Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Italian Elections: Extraordinary Exit Polls

Options
  • 04-03-2018 11:42pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 980 ✭✭✭


    Apologies if this has been discussed before but there are extraordinary exit polls coming out of Italy tonight. They suggest that 1 in 2 Italian voters have voted for an anti-establishment (anti-EU party). Much of the shift seems attributable (at least at first blush) to concerns about immigration though underlying the surface is clearly the issue of the stagnant economy and unemployment, for which politicians have blamed immigrants and the Euro.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭sameoldname


    revelman wrote: »
    Apologies if this has been discussed before but there are extraordinary exit polls coming out of Italy tonight. They suggest that 1 in 2 Italian voters have voted for an anti-establishment (anti-EU party). Much of the shift seems attributable (at least at first blush) to concerns about immigration though underlying the surface is clearly the issue of the stagnant economy and unemployment, for which politicians have blamed immigrants and the Euro.

    Bit weird they'd blame the EU for immigration when it's more down to geography and a destabilised middle-east.

    Also, blaming the Euro for their crap economy is a bit strange because back when the Lira was in circulation the economy was crap then too. Only difference is they can't just inflate away their problems and might actually now have to deal with the real systematic issues they have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-02/italy-is-rolling-out-a-new-electoral-system-here-s-how-it-works

    Attempting too understand their electoral system at this time of a Sunday evening gave me a headache


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 ✭✭✭FCIM


    Bit weird they'd blame the EU for immigration when it's more down to geography and a destabilised middle-east.

    Also, blaming the Euro for their crap economy is a bit strange because back when the Lira was in circulation the economy was crap then too. Only difference is they can't just inflate away their problems and might actually now have to deal with the real systematic issues they have.

    Italy blames the EU for not taking its share of immigrants, it doesn't blame the EU for where they come from. Whilst I think a lot more should be done for refugees in generally, it's undeniable that Italy is struggling with the volume which is reaching its shores. It's the easiest place in the EU for a huge amount of migrants. Even the most moderate of political voices in Italy will tell you that there is a significant problem and that a lot of EU states are just treating it like Italy's problem. Weighing up the evidence it's hard to argue they're wrong.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-02/italy-is-rolling-out-a-new-electoral-system-here-s-how-it-works

    Attempting too understand their electoral system at this time of a Sunday evening gave me a headache

    Yeah, it's mad. At a recent election Berlusconi even ran in two distinct locations and only chose where to serve, which is largely irrelevant as all national politicians work almost exclusively in Rome, after the results. There's no real constituency affairs management.


  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭sameoldname


    FCIM wrote: »
    Italy blames the EU for not taking its share of immigrants, it doesn't blame the EU for where they come from. Whilst I think a lot more should be done for refugees in generally, it's undeniable that Italy is struggling with the volume which is reaching its shores. It's the easiest place in the EU for a huge amount of migrants. Even the most moderate of political voices in Italy will tell you that there is a significant problem and that a lot of EU states are just treating it like Italy's problem. Weighing up the evidence it's hard to argue they're wrong.

    Oh, no doubt. But seeing that a lot of EU nations see taking in immigrants as the coming of the apocalypse coupled with the fact there's no legal mechanism in any of the EU treaties about redistribution of migrants I don't see what can be done in the short-term at least. I do understand both their and Greece's concerns though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 870 ✭✭✭FCIM


    FCIM wrote: »
    Italy blames the EU for not taking its share of immigrants, it doesn't blame the EU for where they come from. Whilst I think a lot more should be done for refugees in generally, it's undeniable that Italy is struggling with the volume which is reaching its shores. It's the easiest place in the EU for a huge amount of migrants. Even the most moderate of political voices in Italy will tell you that there is a significant problem and that a lot of EU states are just treating it like Italy's problem. Weighing up the evidence it's hard to argue they're wrong.

