of representatives in implementing a decision made by direct democracy?

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The New Right: Fictitious Yesterdays and Fabricated Tomorrows

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By Ovais Malik

In contemporary political discourse, doctrine and reality tend to be radically divorced from each other. We often hear from the New Right about the alleged glories of private enterprise; the wonders of the “free market”; and the incompetence of government intervention. When it comes to reality, however, sinister hypocrisies pervade this rhetoric. Continue reading “The New Right: Fictitious Yesterdays and Fabricated Tomorrows”

Catalonia – Why both sides are wrong.

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By Malick Nythern Doucoure

With waves still settling from the recent Tsunami that was the Catalan independence referendum and its aftermath, a show of unity and respect for democratic process and tradition is necessary from both sides. Catalonia is not Spain – it never has been! The region has a distinct language, culture and some would say even a distinct ethnicity to those in Madrid. The Catalan language is derived directly from common Latin, not Castilian Spanish – a frequent misconception used by many to promote a message of unity through a common linguistic heritage.

Continue reading “Catalonia – Why both sides are wrong.”