Are the political elite losing their way?

Voters want moreWho would have guessed that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States of America? Who would have guessed that Hillary Clinton will be forced to fall on her sword having lost out to somebody with no political experience and someone who has alienated a large percentage of the US population? Are the political elite losing their way?

Nationalism growing

Rightly or wrongly Donald Trump has made the most of concerns regarding immigration in the US and trading relationships around the world which are seen to be counter-productive for the US employment market. While there are obviously many other policies which a US president needs to take into consideration, these are the two areas which effectively won the election for Donald Trump. So, we can certainly say there is growing nationalism not only in the USA but around the world.

Political dinosaurs need to change

If we look at the UK, the Labour Party is in turmoil, the Conservatives seem intent on ripping themselves apart over Europe and the Liberal Democrats, well, where are they now? The rise and rise of UKIP was only halted by internal politics which have effectively ripped the heart out of this up-and-coming political party. UKIP now lacks direction because an exit from Europe was the party’s only objective Рwhere do they go now?

If we look towards Scotland the SNP has dominated this area for some time now but even Nicola Sturgeon is struggling to hold things together. Appetite for a second independence referendum seems to be non-existent outside of SNP supporters and despite constant friction with the UK government a second independence referendum is not guaranteed. Even though the SNP and UKIP perfectly illustrate the growing support for nationalist parties they also show the potential pitfalls associated with these relatively new political institutions.

Is immigration the problem?

Whether you look towards the UK, Scotland, USA or even Germany in recent times, immigration is a very hot topic and one which will not go away. The European Union project is based upon free movement within European borders but this is now under severe attack. While there were a number of reasons why UK voters wanted to leave the European Union there is no doubt that immigration was top of the agenda for many. If the European Union had agreed to relax the concept of free movement then perhaps UK voters would decide to stay? However, there seems to be little in the way of movement on this particular subject and even German politicians are now finding it difficult to avoid the subject of immigration.

Many in the UK are under a misconception that a vote for Brexit will effectively close UK borders when this is not the case. There will always be immigration from within Europe and outside of Europe but in the future this will be controlled wholly by the UK authorities. Whether the government puts in place a similar system to that in Australia, or decide to go with another, the UK will eventually retake control of its own borders.

Conclusion

The rise and rise of nationalism across the world has caught many of the mainstream political parties offguard. These political dinosaurs are now struggling to come to terms with the new political world although they will have to adapt sooner rather than later or risk losing support. The Conservative Party initially allowed the Brexit vote to close the subject down once and for all, never once contemplating the UK electorate would vote to leave. So, we will see some significant changes in the political arena over the next few years as a new cycle in political party policies continues to emerge.

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