    Oh, no doubt. But seeing that a lot of EU nations see taking in immigrants as the coming of the apocalypse coupled with the fact there's no legal mechanism in any of the EU treaties about redistribution of migrants I don't see what can be done in the short-term at least. I do understand both their and Greece's concerns though.
    I'm no expert on immigration law but I wonder does EU regulation tie Italy's hands a bit. For argument's sake, lets say Italy left the European Union, could they then have an easier job in kicking immigrants out? Is there anything in EU regulation about how immigrants, and particularly asylum seekers, must be treated? I would image there is as the EU has regulations on nearly everything. That might be an argument from Italian politicians and its population.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,992 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    the fact there's no legal mechanism in any of the EU treaties about redistribution of migrants
    There is actually. But so far the EU has found its mandatory quota policy to be unenforceable, which is awkward. Immigration was one of several EU competencies moved to majority voting at the time of accession of several eastern European countries to the EU. Previously any such policy would have needed a unanimous vote by all member states. So that was a bit of a sneaky move, but in fairness everybody agreed to it (except for the UK which obtained a future opt-out facility for itself, hence the migrant bottleneck at Calais).

    What good is it having "a legal mechanism" to impose your will on somebody when they just tell you to f*** off :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    Bit weird they'd blame the EU for immigration when it's more down to geography and a destabilised middle-east.

    I don't understand this argument to be honest. Never really have. Membership of the EU and the single market in particular means that a country isn't in control of its own immigration policy - geography and a destabilised middle-east would have no effect whatsoever if anti-immigration politicians were able to bluntly say "right, closed border, no more foreigners are allowed to enter the country, period".

    That's ultimately what the far right actually want. In that context, being anti-EU makes a pile of sense. I didn't really understand how this wasn't obvious with Brexit either - the anti-immigration people weren't just opposed to migration from outside the EU, they were opposed to people from other EU countries being able to come and go as they pleased. In that context, being anti-EU when you're anti-immigration is entirely logical. Indeed, it would be illogical to be pro-EU if your goal is to see fewer foreigners being allowed into your country. I reckon you're making the mistake of assuming "foreigners" to be non-EU citizens - a lot of anti-immigration people in the EU also have an issue with free movement of people from neighbouring EU nations as well.
    Also, blaming the Euro for their crap economy is a bit strange because back when the Lira was in circulation the economy was crap then too. Only difference is they can't just inflate away their problems and might actually now have to deal with the real systematic issues they have.

    If inflating away the problems worked in the past, it follows that people would be pissed that they're not allowed to do this anymore, no?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    I don't see what can be done in the short-term at least. I do understand both their and Greece's concerns though.

    Many on the far right would simply argue for not allowing people into the country, and repelling migrants by force if necessary, coupled with deporting those who are found to have slipped through the net. In the case of Trump they talk about building a wall, but I've no doubt that at least some of these folks would have no issue with the military being used to defend their border if that's what it would take.

    I honestly reckon that many people seriously underestimate just how bluntly anti-immigration some on the right are, or what lengths they'd be willing to see their governments go to in order to prevent it.

    EDIT: From the BBC link above:
    Those fleeing war and persecution, many from the Middle East, are entitled to asylum under European and international law.

    Many on the far right would be happy to say "no, you are not entitled to asylum and we will torpedo your vessels if you attempt to come here illegally". They just won't say so publicly because such views lie outside Europe's Overton Window at the moment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,992 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    Many on the far right would be happy to say "no, you are not entitled to asylum and we will torpedo your vessels if you attempt to come here illegally". They just won't say so publicly because such views lie outside Europe's Overton Window at the moment.
    Leaving aside this ridiculous strawman, its worth pointing out that the 5 star movement does not consider itself either right or left wing, but is more about direct democracy, sustainablility, environmentalism and a steady state economy. These aspirations have no need for the politics of constant economic growth and immigration.
    I suppose you could call them 21st Century Greens, ie Green but not left wing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    recedite wrote: »
    Leaving aside this ridiculous strawman, its worth pointing out that the 5 star movement does not consider itself either right or left wing, but is more about direct democracy, sustainablility, environmentalism and a steady state economy. These aspirations have no need for the politics of constant economic growth and immigration.
    I suppose you could call them 21st Century Greens, ie Green but not left wing.

    Oh I agree, I was merely responding specifically to the post which queried how being anti-EU and anti-immigration were linked. In my view it's obvious - you can't fully close your border if you're a member of the EU, simple as that. Many people in Europe want this for their country, hence why they would vote for anti-EU parties in the process of being anti-immigration.

    I don't see how anything in my post was a ridiculous strawman either?


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭sameoldname


    I don't understand this argument to be honest. Never really have. Membership of the EU and the single market in particular means that a country isn't in control of its own immigration policy - geography and a destabilised middle-east would have no effect whatsoever if anti-immigration politicians were able to bluntly say "right, closed border, no more foreigners are allowed to enter the country, period".

