Farage_populismThe populists are coming! In many European countries, so-called “populist” political parties are on the rise, disrupting the established political order and upstaging mainstream parties. Their opponents see them as demagogues who ignore the realities of power and the necessity of political compromise, while their supporters view them as plain-speaking underdogs who are willing to stand up for regular folk against the lazy, the incompetent, and the powerful.

Curious to know more about the rise of populism across Europe? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

We had a comment sent in from Eric arguing that what some commentators call populist, “most of the contributors on [Debating Europe] would call democracy and patriotism”. In other words, isn’t “populism” just democracy at work? What’s so bad about populism?

To get a response, we spoke to Cas Mudde, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs. How would he react?

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Paul Taggart, Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex and Director of the Sussex European Institute. How would he respond to Eric?

paul-taggartI’m not sure we should apply labels such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to populism. I personally don’t think populism is inherently a bad thing. I think it attaches to different sets of ideas, some of which are very bad (in my opinion), but there’s nothing to stop populism attaching itself to ideas that I think are good.

What we tend to mean when we speak about ‘populism’ in the European context is populism of the Right or Far Right. But Latin American populism is often of the Left Wing… Populism pushes at the edges. It’s not revolutionary, but it advocates the idea of popular sovereignty above the sovereignty of institutions, and it tends to be opposed to ideas of civil or human rights, democratic institutions, and representatives of those institutions. Populists don’t tend to like politicians as a whole. In its extreme form, populism doesn’t like politics…

So, why do people vote for populist parties? We had a comment sent in from Costin, who wonders if the rise of populism might be a direct result of the recent economic crisis, adding that he’s “hopeful that once we can put the crisis behind us and we no longer need scapegoats for our economic misfortunes, some of these xenophobic attitudes will also dissipate.”

In other words: is it the economy, stupid? How would Cas Mudde respond?

And what would Paul Taggart say?

paul-taggartI’m a political scientist, I don’t think I should be telling people who or what they should be voting for… What I do believe, however, is that we should be dealing with the issues that populists raise. The problem with the reaction to populism so far is that we haven’t taken it very seriously. We tend to want to treat populism as something negative. We want to see it as abnormal. For me, politics is about contestation, debate, discussion. Populism is best addressed by answering the questions it asks…

And I think that the distrust that populism draws from is much deeper than a distrust about the functioning of the economy. It’s a distrust about the way that politics works, and I think really in my heart of hearts that we don’t fully understand the functioning of politics sometimes, and the expectations that people have of politics are sometimes too high…

Why is “populism” seen as a bad thing? Why do people vote for populist parties? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – European Parliament
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


421 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It is only seen as a bad thing by EU federalist fanatics who seek to bypass democracy, the vast majority of people are Nationalistic & therefore populists.

    • avatar

      It’s telling how anti-Europeans are undermining on European site, why don’t you just go to your Commonwealth website if you have one?

    • avatar

      What’s telling, George is how you constantly attack others that are different to you, born in a specific country or have different opinions to you.

    • avatar
      Robert Walker

      The recent High court decision in the UK not allowing Theresa May to invoke article 50 without consultation and voting by parliament is a enforcing a law that had its roots back in the 1600s after Charles 1 of England dissolved parliament several times and took absolute rule. After the civil war this and other rules were brought into English law to protect the democratic rights of the English and now UK populace. The so called Brexiteers and many tabloids have now criticised the legal justice system for holding up Brexit. Many Brexiteers shouted that we want our Britain back and to be able to make our own laws, then when it happens they shout foul! it shows how intelligent they are (sarcasm) and how out of touch the majority of them are, dont knock the legislature.

    • avatar
      Tom Gardiner

      I agree: Populism is Orwellian Newspeak for democracy.

    • avatar

      What i find interesting is how the royal prerogative was used alot with getting the UK into and closer EU relations and when its suddenly used to get out of the EU its suddenly not valid.

    • avatar
      Marie Hepburn

      To be “nationalistic” within the E U is not a bad thing. After all, we almost all have a different language within the E U and even if we share the same language, as part of Belgium does, the cultural background is different from say, France. This is why, a ” federal E U ” is something a lot of E U countries are objecting to. we all have our own identities within the E U based on our own Cultural, Historical and Lingusitic Heritage. The National Heritage of all E U countries ought to be respected. It has nothing to do with ” bad nationalism ” and all the derogatory implications. The E U was initially a Common Market, not a political entity.

    • avatar
      David Bentley

      Populism/populist are pejoratives applied by those who can’t to those who can

    • avatar
      Shona Graham

      Telling how some pro EU supporters cannot separate Europe from the EU. I voted yes to Scottish Independence knowing full well Scotland would still be a country in the British Isles in the continent of Europe just not part of EU or UK. Knew the same when I voted Brexit, EU is racist, xenophobic organisation – that places it citizens above the citizens of other countries. Not that it treats its own citizens equally it uses East Europe as slave labour, to impoverish the rights of workers whilst putting Eastern european countries into a state of collapse. As a human being I am entitled to a view on politics, ethics and anything else I want – voting Brexit was a vote to leave EU not a vote on WESTMINSTER, not a vote to give up my OWN voice and pretend that there is one populist voice that represents me. NONE of the political parties YES that includes UKIP represent ME.

    • avatar

      I disagree. We have the technology to make direct democracy a reality. If we want to have a voice and feel we can shape the world in which we live then we need a democratic process. I would prefer this to lobbying with a dictatorship (i don’t have the money to be heard). One man/woman, one vote is a great way to level the playing field.

    • avatar
      Greg hunt

      Populism is on the rise because political correctness in western countries is out of control.we have had enough of week polititions who refuse to stand up for their countries culture and traditions for fear they may offend lmmigrants who will not assimilate.so wake up people, oil and water wont mix no matter how hard you try

    • avatar

      Populism is on the rise because, it’s popular. The clue’s in the name! Populist politicians actually ask what people want and take notice of it. They then reiterate it Las loudly and publicly as possible. Conventional political parties seem to have taken the decision they know what’s best for us. To the point they don’t have to listen to what we want anymore. As a result their political policies do not fit often enough.

  2. avatar
    Shah Ji

    Because it has cost lives of 6-million Jews in the recent past. The similar ancestral behavior has no place in a globalized world. All values are not good values.

    • avatar
      Larry Lart

      It cost a lot more than that, over 60+ million people died in the WWII, and about 100+ million in both wars.
      Well, the next will be the last, that is for sure.

    • avatar

      I don’t think populism or democracy was the root cause of these deaths. This is a sensitive subject but I would prefer the will of the people to a peaceful dictatorship. When control versus education is used then the trouble waits just around the corner. (i am trying to learn myself and I know this is a sensitive passionate subject, but I don’t think that we had a situation where the people spoke and a politician just carried out the people’s wishes, there was a lot of disinformation and the politician had an agenda of their own and tried to shape public opinion around this).

    • avatar

      @Matthew, unfortunately as much as it’s comforting to think the genocide that was Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” to what he labelled “the Jewish problem” was not just his opinion. Anti-semitism has been around for centuries. It’s still around today. I don’t think it’s ever been as publicly accepted as it was in pre war Germany, but Hitler didn’t invent it. That’s one of the key reasons I’m so vehemently against the islamophobia being spouted all too often on this website. People will always love a good scapegoat. I guess it’s more appealing to think of all the problems with your life and that you see in the world around you to be firstly, not your fault and secondly easily fixable by simply getting rid of one group of people. In 1937, it was the Jews. Today it seems it’s the Muslims, and yes I’m aware that there are “Islamic groups” responsible for promoting terrorism and violence. But the truth of their motives is political in nature, if as they claim it was just to kill the “godless ones” then why would they be attacking muslim countries? Simple answer is they wouldn’t. If they were truly devout followers of Islam then they’d know (as with their two sibling religions, Judaism and Christianity) murder goes against the tenets of their religious texts. But I digress some.

