World News: Democracies in Peril – The Speaker of the House Election

The procrastination, wrangling and deal making, that presided over the election of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the United States highlights the growing influence of radical movements in established but ultimately fragile democracies.  

It took fifteen ballots to elect the Speaker of the House of Representatives (the equivalent of the President of the National Assembly in France), the first parliamentary body of the United States of America. Whose fault? Has endless negotiations, demands, compromise and other heated debates where the radical wing of the Republican Party has played the arbiter.

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So, certainly at the end of the end it is the Republican Kevin McCarthy who was elected with the votes of the Republican radicals encouraged in this sense by a Donald Trump absent from the Hemicycle but nevertheless omnipresent. However, these prevarications, which   also demonstrate how sick and divided the world's leading democracy is (it is certainly not the only one), highlight a reality. Other: it is the growing weight of movements or radical elected representatives present in the various assemblies on a global scale.

Integrated into the Political Landscape

Whether in the United States, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary or Brazil, the so-called far-right movements, or far-right movements depending on whether you are. On either side of the Atlantic, they are now integral and integrated parts of the political landscape.

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And that the traditional parties are disturbed is not surprising because the latter, through the presence of radical groups, find themselves faced with their accumulated errors or the inertia of which Some have demonstrated for years. Should we be satisfied with this rise in power of parties with known rhetoric but oh so attractive for fringes of populations animated by a feeling of abandonment and misunderstanding?

Any self-respecting democrat will answer no, while sagaciously analyzing that democracy offers, through the contingent of fundamental freedoms it carries, a red carpet for radical movements. who know how to use and abuse their freedom of speech to criticize and vilify democracy. An aberrant tautology that can   only be broken by rejecting democracy which, in fact, has always benefited extremes more than parties. Republicans or liberals.

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Dissolution and Gangrene

What to do, then, in the face of elected officials and movements that tend, as the National Rally is experiencing in France, to blend into the mass to put on the garments of a conventional government party capable of respecting institutions and rules?   that the democratic game imposes.

The other danger is therefore certainly there: to witness a façade dissolution of extreme movements and their exclusive political discourses in order to acquire a new respectability and notability. It has long been the prerogative of its political competitors.

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If, to use a popular saying, the wolf has already entered the fold, understand that elected officials and extremist movements have integrated the parliamentary bodies of   the most democracies. Known to the world, the latter find themselves  encouraged by regimes themselves clearly anti-democratic such as Russia, China, or North Korea to name a few.

It is therefore a multifaceted danger that democracies, even if they are plagued by radical or extremist opposition, must face. One observation is obvious, the world after, rocked by a so-called happy globalization, is ultimately eaten away by a narrowing of thought and the emergence of new fears, which are now becoming more normal.


Bio: Olivier Longhi has extensive experience in European history. A seasoned journalist with fifteen years of experience, he is currently professor of history and geography in the Toulouse region of France. He has held a variety of publishing positions, including Head of Agency and Chief of Publishing. A journalist, recognized blogger, editor, and editorial project manager, he has trained and managed editorial teams, worked as a journalist for various local radio stations, a press and publishing consultant, and a communications consultant.

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