    That's ultimately what the far right actually want. In that context, being anti-EU makes a pile of sense. I didn't really understand how this wasn't obvious with Brexit either - the anti-immigration people weren't just opposed to migration from outside the EU, they were opposed to people from other EU countries being able to come and go as they pleased. In that context, being anti-EU when you're anti-immigration is entirely logical. Indeed, it would be illogical to be pro-EU if your goal is to see fewer foreigners being allowed into your country. I reckon you're making the mistake of assuming "foreigners" to be non-EU citizens - a lot of anti-immigration people in the EU also have an issue with free movement of people from neighbouring EU nations as well.

    Well to be fair, in recent years anti-immigration talk of the last few years is generally considered to be in relation to non-EU migration. Statistics here show that with the exception of Romania, intra-EU flows to Italy are pretty modest.

    The thing about this is though that despite being full of anti-immigration bluster, for the most part right-wing governments rarely do anything about immigration once they are faced with the economic reality of reduced birth-rates and an aging population. Until the day comes that people are willing to either have more children or pay for their own retirement and medical costs this cycle will continue.
    If inflating away the problems worked in the past, it follows that people would be pissed that they're not allowed to do this anymore, no?

    If you consider shrinking your GDP and decimating the populations savings rather than addressing the actual structural problems in the economy as working, then yes. Also, if they wanted to keep this option open then they shouldn't have joined the Euro.


  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭sameoldname


    Many on the far right would simply argue for not allowing people into the country, and repelling migrants by force if necessary, coupled with deporting those who are found to have slipped through the net. In the case of Trump they talk about building a wall, but I've no doubt that at least some of these folks would have no issue with the military being used to defend their border if that's what it would take.

    I honestly reckon that many people seriously underestimate just how bluntly anti-immigration some on the right are, or what lengths they'd be willing to see their governments go to in order to prevent it.

    EDIT: From the BBC link above:



    Many on the far right would be happy to say "no, you are not entitled to asylum and we will torpedo your vessels if you attempt to come here illegally". They just won't say so publicly because such views lie outside Europe's Overton Window at the moment.

    I don't disagree and a lot of this is down to the fact that the centre-ground in a lot of countries have been completely abandoned and the lunatics on the far-left and far-right are dominating popular discourse.

    There will always be a lunatic fringe but normally the central majority keeps both sides at bay. Seems we've lost the ability to do this now though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    I don't disagree and a lot of this is down to the fact that the centre-ground in a lot of countries have been completely abandoned and the lunatics on the far-left and far-right are dominating popular discourse.

    There will always be a lunatic fringe but normally the central majority keeps both sides at bay. Seems we've lost the ability to do this now though.

    The problem is the left and right establishment groupings constantly belittling the populist types and insisting that everything is grand, even though in the actual experiences of these peoples lives, it really isn't. Eventually, that boils over into all-out revolt. The response of those in power all over the West to ongoing inequality and issues with quality of life has been the 21st century equivalent of "let them eat cake", and has always been absolutely inevitable that this would only fly for a limited amount of time.

    The populist backlash currently underway is a direct consequence of "sure everything's grand - and anyone who says otherwise is an uneducated moron".

    Think back to when Bertie suggested openly that anyone who didn't believe in the Celtic Tiger should go off and kill themselves. That's the kind of contempt which people on the margins have perceived from the establishment for a long, long time.

    Glenn Greenwald summed this up pretty well:

    Just take a step back for a second. One of the things that is bothering me and bothered me about the Brexit debate, and is bothering me a huge amount about the Trump debate, is that there is zero elite reckoning with their own responsibility in creating the situation that led to both Brexit and Trump and then the broader collapse of elite authority.

    The reason why Brexit resonated and Trump resonated isn’t that people are too stupid to understand the arguments. The reason they resonated is that people have been so f*cked by the prevailing order in such deep and fundamental and enduring ways that they can’t imagine that anything is worse than preservation of the status quo. You have this huge portion of the populace in both the U.K. and the US that is so angry and so helpless that they view exploding things without any idea of what the resulting debris is going to be to be preferable to having things continue, and the people they view as having done this to them to continue in power. That is a really serious and dangerous and not completely invalid perception that a lot of people who spend their days scorning Trump and his supporters or Brexit played a great deal in creating.