    • avatar
      Dee C.

      We ( most ) dont want a globalised world !! we want our countries back and safe again… we ( Europeans ) are not muslim nations and we do not want to be … WE want our ‘public servant’ politicians , whose wages we pay to protect our sovereign rights, our customs our beliefs and our ORIGINAL nationalism … just like the Middle East does for it’s people … no emigrating over there and doing exactly as you please .. live by sharia law or die !! is their way of life … Well we are Europeans not Muslims and we don’t want to be infested by their evil religion, rape culture, child molestation and total disregard for women’s rights anymore. Enough is enough … I need politicians who will protect my country against foreign invaders … Muslims … not welcome them in … muslims do not want to integrate with us, they hate us and Jews … they only want take over and instill islam on all the world .. their koran even tells them to KILL US !

    • avatar

      And five million others who were considered objectionable, who voiced any opposition or were simply an educated part of the population that hitler wanted to conquer or suspected to be part of the resistance.

      Then there are also the millions of war casualties. The total lives lost is staggering.

    • avatar
      jim burke

      it is better for the majority of the citizens to control the government rather than the Elites the minorities may take a hit but under a liberal democracy we have seen rules made by the elites who try to dictate the morality of the country and have a fictional Ideology and understanding of reality for most of it’s citizens Not one country in the history of the world would I say employ a good moral code so the government should provide an army collect taxes provide safety stop trying to be our moral teachers like in a theocracy so populism is not perfect but it is better than the theocracy we have under Trudeau

    • avatar
      jim burke

      Shah Ji Hitlers Germany wouldn.t be considered populist it is a national Socialist Dictatorship

  3. avatar
    Paul X

    “We had a comment sent in from Costin, who wonders if the rise of populism might be a direct result of the recent economic crisis”

    Clearly not, the UK is probably one of the more “populist” countries in the EU and our economy is doing ok thank you very much (this is despite the EU not because of it I may add)

    The rise in populism is a result of a whole range of issues that have and continue to be badly mismanaged by the EU, the economy is just one of them

    • avatar

      UK economy OK??? You’re kidding, right? …. Get your facts before commenting…. !

    • avatar

      The economy of the UK if looked at as a clear cut issue is ok. It’s only when you look into distribution of wealth within the economy that things start to look bad.

    • avatar

      Populism is true democracy in the UK we have representing democracy which is no democracy at all people a majority say one thing to their member of parliament and he votes for the opposite and says he votes with his conscience where is the democracy in that

    • avatar

      Well, you forgot about finns. Those are populists. Even if finn is doing business with you, you do not want to know, what he or she is saying behind your back. Finns hate everyone on this planet.

  4. avatar
    John Vincent

    Well it isn’t if we are talking about TV game shows or comic newspapers. But it is the dumbest way to govern or manage. History is littered with examples of leaders trying to be popular rather than making the right decision for the long term.

    • avatar

      Wouldn’t being popular (amongst the electorate) be a prerequisite for any politician reaching office. I don’t think an elected politician (by the masses) would reach office campaigning solely on long term issues (e.g. future planet colonisation). A good politician would need to be popular (and continue to be popular on longer term thinking). I would say history is riddled with politicians who have said whatever they need to say to be popular and then lied while carrying out their own long term agenda (actually this isn’t history but the status quo today).

  5. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    Using labels and buzzwords is a very important aspect of politics. “You racist!” “We defend democracy!” “We need solidarity!”. That’s why “populism”, “conservatism”, “democracy”, “racism”, “fascism”, “solidarity”, “social”, and many other words have lost all meaning and are now merely used to make others think we are the good guys and they are the bad guys.

    It is more important now than ever to question everything that is said in politics, even the way each word is used.

  6. avatar
    Любомир Иванчев

    Because it doesn’t solve actual problems of the state and society. Populism is a useful tool for politicians to benefit from public office and power without doing the actual job they were elected for. Populism is like cancer to any democratic and liberal society.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Любомир Иванчев
      It was populism that facilitated universal suffrage, it was populism that founded the NHS, it was populism that created free education for minors.

      NOT all populist aspirations are of the oncological variety old bean!

    • avatar

      What if a large proportion of the population wanted to solve actual problems of state and society. Then a politician comes along who wanted to represent those views. Wouldn’t that be populism also (and democratic). I would say populism is one possible medication for the illness that is dictatorship. I’m not sure saying ‘a democratic and liberal society’ makes sense. Democracy may lead to a non-liberal society if allowed to take its true course. Forced liberalism is anti-democratic; a dictatorship.

    • avatar

      @Matthew, if they want that then great. Sadly what they want is to win the popular vote by repeating things they’ve heard said by others. They’re too lazy to actually come up with actual solutions that might work for real problems. Actually, that’s not fair. I’m generalising at that. What I should say is the populist politicians I’m aware of and based on what I’ve seen of them are too lazy to come up with real solutions to real problems.

  7. avatar
    Wendy Harris

    It’s not a bad thing. The established political order needs disrupting because it no longer listens to the people or cares about them. Austerity isn’t working, the poor and least fortunate continue suffering while the rich remain immune to its effects. Multiculturalism isn’t working, indigenous people are losing their own culture and identity while immigrants cleave to their own kind and feel more patriotism towards their country of birth than to their adopted country. Warfare over health care, pressure of automation on jobs, shortage of affordable housing, the list of concerns is endless. The people who expected so much of the 21st Century feel let down, miserable and hopeless as we see ourselves heading towards a dystopia in which those who have outgrown their perceived usefulness will be culled or left to perish in poverty, as is happening in the UK.

    • avatar

      well said

    • avatar
      Carol Conroy

      Well said Wendy. Now if we could just get the majority of the nation to understand these words, Australia might have a fighting chance to overcome the years that the current political parties have given away so much of this country, doubled taxes, introduced global warming and climate change as an excuse to introduce GST, allowed foreign business to operate on Australian soil without having to pay tax,
      allowed mining companies to ride roughshod over farmers and graziers whose land has been in their families for generations. Mining that has been proven to pollute our water systems and cause carcinogenic illnesses in people that have
      worked their whole lives to produce food for this country. Threatened every Australian Citizen that if they do not take out Private Health Cover(which has become so costly that the average working class family just cannot afford it) that they will pay a lot more tax. Shame shame shame on all Australian political parties in power!!! In the last 50 years you have turned a self supporting Nation into a third world country.

    • avatar
      April rode

      You are absolutely spot on with what you have said!

    • avatar

      I don’t think I’ve lost any of my culture. I’m in a majority ethnic group in a multicultural area and I still know my heritage very well. What I do feel I’ve lost are simple freedoms. But again, that’s not the fault of people of other cultures, it’s a bi-product of short sighted leaders who would rather ban something a few abuse rather than simply put sufficient effort into the justice and enforcement systems and spread awareness to help prevent abuses from happening to begin with. People were being shot, ban guns. People are being stabbed, ban knives, people are drinking irresponsibly, ban drinking and so on and so forth until we won’t be able to do anything without breaking the law. It’s a sad situation but getting rid of all people that talk or look different to me won’t fix it.