  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭sameoldname


    The problem is the left and right establishment groupings constantly belittling the populist types and insisting that everything is grand, even though in the actual experiences of these peoples lives, it really isn't. Eventually, that boils over into all-out revolt. The response of those in power all over the West to ongoing inequality and issues with quality of life has been the 21st century equivalent of "let them eat cake", and has always been absolutely inevitable that this would only fly for a limited amount of time.

    The populist backlash currently underway is a direct consequence of "sure everything's grand - and anyone who says otherwise is an uneducated moron".

    Think back to when Bertie suggested openly that anyone who didn't believe in the Celtic Tiger should go off and kill themselves. That's the kind of contempt which people on the margins have perceived from the establishment for a long, long time.

    Glenn Greenwald summed this up pretty well:

    Just take a step back for a second. One of the things that is bothering me and bothered me about the Brexit debate, and is bothering me a huge amount about the Trump debate, is that there is zero elite reckoning with their own responsibility in creating the situation that led to both Brexit and Trump and then the broader collapse of elite authority.

    The reason why Brexit resonated and Trump resonated isn’t that people are too stupid to understand the arguments. The reason they resonated is that people have been so f*cked by the prevailing order in such deep and fundamental and enduring ways that they can’t imagine that anything is worse than preservation of the status quo. You have this huge portion of the populace in both the U.K. and the US that is so angry and so helpless that they view exploding things without any idea of what the resulting debris is going to be to be preferable to having things continue, and the people they view as having done this to them to continue in power. That is a really serious and dangerous and not completely invalid perception that a lot of people who spend their days scorning Trump and his supporters or Brexit played a great deal in creating.

    Well, aside from the fact we're only just emerging from a world-wide recession the likes of which hasn't been seen since the 30's and the imbalances caused by that will take time to redress... If people think that voting for far-right parties is somehow going to make the have-nots better off they have another thing coming. Unless my knowledge of politics is completely off, the general view of the have-nots by the right-wing is that they deserve the situation they find themselves in and it's their own responsibility to better themselves.

    As for the far-left... The whole "all of the socialism, none of the taxes, blame the elites"... is the same level of stupidity if you ask me.

    If Brexit and Trump had actually on balance, delivered anything positive, I might be able to accept that people weren't "too stupid to understand the arguments" but neither have so far. In fact, certainly with Brexit anyway, the things that people were so pissed off about are going to get worse and longer-lived.

    If people vote under the illusion that things can't get any worse... well they should read a history book...


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,573 ✭✭✭Infini


    Truth is the immigration issue is a big issue for Italy as well as a few other issues like corruption and economic stagnation. Its no suprise that people have turned away from the regular parties in their droves there. The economic stagnation is bad enough from the Fiscal Crisis but the big one as well is the sheer amount of illegal immigrants that have been dumped in the likes of Italy and Greece over the last few years.

    Ultimately Europe NEEDS to implement more stringent immigration polities and NEEDS to deport the illegals back to Libya where they're coming from. It's a no win situation but we cant simply just allow in so many people from a completely different ethnic and cultural background all at once especially if they're illegal immigrants. It ultimately causes serious societal problems down the road otherwise and can be destabilising. Case in point the middle end up losing power because they don't make the hard choices that sometimes HAVE to be made. It's ironic that when Hungary put up a border fence to shut down the flow of illegals into their country they were given flak over it but were ironically proven RIGHT in doing so as word quickly got out that the illegals were being blocked from getting into Europe that way and ultimately shut down that route into Europe.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,511 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    I don't understand this argument to be honest. Never really have. Membership of the EU and the single market in particular means that a country isn't in control of its own immigration policy - geography and a destabilised middle-east would have no effect whatsoever if anti-immigration politicians were able to bluntly say "right, closed border, no more foreigners are allowed to enter the country, period".
    Membership of the EU and the single market does not mean that a country "isn't in control of its own immigration policy". EU freedom of movement rules only apply to EU nationals.

    However, membership of the Schengen group of countries - which includes Italy - does mean a common external immigration policy for all countries in the group, rather than separate policies for each of them.