    • avatar

      Muticulturism is not working…rubbish. I suggest wendy that you take a sample of your DNA and have a look at your origins…it will most likely surprise you. What is an indigenous person? Don’t blame immigrants, blame the politicians who create policies that benefit the well off. I am all for much more integration, my culture is from all over the world…By all means attack religion but nationalism stinks and always will.

  8. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    the problem is dictatorship and dictatorship feeds populism that brings confusion. The dictatorship system feeds on confusion otherwise be destroyed.

  9. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Today church and right wing fight to win elections using unhappy and afraid citizens . Hitler and communists did the same and created big damage .

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Vinko Rajic
      Interesting, what EU countries are you referring to in your opening statement please?

    • avatar

      Oh dear, politicians are responding to what people are unhappy about! What a disgrace! How dare they.

  10. avatar
    Debby Ament Teusink

    It is the same as “Why are there still wars going on?”, “Because people who never lived through a war, start them”. People who never witnessed the destruction as a result of populism and nationalism, are promoting it. ( And our enemies)

    • avatar

      What’s actually happening is some new politicians have come along as a result of feeling their was a demand in the sector not being met by pre existing political service providers. The fear of competition has lead to the the aforementioned pre existing service providers to come up with a derogatory term for these new political service providers so they can add a level of stigma to them, so people will confusedly associate populism as a bad thing despite the fact popularity is the driving force of democracy.
      Mandate of the masses is how we decide who wins a seat in parliament. It’s popularity of one set of manifesto pledges that allows a majority government to be formed.

    • avatar
      marie kremer

      all comments put together the french revolution was a populist uprising and produced nothing?

  11. avatar
    Barbara Szela Lesniak

    A new definition of populism – it’s when a citizen, a taxpayer needs any help from the government ant the government hears the call – then it’s called populism.

    • avatar

      the same holds true for ‘democracy’, is it another useless term?

    • avatar

      @Enrico, if you cannot find a definition for democracy, you might want to consider buying a better dictionary!

  12. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Cos its used for election purposes not for policies…. and the bigger the liar; the greater the populist approach… vote for yourself not for others

  13. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti

    The same populism used by the lefts-liberals to arrive and hold the power. Ridiculous to label as populism when the political parties listen to the people.

  14. avatar
    Alfredo Iannuzzi

    Movimento politico-culturale russo, che si sviluppò tra la fine del sec. XIX e l’inizio del XX, aspirante a una sorta di socialismo rurale, in opposizione al burocratismo zarista e all’industrialismo occidentale.
    Qualsiasi movimento politico diretto all’esaltazione demagogica delle qualità e capacità delle classi popolari.
    Quindi dipende dal significato che gli vogliamo dare.
    Russian political and cultural movement that developed between the end of the Nineteenth century and early Twentieth, aspiring to a kind of rural socialism in opposition to Czarist’s bureaucracy and Western industrialism.
    As extension:
    Any direct political movement demagogic exaltation of the qualities and abilities of the popular classes.
    Actually it depends on the meaning you will give to the term.

  15. avatar
    Roderick Beck

    Populism is based partly on the idea that the majority has the right to absolute power. Generally they are winner-take-all folks, except of course, when they are out of power.

  16. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    because most populist parties are anti eu…which the eu and its supporters cannot handle

  17. avatar
    Eric Fonk

    The more we hear the word populist being used the larger the liberals are admitting failure and incompetence.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Eric Fonk

  18. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    It is all political insiders, the stinking wealthy, established interests and mainstream parties who ask: “Why is “populism” seen as such a bad thing?”

    Who were the earliest populists? The underdogs, the little man and uncorrupted like: Spartacus, Jesus, the French Revolutionists, Martin Luther King, Mandela and all sober critics of the infamous EU concept?

    As the role of the canary in the mine is a critical populist the conscience of today’s democracy.

  19. avatar
    Elias Tenkanen

    Populism might not ne bad in itself, but if it isn’t based on facts (whch it often isn’t), it’s no good

  20. avatar
    Sérgio Torres

    Relying on what pops on my head only, I’d say “populism” mostly concerns appealing to the audience’s emotions instead of presenting facts, evidence and solid conclusions. “Populism” reminds me of “mob justice”, “generalized panic” and other group phenomenon I’m afraid of

    • avatar

      Well then isn’t populist slating by the EU actually a populist approach by the EU to get you to support them? You know, since it appeals to you that they speak out against populism. Popularity is where the term populism comes from. Politicians wanting to win an election all depend on popularity (or at least being most popular of the choices). This terminology is actually ludicrous.

    • avatar

      I’d stop sharing what “pops on your head”.

    • avatar
      Ant E E Yu

      Agree 100%. Well said.

    • avatar
      Nick Pantallas

      Explanation of the link between such populism as defined and conspiracy theories:

      Trump, a paradigmatic conspiracy theorist, proved to be a masterful exploiter of social media, which he deployed to bring conspiracist thinking out from the shadows and into the mainstream. And conspiracy theorising, as Jan-Werner Müller and others point out, is part of the inner logic of populism. Populism, remember, is based on the claim that society is divided between “the people” and the illegitimate elites who rule and exploit them. This is useful not only for campaigning, but for when populists get into power and discover that governing is more difficult than they thought. Why? Because others are conspiring against them, of course.”

  21. avatar
    David Petty

    Not a bad thing, its actually how democracy is supposed to work, political elites need to remember they work for the people and its the people who should have the final say!

    • avatar
      Carol Conroy

      Well said. A pity more people don’t understand this.

  22. avatar
    James Campbell

    The issue is whether or not a politician or party is “reactionary”.

    Do they criticise others savagely? Do they generate bad feeling about the established order? Are they dominated by people on the margins of society? Do they have serious political experience (even if only locally)? Are there frequent internal splits?

    In my country, the UK, UKIP ticks all these boxes and so does not have my respect.

    • avatar

      @James well said. Although one slight correction should be made in that some UKIP members were previously party members of other politics parties that defected to UKIP. But frankly political experience has nothing to do with the issue in my book. This concept that only people that have experience in politics should be politicians is why we have a political elite situation. Frankly I’ve always said, anybody who would want to lead is the least suitable to lead. That’s what leads to false promises and closed door deals to get them into the Job.

  23. avatar
    Julius S N Vincze

    Spain is also currently suffering from extreme left populism, manipulating people’s emotions and promising utopian solutions; it’s a very crude cut&paste of Chavez in Venezuela, whom all of the leaders worked with as advisors, and from where they later received illegal finance – initially to artificially magnify the 15-M protest movement and later start the party.
    – They TALK of grassroot democracy but PRACTICE a totalitarian dictatorship internally.
    – They PRETEND to hold primaries but ACTUALLY exclude others from participating, manipulating both the time available, closing both the order and content of candidate lists, etc.
    – They PROMISE transparency but both manipulate and rig internal elections (minors registered, ghost voters, results w more votes casts than voters registered).
    – They criticise corruption and cronyism BUT continue to hire partners, ex partners, family & friends, to the tune of about one every week, and with salaries up to 100.000€ despite also promising ending high wages of politicians and public servants.
    – They complain of abusing public funds but completely bypass legal contract process, and cheat by dividing contracts over 18.000€ into several smaller ones, to avoid public licitation.
    – They complain of “lack of freedom of speech” for puppeteers who support terrorism, but close a satire TV programme for laughing at them, fire a critical TV journalist and close his political comments programme, and set up a web to “name&shame” both journalists and media who talks bad about them, as only seen in totalitarian regimes.
    – They use anti-system grassroot movements to extract public subsidies – evictions, immigrants, striking workers, etc but then receive complaints from the same groups, after getting into power…
    – They support local Metro strikers but once in power, and it’s against them, say you obviously can not sit at a negotiation table as long as your striking.
    – They support protests by phone company workers against Barcelonas contract with them, but when in power, continuously prolong, with the excuse that there is no alternative….
    – They exaggerate the discontent from temporary lower standard of living during crisis, call a 2,8% drop in food expenses, over 7 years, “terrible poverty caused by cut-backs”, in the large country in the Euro zone with largest economic growth 2-3 years running, and over 1 million new jobs created the past 2 years, creating 40% of all new jobs in Europe… And a poverty rate lower than EU average.
    – They propose 25 emergency measures which are a mix of measures already in place and utopian promises…
    – They say it’s time to focus on solutions instead of haggling over seats, BUT have now been demanding a specific number of ministries for almost two months, BEFORE even agreeing a coalition program – and NONE of the social ministries but all the key ones: interior, exterior, defense, economy, tax, etc and the vice-presidency running the secret services…
    – They make utopian promises based on an economic model from 150 years ago, with a centrally controlled economy, failed everywhere in the world; their economic program has changed 4 times in a year, but still includes anti-market based measures like nationalisations, etc and is very sparse on details apart from “tax-the-rich”, in a country where 23% of the economy is black, 50% of tax payers are not liable to pay taxes and the top 5% already contribute with 35% of taxes collected…And where the social contributions by companies are 30% higher than EU average…
    – They claim to represent the people and the masses, but running Madrid, Barcelona etc, in minority, have proven to be just the opposite: denying the democratically elected councilmen from other parties present and debate motions (not a single plenary in all of September, for a capital w an almost 5.000€ million budget)… Use any and all excuses to insult and ridicule traditions with a religious origin: Nativity, Xmas, Three Kings, and now Carnaval… provoke by supporting extreme left terrorist group ETA through support of jailed terrorists, by including people condemned for child abuse, violence, drugs, fraud, etc in their election lists…
    – They complain of corruption etc but still have to explain their illegal finance – by foreign countries!
    – They set up a new foundation in Ecuador when they registered as a party, to hide their party finance. And the millions received from Iran – despite boikot – all has to pass through third countries – and been, and continuos to be for “anti-imperialistic” propaganda by a local TV program.
    – They demand everyone else resigns, but they never ever assume any political responsibility; their own ethical code require anyone indicted to resign, but so far not a single one of those already indicted have resigned…
    – And, after criticising corruption in the traditional parties, and criticising back room deals in private rooms in restaurants, and after promising any negotiations be shared by live streaming with the public, they are now negotiating a government coalition with the most corrupt party, and in private rooms in restaurants…
    – They say there is a terrible poverty problem and with thousands of children in Madrid going without food etc and prepared free meals for 6000; only 564 actually requested…. in a capital w almost 4 million inhabitants.
    – They say there are loads of urgent social measures necessary BUT still find it much more important – and urgent – to remove portraits of the king, remove plaques of victims killed – men, women and children – by communists, for being Catholics, 80 years ago! and changing street names etc… The poor eat street signs? Or are they less poor with a new address? (and which will cost them money to change all their documents),…
    – They talk of helping the poor but have so far destroyed over 125.000 new jobs, stopping new business projects…
    – They openly admit having zero organisation and management training and experience, and most of what they do is unorganised improvisation…
    – And eight months on, two of the most basic requirements in any city – rubbish & traffic – are both a problem!!!
    – The previous mayor of Madrid negotiated better interest debt rates and payment terms than even Spain as a country… Now they have cancelled their contract with the credit rating agencies S&P, and Finch, saying they supposedly don’t need to ever renew any more finance!????; and their risk level has doubled in just three months…

    And so on and so on and so on…

    Pure populism, demagogy and hypocrisy.

  24. avatar
    Alex Lomoro

    Because is a form of organizing people around some issue aimed at freeing the populace, so the elite doesn’t like it and instructed the media and the (dishonest) intellectuals to demonise it!

    • avatar

      Probably true, but as a cautionary note I’d say that the so called populist politicians also have an agenda. And I doubt it is for many of them, liberation of everyone else from all of their problems.

  25. avatar
    Tony Burns

    I fear if UKIP are considered populist and by default all the others have much the same outlook, ie anti EU and at best semi racist.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Tony Burns
      Poppycock! I am a non-white UK citizen and I support UKIP.

    • avatar

      @Tarquin, are ou implying only white people can be racist? How ironic of you!

  26. avatar
    Karl-Anders Larsson

    Populism is against the “establishment” or the “power elite” and it makes proposals which are popular for “common people”. Therefore it should be very good, almost equal to “democracy”. But there are two problems: 1. It is based on a conspiracy theory, a simplified conflict between the “power” and the “people”. 2. It’s policies are based on this simplification and therefore unrealistic an irresponsible.

  27. avatar
    Emilio Chile Acosta

    El populismo es UN ARMA del OPORTUNISMO CRIMINAL Y/O DELINCUENTE DEONTOLOGICO, hehehe cosas del MANIPULADOR de IGNORANTE que hoy no puede convivir con lo que dice GESTIONA hahha su PRODUCTO SOCIAL, ehem, lo llama ENEMIGO o lo convierte AL TERRORISMO por INDUCCION hehehe

  28. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Jason Picci
    Well said!

  29. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    Has your political scientist (isn’t that an oxymoron BTW) ever been funded wholly or partially by the EU or an EU wholly or partially funded body?

  30. avatar
    Marco Tipaldi

    the name “populism” was never meant as a negative word, but it had a positive sense, it was meaning “in favor of people”. Just in the modern “literature”, media and political system decided to give a negative sense to movements and parties which were trying to make the interests of people, against the political and party system, calling them “populist” and associating them to demagogic talks. it’s the power of media. The system will try to survive and will use all means. Open the eyes! switch on your minds!

  31. avatar
    Firas Moka

    Populism is other face of neonazism and fasicm because it’s based on pure scarifying people from nothing , it works in collaboration with media .

    • avatar

      You’ve described the entire political structure of Europe, not neonazism!

    • avatar
      Ant E E Yu

      In fact you have just described the way ALL governments keep their population quiescent. By ensuring that they are kept continually in a state of fear and see the ruling elite as their only hope for keeping them safe. Hence,
      Politics = the art of keeping the little people afraid and compliant. N. B. this definition does not include persons with substantial wealth.

  32. avatar
    Fernando Leite Velho

    Melhor retirar essa pregunta, já vemos que a maioria não está de acordo com esse pegamento de mudança a politicas sociais a populismo. Já basta de chamar-nos imbecis. Manobrem a outros!

  33. avatar
    catherine benning

    This is more male bovine excrement. A vote of the people by the people always ends in the popular being the elected government. It is called democracy. Or, is it? The popular vote is the way it is set up, so ‘they’ tell us. .