    It would be nonsense to say, though, that if Italy left the Schengen group "geography and a destabilised middle-east would have no effect whatsoever if anti-immigration politicians were able to bluntly say 'right, closed border, no more foreigners are allowed to enter the country, period'". Being able to say such a thing is one thing; being able to make it a reality is another. No amount of right-wing posturing is going to alter the facts of geography, which is that Italy's sea border is indefensible against small-scale incursions, or the political fact that Italy is adjacent to a dangerously disrupted region from which people have a strong incentive to flee.

    So the anti-establishment parties mostly don't call for Italy to leave the Schengen group (much less the EU). The 5-Star Movement calls for the common migration policy established by the Schengen group to be revised, to make immigration more difficult. Lega Nord wants Schengen suspended, pending reform of the system. Neither suggest that Italy should simply denounce Schengen, and go it alone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Membership of the EU and the single market does not mean that a country "isn't in control of its own immigration policy". EU freedom of movement rules only apply to EU nationals.

    That's what I'm saying though. There are plenty on the right who aren't even ok with immigration by EU nationals. They feel that their country should literally allow no foreigners in to live and work on a long term basis at all, including those from other EU countries.

    Take Brexit for example - it wasn't migrants from Syria etc which were the issue for a lot of Brexiteers (that I saw interviewed and posting online anyway), it was people from other EU countries - Poland, Spain, hell even Ireland - taking up space in "their" job market. This is, IMO, a much bigger issue for a lot of people than is generally believed, again because it's socially unacceptable to publicly state this so a lot of people keep quiet about it.

    There are plenty of Irish people who are anti-immigration not just in terms of African migrants but also in terms of Eastern Europeans (Polish folk seem to be a particularly sore sticking point, not sure why Polish specifically but there you go) living and working here.

    Again I just feel that the current Overton Window has swept a lot of this sentiment totally under the carpet where people don't realise how extensive it might be. Put simply, there are people out there who bluntly believe that when their country has an economic crisis, giving one single job to someone not born and raised there ahead of native applicants is an outrage, and the same for housing, social welfare, etc. It's a mentality which goes far beyond just opposing particular types of immigration. Immigration from other EU countries is seen as just as big a problem by these folks - they don't believe in a common EU citizenship and they regard people from other EU countries as being just as "foreign" as people from Syria or anywhere else.

    I could be wrong about all this but that was certainly the case around Brexit. The argument that Britain could impose its own immigration policies without leaving the EU made absolutely no sense in the context of free movement of people within the EU being a fundamental requirement for membership. These arguments ignored the reality that for a lot of Brexiteers, having people from Ireland living and working in London and therefore taking up resources (living space, jobs, etc) which should have "rightly" been the birthright of a native Brit instead, was just as offensive to them as having migrants from Syria come and settle there.

    Basically, the extent of opposition to the single market specifically as far as people are concerned, is in my view massively underestimated across the EU. And in my view, we ignore it at our peril.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,753 ✭✭✭oceanman


    That's what I'm saying though. There are plenty on the right who aren't even ok with immigration by EU nationals. They feel that their country should literally allow no foreigners in to live and work on a long term basis at all, including those from other EU countries.

    Take Brexit for example - it wasn't migrants from Syria etc which were the issue for a lot of Brexiteers (that I saw interviewed and posting online anyway), it was people from other EU countries - Poland, Spain, hell even Ireland - taking up space in "their" job market. This is, IMO, a much bigger issue for a lot of people than is generally believed, again because it's socially unacceptable to publicly state this so a lot of people keep quiet about it.

    There are plenty of Irish people who are anti-immigration not just in terms of African migrants but also in terms of Eastern Europeans (Polish folk seem to be a particularly sore sticking point, not sure why Polish specifically but there you go) living and working here.

    Again I just feel that the current Overton Window has swept a lot of this sentiment totally under the carpet where people don't realise how extensive it might be. Put simply, there are people out there who bluntly believe that when their country has an economic crisis, giving one single job to someone not born and raised there ahead of native applicants is an outrage, and the same for housing, social welfare, etc. It's a mentality which goes far beyond just opposing particular types of immigration. Immigration from other EU countries is seen as just as big a problem by these folks - they don't believe in a common EU citizenship and they regard people from other EU countries as being just as "foreign" as people from Syria or anywhere else.