    Except of course, in the USA, UK and the EU, who fix the way it’s carried out from day one of the running

    Superdelegates is the USA’s way. Look at New Hampshire as a lesson to all the other States. The horror show of Clinton, the one who got her friend and fellow dominatrix to tell us, that any woman who doesn’t back her, will find themselves in a special place in hell. Although Albright should consider, most of us women would find that special place in hell would be one having her and Clinton in it.

    Clinton, the so called ‘feminist’ wife of Bill, the one who had the intern, Lewinsky, in the room next door to her, giving him head under the Oval office desk, bought the superdelegates before the New Hampshire election took place. Bernie Sanders the socialist and true Democrat won the vote by a landslide, as they hated her. Yet, because of the ‘super delegates’ her adulterous husband, who by strange coincidence is one of them, has called the state her vote. As those super deledgates, your see, have more power than ‘ordinary’ delegates. Read all about it. The land of the free and the big fix. Some being more equal than others, George Orwell, in Animal Farm.


    The British do it by not having any primaries and selcting your MP for you, then call the outcome a ‘safe seat.’ And the EU don’t offer any vote for leader or government at all. They choose the Juncker by themselves along with the policies they back. Those they do on a whim that is.

    The public don’t stand a chance in such a democracy do they?

    • avatar

      @Catherine, again you put things across in such a conspiracy theorist way. It makes what you say seem exaggerated at best.
      Having said that, I’m in almost total agreement with you! The system which pretends to be democracy in this country (and also America etc.) cannot possibly be so. We are given a handful of people to cast a vote for. Most of which will not win no matter how valid their pledges, which they won’t be able to hold to because of party ties or a complete lack of a majority in parliament even I they did win. We need a complete overhaul of the entire system for true rule of the people to take effect. But since it’s the politicians who can make the change and they would lose out if they did, it will never happen.

  34. avatar
    Stephen J Gorog

    It would be time for the leaders of the EU to try a little populism, instead of betraying the people of Europe whom they should be representing.

  35. avatar
    Tom Atkinson

    The word has been smeared as has nationalism. I’m going to cheer for England’s rugby team along with lots of other proud populist fans and there is nothing wrong with us. It’s populist to support your nation and we are all the better for it.

  36. avatar
    Bruno J. De Cordier

    Let us put it this way: the ones who are screaming and moralizing the loudest about ‘dangerous populism’ are usually not those who are confronted with the negative if not destructive social impacts of globalization.

  37. avatar
    Behrooz M. Afshari

    It is not populism that is bad, as it is a part of democratic culture. But “bad” is the fact that it is (mis-) used to repaint the actuall problems we have in Europe. Growing population decline and vast emigration especially in the eastern part is already the root for plenty open questions while migration (controlled or uncontrolled) may be an answer to many of them. Europe is aging rapidly and if we dont want to get back to medieval practices, we shall better face the challenge of sharing our values and space with others instead of seeing monsters around every corner. We shall act before we become a group of petty villages on the map! If we think littel outside of our village borders, we may realize that diversity is not just a nice luxury thing, but essential for survival. By the way I think populism is rather a luxury each democracy shall gets away with but not sure if this would work vice versa.

  38. avatar

    Why is “populism” seen as such a bad thing?

    It depends on the angle of view. I would rather define “populism” as a sum of reactions to another sum of “stimuli”. Populism( and not only, there is room for much worst) didn’t grow out of thin air but build up in the minds and harts of Europeans slowly based on disappointments and mistrust. Populism starts when United Europe dream ends. I think of Europe as a very complex, sensitive and fragile organism in a relative equilibrium. Everything start to fall apart when a group of ruthless leaders decided that braking the delicate balance with all kind of rigid treaties and rules will still keep it together. It didn’t.

  39. avatar
    Vicente Silva Tavares

    The ones talking about populism are the politicians from mainstream parties who abandoned their ideals and their electorate and are seeing their voters going to other parties. They are afraid of loosing their Parliament seats. This remembers me a statement from Rosa Luxemburg : When politicians have diarrhea pretend that is the People who is sick of their intestines.

  40. avatar

    Populism is seen as a threat in case it rocks the EU gravy train and modus operandi

  41. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Populism is just necessary feedback from the people and needs to be listened to and addressed. It arises when inequality is too great. However populism will never be defeated in this internet age as the news of poverty, war, bank frauds corporatocracy is now easily accessed online and the world is going to have to change for because the people demand it. Populism is now an ethical movement of humanity for all humanity. All decisions-making processes in all areas must become responsible and ethical from now on.

  42. avatar

    @CasMudde,if you want to deal in dictionary definitions ,thats fine,you have not addressed the main issue.
    Over the last few years anyone who disagrees with the actions of ,let us say,the decision makers in Brussels,have been labelled Populists,and the term Populist has been linked to accusations of Racism,Xenophobia,etc.
    Suddenly the desire to express ones opinion,( if it does not conform to the left wing ideal) is Populist.
    Your definition is too broad.
    To those who consider sovereignty,pride in our culture and our country,and a desire to exclude those who disrespect our way of life important,we are called Populists,racists ,Xenophobes and usually in the same sentence.
    I am a believer in Sovereign control,I believe in healthy controlled immigration ,not just from The EU but from the commonwealth,but not mass migration,I also believe that the decision makers,not all but most,do not listen to the people they claim to represent,do not act in their best interests and absolutely do not respect the views of those people.

  43. avatar
    Mathias Darmell

    What’s wrong with populism:

    1. Populism obliterates values.
    2. Populism is at its best short-term.
    3. You never know what you get from one day to another.

    • avatar
      Ant E E Yu

      Jus like modern politics then………..

  44. avatar
    Massimo Ortale

    Maybe because this European Union and the single States are unable to solve the many problems Europe is facing: From refugees crisis to high unemployment rates.

  45. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Simply because ‘Populism’ = Nationalism & the vast majority of people in the EU are Nationalists & not ‘European’. The federalist fanatics might think everyone wants their idiotic Union but the reality is they don’t.

    The rejection of the EU will increase as the antidemocratic institutions in Brussels steal more power from the people.

  46. avatar

    Populism itself is not the problem, but most populist theories are of manipulating contents and are too easily adopted by the uncritical recipient.
    Therefore populist parties addressees are mostly undereducated, easily susceptible people. People of restricted intellect, who happily live in a restricted world where there is -to their understanding- no need for anything unrestricted.
    Populism is such a bad thing as it is used by some to manipulate an ever growing mass of narrow minded people and threatens the diversity of intellectual live.

    • avatar

      Duke,I really couldn’t disagree more,what you call populists I call patriots,I can assure you that low intelligence does not come into it.
      I see the reverse,in that intelligent ,educated people are often the first to see and realise a threat to their way of life.
      You can hardly call the experiences of the Germans ,regarding Migrant sexual offences and the stabbing in Sweden an over reaction by narrow minded people,I think it would fair to say that the quality of many of the newcomers falls well short of intellectual !

    • avatar

      Sorry Ericbana,
      sexual offences by migrants are one of the populist lies. The german police (known for their rather conservative to potential nationalist orientation) has absolutely no proof at all that sexual offences are committed by migrants more often than by Germans. The opposite is the case and of those 98 arrested on New Years Day in Cologne there was only 3 (three) refugees.

  47. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    because our politicians do not listen ….especially the corrupt oxygen theives running your disgusting unioe

  48. avatar
    José Bessa da Silva

    Why is it that you deem nationalism as populist? Nationalism is an ideology that can be transversal to all parties. The most nationalist party in my nation is communist. The second most is social-democrat. In other words this unfortunate attempet from europeists to say that nationalism is a bad thing and that we should all aim to the federaluzed Europe is nothing more than ridiculously disgustinh.

    • avatar

      Please let us know why you think it might be disgusting?

    • avatar

      Don’t you think most people only want to live in peace? Our enemies are those who try to manipulate the masses to gain power and wealth for themselves – populist leaders generally do that!
      The financial elite (legal and illegal) does not care who the use in regard of nationality, ethnic background, religion or anything else as long as the masses work for them

  49. avatar
    Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

    the problem with popular politicians is that they lie.. they promise things that they can’t do or they know that doesn’t exist.. Take example of socialist party of Greece ( ΠΑΣΟΚ) at 08′ they came to power by promising anything to everyone! Their slogan was “we have money “!!!!! After they won the elections we all know what happened..

    • avatar

      I agree with you. However don’t they all say that prior to elections? Yet, I think your present government tries to make it a little better and a little different but is dominated by the neo-liberal capitalist system of which some members had to be rescued with tax money of hard working people. I personally think THAT is disgusting.

  50. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    A politician that really loves his/her own Country wouldn’t promise unlikely improvements without any effort from his/her Countrymen. A real leader would just pass a different message: “Suffer a bit today, strive for a change, and you’ll be better off tomorrow!”.
    Do we have such leaders in the EU today? Unfortunately not.

    • avatar

      And those Einsteinlike countrymen/women would actually vote such a politician…. Sure. Those countrymen and women get the politicians they deserve. We all suffer the consequences of our cynicism.

  51. avatar
    Luis Carvalho

    Thé end of world its up on us … New world order , juste see the humanaty around us!

  52. avatar
    Gabriella Solti

    Populists are lying and manipulating. Never act for the real wellfare of a country but for their own interests. Its very sad to see how the crowd believes in the manipulating false messages of a populist government. God protect us from the glory of populists!

  53. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It is only seen as ‘bad’ by a few federalists hell bent on forcing their will on 500 million people.

    The reality is ‘Populism’ = Nationalism & the vast majority of the 500 million people in the EU are Nationalists so are therefore ‘Populists’.

  54. avatar
    Larry Lart

    Populism = more or less comforting lies as opposed to unpleasant truths is used to manipulate crowds. Going back in history, you will find that populism was catalyst of many wars with great loss of human lives on all sides. Hitler alone will have done nothing if he had no followers and he got that on a populist move.

    The answer to real problems is usually not straight forward and many people have no patience for that and prefer the easy answer such as blame on someone else. Wrap that in a nice speech and you got them hooked.

    It’s bad because is using/ manipulating people , their feelings and lack of knowledge on certain issues, basically conning people, in a potentially disastrous direction.

    Truth is, that democracy, and by that I am referring to the right to vote, is not just a right – it’s a responsibility and obligation of every voter to learn and know what is voting for.

    I bet, if you had a system were a vote will have to validated by a question on social or political issues or even the platform of the candidate itself, a large percentage will fail. Else, perhaps we should allow cats to vote as well, after all they pay taxes as well, have buttons with different flavours of chicken and there you go …

    In the long term, education, and I would start with helping people identify different forms of control and marketing (such as populism), should make a difference. And why not a voting system were anyone can vote but you vote is only valid if you prove (by answering simple question) that you know what you are voting for?

  55. avatar
    Michaela Sauer

    Europe should focus more on own realism instead be busi on the American election campaign Democrazy as wasted time!

  56. avatar
    Michaela Sauer

    Europe should focus more on own realism instead be busi on the American election campaign Democrazy as wasted time!

  57. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Definition of ‘Populism’:

    Populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite.

    So if you believe in democracy you believe in ‘populism’, if you are against populism you support ‘elitism, ie the EU.

  58. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    Populism is blaming others for our own faults, it’s lying about the merits of “nations” , promising easy lives without any extra effort. A politician that really cares about the society where he/she lives should rather spur the people like a sport coach does with his team. Motivate his/her own people to put more effort and to do better. Only by rowing more vigorously and all in the same direction, the boat can go faster. When there’s no tailwind you need to put out the oars and start rowing and eventually the boat will regain momentum. Everyone must row, the ones who don’t, would be better thrown out of the boat and be let swimming behind.
    No pain no gain!

  59. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Big percentage of voters don’t trust government and they don’t care how they vote . So they can vote clown .

  60. avatar
    Abaris Hiperboreus

    According to your infographic, the voters in France, the UK, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria or Hungary, who made the rise of the populist parties possible, are men, are weak paid, have no university-level education and have negative attitude against cultural and ethnic diversity? Hell no! Your data is fake!

  61. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Populism is important feedback from the people. What they are demanding is what the people want. Those in power who don’t listen will either fail as a governing power or govern like dictatorships and oppress the people further. Populism occurs repeatedly throughout history when ever the people’s right to happiness, security and prosperity are taken away by the greedy few. This time listen and adjust policies because populism has gone both global and viral due to the internet and those creating economic inequality and decline for the majority of the population may not win as they usually have done throughout history.

  62. avatar

    Populism is viewed as something very bad. I don’t thnik so. Diversity, tolerance, political corectness, hate crimes and some other weapons of the leftists, greens and social liberals are repeated by them as a mantra. They have lost native Europeans’ trust in them. People are not allowed to criticize minorities but minorities get all they want. It isn’t democracy anymore as censorship exists and it is imposed by NGOs and the state. Free movement within the EU is the right of EU citizens and not of refugees and immigrants. They have no rights arising from the EU law. The EU has become EUSSR (a reference to USSR) now. When Bulgaria entered the EU I thought it is market-oriented, free and not bureaucratic but it turned out the opposite. Brussels applies double standards. When the French get rid of gypsies, it is the rule of law, but when we destroy illegal slums, it is xenophobia, racism, hatred and cultural imperialism. To sum up: I would vote for a party that is pro-capitalist, market-oriented, social conservative, recginizes natural inequalities and doesn’t try to make all people equal by their achievements but by their opportunities.

  63. avatar
    Andrej Němec

    Populism is blaming others for our own faults.
    Populism is relieving people of their own responsibilities.
    Populism is promising results without any effort.
    Populism is ignorance and lack of knowledge.
    Populism is an attempt to reach power for the politicians that use it as an instrument to get votes.
    Honestly, if I tell you:” You’re a bunch of ignorants, sluggards, you lack initiative and proper organisation; you rather have to study more, work harder, get informed, contribute at your best to the society you live in, and on top of that help others as much as you can, and the results will eventually come”, would you vote for me?

    If you are honest with yourself, the answer deep inside should be a clear “YES”.
    If it’s a hypocrite “NO”, then go back to your sofa to watch football, but don’t complain one day if your fridge will be empty.

  64. avatar
    Dóris Cavalcanti


    The deal EU-Turkey will just deceive european taxpayers to think EU is doing something for Europe, but in reality it will make even more expensive this irresponsible mess created by a bunch of arrogant politicians in EU playing with our lives in an EXPERIMENT as the high representative Federica Mogherini has declared.(See her video in comments below)
    ***Remember the 6 billions of Euros to Turkey also!!!

    – To exchange refugees will create 2 more costs:
    2) For every Syrian being returned to Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU

    – What kind of visa? Who can guarantee that Turkey won’t give passport or even sell them to refugees and whoever pays?
    5) The fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap will be accelerated vis-à-vis all participating Member States with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016.