    I could be wrong about all this but that was certainly the case around Brexit. The argument that Britain could impose its own immigration policies without leaving the EU made absolutely no sense in the context of free movement of people within the EU being a fundamental requirement for membership. These arguments ignored the reality that for a lot of Brexiteers, having people from Ireland living and working in London and therefore taking up resources (living space, jobs, etc) which should have "rightly" been the birthright of a native Brit instead, was just as offensive to them as having migrants from Syria come and settle there.

    Basically, the extent of opposition to the single market specifically as far as people are concerned, is in my view massively underestimated across the EU. And in my view, we ignore it at our peril.
    +1 great post....


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,801 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    There are plenty on the right who aren't even ok with immigration by EU nationals. They feel that their country should literally allow no foreigners in to live and work on a long term basis at all, including those from other EU countries.

    Why should we pander to xenophobia (which is quite literally what you've just described)?

    Sure, there are people who believe that foreigners should be barricaded out of the country. There are also people who believe that inter-racial marriage is unthinkable, or that homosexuality should still be illegal.

    The role of government isn't - or certainly shouldn't be - to pander to people's basest instincts. The British government forgot that, and the country - including the xenophobes - will pay the price for generations to come.

    Just because some people believe that slamming the borders shut will solve all their problems don't make it so. Large numbers of people subscribing to an irrational idea doesn't suddenly make it sensible.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Large numbers of people subscribing to an irrational idea doesn't suddenly make it sensible.

    As the continuing shambles of Brexit and Trump show, and will continue to show for some time to come.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    oscarBravo wrote: »
    Why should we pander to xenophobia (which is quite literally what you've just described)?

    Sure, there are people who believe that foreigners should be barricaded out of the country. There are also people who believe that inter-racial marriage is unthinkable, or that homosexuality should still be illegal.

    The role of government isn't - or certainly shouldn't be - to pander to people's basest instincts. The British government forgot that, and the country - including the xenophobes - will pay the price for generations to come.

    Just because some people believe that slamming the borders shut will solve all their problems don't make it so. Large numbers of people subscribing to an irrational idea doesn't suddenly make it sensible.

    I'm not suggesting we pander to them, but when people with that mentality start running for election and coming frighteningly close to winning (Marine Le Pen, anyone?) then don't you think it's time we stopped antagonising the people voting that way and tried to have a dialogue with them instead?

    I'd also question the use of the term "xenophobia" to describe the sentiment I'm referring to. Jingoism or Tribalism might be better terms.

    Have you never seen, for instance, a thread right here on Boards in which somebody states that until every single, last, homeless Irish person has been housed using social housing, we shouldn't spend a single cent on direct provision or admit literally any state-dependent foreigners at all into the country? I certainly have. And I don't think racism or xenophobia is the right term because these people would apparently have no problem with foreigners in their country if resources were plentiful. The ideology is more "when push comes to shove, natives should always be served first". I doubt there would be an anti-immigrant wave in America at the moment if it wasn't for fairly high unemployment and therefore high competition for jobs among certain categories of workers.

    It's not as simple as "I hate foreigners", it's more a case of "foreigners should be at the very back of the queue, and since there isn't even room for all native people in the queue right now, we shouldn't allow any foreigners in it at all."

    I'm sure there's an actual term for what I'm describing, I just don't have to hand. It's like a political, real-life manifestation of that warning you hear on aeroplanes - "in the event of an emergency, make sure to attach your own mask before helping other passengers or companions with theirs". In this case its "if there isn't enough for every native <insert nationality here> to go around, we shouldn't be giving anything at all to non-natives".

    Obviously I don't agree with these sentiments, but I'm arguing that the establishment has literally done absolutely f*ck-all to dissuade people of them. In fact, the deliberate antagonism, condescension and insulting that we've seen against people of this world-view has very clearly and obviously led to the spread and further radicalisation of those views. And while I would vehemently oppose them ideologically, I'm not really sure if I'd describe them as illegitimate political views to hold. Tribalism and "our people first" has been a hallmark of human civilisation since humans first organised themselves into communities. Hell, the Bible for starters is absolutely full of it. So to simply suggest that we ignore it and hope it will go away on its own seems like a doomed strategy, given that it seems to have been present for literally all of human history.