    – And even worse is the idea of allowing Turkey in EU, then everything will be officially lost in Europe!
    8) The EU and Turkey reconfirmed their commitment to re-energise the accession process as set out in their joint statement of 29 November 2015

  65. avatar
    Samir Mangar

    “Peaceful Protest & sharing 1’s opinion” is not failure or threat to the State but a democratic process which will be respected by the EU as she always has. EU has always respected peaceful protests and others opinion even though they are opposite of EU’s opinion. EU will stand by its strong values and respect these opposite values as she always has.

  66. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Populism is an understandable reaction the the anti-democratic eu and the scourge of federalism.

  67. avatar
    Alexander Simon

    Interesting to see that “populism” is negatively connotated (why?) and typically is tagged on statements from Euro Sceptics only. So one could argue that pro-European non-populist establishment parties are not considering viewpoints that are shared by a growing commuity of voters. Social conflict is necessary to overcome social issues. Social conflict comprises the views of many. Political parties are meant to support people in articulating their interests and viewpoints and to make those viewpoints heard in public discourse. So called populist parties assist a growing number of people in articulating topics that “non-populist establishment parties” tend to ignore or even suppress. So it is rather about broadening one’s perspective and get to (even better) informed decisions rather than assuming that voters turning to “populist parties” have a narrow view and just fear social decline.

  68. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Populism is talking to the weak minded whether they are educated or not… its playing on feelings rather than reality… its never explaining reality, political engagements, economic situations… there is a course for diplomacy… it has nothing to do with economics or Law studies
    Doris… apparently you don’t know how the EU is funded… european tax payers… lol go on find the line on your tax return…
    Each pact being a loss of power, an exchange of some sort, listening to the people is quite often the thing to avoid… they don’t realise all thats at stake.. and don’t understand that harmonising the world – and the need to harmonise originates from the fact there is a limited resource on the planet to share out more and more equally, and people don’t want war – in order to make it better requires some sacrifice… thats why its important to move forward and sometimes ignore the people who can’t see further than their bellybuttons because they prefer themselves to the greater good…

  69. avatar

    It’s neither good nor bad, but it is democratic. The problem isn’t populism as such. It’s the inability of some people to understand their views aren’t popular enough to dominate in a democracy.
    The reason there is Right Wing Populism in the West is almost entirely down to mass immigration which even though it benefits the economy is simply not that popular. For those of us on the liberal Left this presents an ethical problem. Ideally we would like people to be more open and accommodating, but if it really isn’t popular enough with the electorate why should the progressive view dictate policy?

    I’m a democrat. To me this means that ultimately power should rest in the hands of the electorate for better or for worse. Otherwise you might as well have feudalism and dynastic rule. Maybe, sometimes you have to accept that no matter how right an idea seems it’s really a minority oppositional view that should be fought for rather than imposed.

  70. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    They are fake groups very often organised by religious organisations or business because they want to grab power using anti immigrant propaganda . Very often the same group helped Arabs to enter the EU or they fight that we accept Arabs but on the other side they are ” populists ” . They are just trying to grab power using some scam like fascists or communists did.

  71. avatar
    David Petty

    Populism is democracy, the EU elite do not like democracy and condem populism, the people decide what is popular therefore the EU is a dictatorship!

  72. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    You left out Utopian populists that follow no political party that choose not to vote from lack of choice or prefer to be heard via social movements such as Blockupy, DiEM25 and anti-austerity social movements. Their social profile tends to be the abolishment of suffering and poverty for all humanity, end wars for profit or resources, regulate corporations, tax the rich, wealth cap, fairer wealth distribution, end tax havens, end TTIP, give everyone an unconditional basic income, regulate corporations, abolish worker exploitation globally, green energy, save the planet, stop child abuse and much more. They tend to be from all age groups and both men and women. They are divided into pro EU and anti-EU. The anti-EU faction is due to the lack of ethics, values, justice, fairness, compassion and transparency of the EU. Those pro-EU see the tremendous potential for good the EU can bring once it is reformed into pro-people and makes decisions based on an ethical code that does not harm anyone or anything and benefits everyone not just the few and already rich.

    • avatar

      Populism is pure democracy of the people by the people for the people (Abraham Lincoln) or the majority wins that is democracy plain and simple all these supposed intellectuals are just trying to muddy the waters to confuse the simple obvious fact

  73. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It is only seen as a ‘bad thing’ by a handful of antidemocratic pro EU fanatics.

    For the vast majority of people ‘Nationalism Rules’.

  74. avatar
    Luchian Mdm

    Populism is the name given by tyrants to people who opppose them on vital democracy destroying decisions like signing TTIP or importing terrorism

  75. avatar
    Sebastien Chopin

    Populism is the triumph or heart over reason… In Europe in particular we have more than witnessed the wrong doings of such ideas… whether in the 1930’s across the continent which landed in a big bang, or in the second decade of the same century… without even counting what Napoleon had done beforehand or even Rome and to a certain extent the Greeks… and then we witnessed it with our neighbours when communism made Russians human Lemmings, and we saw it in China… where they now have one of the most corrupt societies out.. and we witnessed it in South America where populism forced generals to murder half their populations… and we noticed it in Cuba and North Korea where populism led them to be isolated from the world for over 50 years….
    Yep donkeys like these submissive ideas which flush everyone down the drain…

  76. avatar
    Krystian Krawczyk

    Populists are financed by imperial Russia. because Moscow wants to destroy European integration. A united Europe is strong and is able to stop an aggressive Russia. Internally divided and at odds Europa is easy prey for Moscow.

  77. avatar
    Krystian Krawczyk

    Populists are financed by imperial Russia. because Moscow wants to destroy European integration. A united Europe is strong and is able to stop an aggressive Russia. Internally divided and at odds Europa is easy prey for Moscow.

    • avatar

      Well said!

  78. avatar

    Populism is labelled a bad thing by the political elite as it threatens the single view held by a really small group of people regarding how things should be done. The average person couldn’t distinguish and probably wouldn’t care what the difference is between democracy and populism. Some people think that the general population is too idiotic to be given the vote, I mean who knows what they would vote for. My view is that we should be really careful when we start to think this way (although difficult as we’ve all met people with contrasting ideas that we hope will never get in power). If people have contrasting ideas then debate and cross education are key steps to achieving good quality democracy but this is also difficult with powerful propoganda. The wisdom of crowds is fantastic at guessing how many jelly beans are in a jar at the village fair but I hope it is possible to translate this effect to more complicated problems such as society. Populism is a good thing unless you struggle to avoid becoming a dictator and don’t feel you have the time, energy or inclination to educate and debate.

  79. avatar
    Gajdos Gyorgy

    Political sciences have to be taught in the schools just like history and mathematics etc. Our people have to have comprehensive knowledge illustrated with many examples on how a democratic society works, and what the expectations should be. Why we elect leaders, what is their role, what is the role of advisors/experts, of the government officials (civil servants) and how do they came about etc.

  80. avatar
    Mike E

    The word “populism” is constantly used, especially by the left, to smear the right like in “rightwing populism”. This is pretty disgusting in itself but made even worse by the fact that populism is in reality at the heart of the left itself. The left is today built on envy; the message is that “other people get more than you do” and we on the left will give you everything for “free”.

  81. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Simply because it is a threat to the rule of the EU elite & their followers, the last thing they want is for the people to decide.