    It may lie outside the Overton Window, but as an instinct among many people it's not going anywhere. And in that context, having it outside the Overton Window is a huge problem, IMO. Because it then mingles with other ideas which are outside the Overton Window, where people who share this ideology get exposed to other forms of extremism, and the end result is the birth of something like the Alt-Right.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    As the continuing shambles of Brexit and Trump show, and will continue to show for some time to come.

    Agreed, but would you not accept that in general human psychology, attacking, belittling and above all talking down to people regarding their beliefs just causes them to double down and, if anything, actually become more radical in those beliefs?

    What's happening in Europe is, as Glenn Greenwald said, a catastrophic failure on the part of the mainstream to engage in any sort of civil debate or dialogue with the far right. You don't earn somebody's vote by accusing them of being a racist or an uneducated dimwit - this should surely be blindingly obvious?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    Agreed, but would you not accept that in general human psychology, attacking, belittling and above all talking down to people regarding their beliefs just causes them to double down and, if anything, actually become more radical in those beliefs?

    No.

    Buttering up nationalists, xenophobes and racists by engaging them in "dialogue" is partly why Brexit happened. Farage has been a fixture on BBC's Question Time for years despite being on the far fringe of UK politics and unable to win a seat at Westminster, all in the interests of "airing diverse views" and stimulating debate.

    Instead, they made him respectable and Brexit sensible. Way to go, BBC.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭hatrickpatrick


    No.

    Buttering up nationalists, xenophobes and racists by engaging them in "dialogue" is partly why Brexit happened. Farage has been a fixture on BBC's Question Time for years despite being on the far fringe of UK politics and unable to win a seat at Westminster, all in the interests of "airing diverse views" and stimulating debate.

    Instead, they made him respectable and Brexit sensible. Way to go, BBC.

    So you honestly think that continuing to belittle, thus enraging and further radicalising, the far right - while at the same time pushing them so far under the carpet that when they eventually band together and start voting for horrible options, it comes as a complete surprise - is actually a good thing? I would argue that it's been a complete and total disaster.

    It's been widely suggested that the reason pre-vote polls didn't predict either Trump or Brexit was too many people being embarrassed or ashamed to answer the polls honestly. Pushing political views under the carpet like this also massively limits our ability to counter them - you can't fight an opponent without acknowledging its size and strength. I would have thought this was obvious?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    So you honestly think that continuing to belittle, thus enraging and further radicalising, the far right - while at the same time pushing them so far under the carpet that when they eventually band together and start voting for horrible options, it comes as a complete surprise - is actually a good thing? I would argue that it's been a complete and total disaster.

    You are actually physically responding to an article in which I point out that Farage on the UK right was not belittled or stuck under the carpet - he was on the BBC all the bloody time being treated as a serious political voice despite getting roughly no votes.

    The exact thing you want - dialogue with the right, and it has brought the UK to the brink of disaster and dissolution.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,713 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    So you honestly think that continuing to belittle, thus enraging and further radicalising, the far right - while at the same time pushing them so far under the carpet that when they eventually band together and start voting for horrible options, it comes as a complete surprise - is actually a good thing? I would argue that it's been a complete and total disaster.

    It's been widely suggested that the reason pre-vote polls didn't predict either Trump or Brexit was too many people being embarrassed or ashamed to answer the polls honestly. Pushing political views under the carpet like this also massively limits our ability to counter them - you can't fight an opponent without acknowledging its size and strength. I would have thought this was obvious?

    Nothing has been pushed under the carpet at all. The nature of the internet renders this impossible. As has been pointed out, the BBC was in the middle of some kind of love affair with Farage in 2016. He was regularly on their political programmes. Then you have him writing for the likes of Breitbart and the Daily Express.

    Polls in the week leading up to Brexit predicted a narrow win for Leave by the way.

    The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

    Leviticus 19:34



  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,269 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    I think anyone surprised by the results probably hasn't been paying attention to Italian politics since 1945. It's almost always been quite volatile, with healthy doses of populism and extremism thrown in.

    In most countries, when you see a swing towards either, one of two things usually happens: marginalisation or co-option. With the former, more mainstream parties will tack to the direction of the insurgents, adopt some of their positions and take votes from their more moderate supporters, forcing the insurgents into more extreme positions and leaving them with the support of the lunatic fringe. With the latter, the prospect (or the realities of power) of power will see the insurgent drop the more extreme aspects of their platform in order to broaden support (which has slowly been happening with M5S in Italy).


Advertisement