  82. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Populism in politics is not seen as a bad thing. Populism in politics IS a bad thing. It is politics to the smallest common denominator! And with this trivialization everyone gets the short end of the stick!
    That is why it is such a bad thing!

  83. avatar

    Populism in politics is not seen as a bad thing. Populism in politics IS a bad thing. It is politics to the smallest common denominator! And with this trivialization everyone gets the short end of the stick!
    That is why it is such a bad thing!

  84. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    I think there are two types of Populism. 1) Racist Populism driven by propoganda or lack of information and lack of genuine statistics and 2) Utopian Populism whose key motivation is a better world for all people-which the EU should listen to.

  85. avatar
    Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    The problem with populism is that the concerns of the average persons, whom a populist is supposed to care about, are often short-sighted, volatile and driven by prejudices, especially in the 24h media news cycle. Furthermore, most voters have a good idea what outcome they want, but are often solidly mistaken on how to best get it, especially in economic or foreign policy. I think that a government should care about improving the standard of living of its people, but not necessarily do everything the people want. If the government fails to do the former, voters can always punish it at the next election. There is a proverb in French: “Hell is paved with good intentions”.

  86. avatar
    Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    It’s a bit like Marxism. The idea is good, but in practice, it is horrible, because people lack the understanding, knowledge and responsibility for such a system.

  87. avatar
    Luis García

    Easy, just look to Brussels, and to our politics and coruction in every country. Homo economicus will produce more populismus.

  88. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    That’s because the Evrope has many ethnik groups.. starting from Slavians… Latins and so on..
    We have in common just a bit of
    culture..nothing else.

  89. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    Sure.. the idea of Marxism was god..one state..one people..no religions.. everybody eating in the same table without distinctions..
    free appartments.. free meals for those unenployees..but it couldn’t compete
    with the technologies.
    Did you understand my
    English Mandarin ???

  90. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    The future Europe will be yours..I am
    60yrs old.
    It’s up to you to get the changes.. “if you
    want it…otherwise others emerging countries…..
    will gains status.

  91. avatar
    Olivier Dutreil

    Media say it is a bad thing…..we are the people and we are often more inspired that the so called technocrat

  92. avatar
    Miguel Queiroz Martinho

    because most of the time its based on easy “what you want to hear type talk” and most often the lider ends up being a dictator of a radicalised view of the world ( teocracies, faschists, comunists regimes).

  93. avatar
    Rácz Tivadar

    It has been made by left wing parties and their dependants. So called populist are having their thumbs on peoples pulse, meanwhile the others are cheating the same people.

  94. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Because in fact populism is democracy. And democracy is absolutely unpopular among the European politicians.

  95. avatar
    João - Pedro

    Because populism feeds on the fears and angers of the majority, who most of the time seem to be gullible idiots looking for nothing more than a scape goat and lots of pipe dreams, instead of actually making the country work propperly.

  96. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Because it is what people would like to hear, not what can actually be delivered and done.. and that does not contribute to progress or change, rather makes us go in circles, back and forward…

  97. avatar
    Bódis Kata

    Democracy is for the people, and not only for the elite (=oligarchs and their sphere of interest).

  98. avatar
    Mário Lobo

    Making way for a new Europe?
    That’s a very dangerous game you’re playing here.

  99. avatar
    Jorge Lux

    Populism is when politics fear the citizens and when people stop fear politics. Welcome populism!

  100. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    l’Unione Europea non protegge i singoli Paesi dagli attacchi speculativi internazionali , anzi li amplifica ,li mette in ginocchio , ne dirige il passo. Non può esistere politica in questa maniera nè populista nè di altro . Tutti gli speculatori conoscono i suoi punti deboli e ammazzano i popoli per interessi. Basta Unione Europea , basta euro, basta Maastricht , basta Trattato di Lisbona. BASTA RICATTI

    the European Union does not protect individual countries from international speculative attacks, rather amplifies them and puts them on his knees and directs the pace. It can not esisistere policy in this way neither populist nor the other until there is EU. All the speculators know his weak points and kill the peoples interest. Just the European Union, just euro, just Maastricht, just the Lisbon Treaty. ENOUGH blackmail

  101. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    It’s just another word that has been hijacked and is being abused by people to stigmatize others, just like “racist” and “fascist” were. And the abuse more than often comes from those who hijacked and abuse words like “progressive” and “tolerance” to make it look like they are better than you.

  102. avatar
    Jean-Pierre Rosa

    In this time of media mass consumption and intellectual laziness there is an ongoing battle between knowledge and a rejection of validated science. Debates such as vaccination and climate change are prime examples. In the US that laziness is very well exploited by fear mongering amongst the poorly educated to the point that the poor constantly vote against their own economic interests by being manipulated about non-issues about moral principles or flat out racism.

  103. avatar
    Jean-Pierre Rosa

    Following the massive economic drop of 2008 various economies failed across the globe and a rejection of Keynesian principles brought about austerity. In EUROPE such failures exposed the complete failure of governance of various states. Populists deflect their responsibility in all directions mostly by blaming the EU, immigrants, and any issue that is complex enough to manipulate to their advantage. Since most people do not have a base understanding of science, economics and a geopolitical understanding of international matters that manipulation is quite easy to achieve with fascistic bullshit disguised as political rhetoric.

  104. avatar
    Luchian Mdm

    Is bad only for those who believe Europe should be governed AGAINST the interest of its citizens who should not matter … it’s bad for # Brussel tyrants and their leeches for believe they have a royal right to dictate against their citizens will.

  105. avatar
    Deyan Savov

    Because it should be explained to the people that the easy choice is almost never the better (right) one! Sometimes the unpopular decision is for the best (yes should not eat that candy). This is difficult to be explained and justified if someone next to you is using rhetoric appealing to the basic instincts inside of us. Because if you play to the emotions of people you can make them do awful things.
    I dont know hiw this is even a debate

  106. avatar
    Faddi Zsolt

    Populism is good. Full social protection is good. The will of the nation is more important than the will of the imperialistic oligarchs or international bankers.

  107. avatar
    Andre Lopes

    Populism is the reaction of citizens, in some aspects can be good, but in others can be extremely dangerous (when there’s miss information for example), or even more dangerous when it is an ideological populism . Argumentum ad populum

  108. avatar
    Gianfranco Gattini

    if somebody do not eat chips and five years old frozen chicken he deserves to be called “populist”..and if he do not drinks coca cola he ist surely a fascist ! eh eh eh

  109. avatar

    We need to come together as a union!

  110. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It is only seen as a bad thing by US democrats and EU fanatics, the strange thing is the people they claim to represent are the very ones voting for ‘populist’ politicians.

  111. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    Why you see it as populism?! You said the same for Trump, but we sow that the ordinary, middle class Americans voted for him. Why just don’t accept the simple fact – the established parties now work for money, not for the people! And it is again the middle class in EU that left without protection.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but 13 000 000 Germans live right on the border of poverty while the German economy register huge surpluses. It is the same in my country where 22% of the population live in poverty as at least 1/3 of them are working poor. And it is the same everywhere in EU.

    And when the established parties refuse to change their policy toward people the people are the bad one and the stupid one because they look for changes.

    Well f**K you! With the complete understanding it is huge risk I’ll vote for the populist – it is the only alternative you left me!!! When you put me in the edge and there is only one way to escape Ill take it, no matter how dangerous it is – the other alternative (you, the establishment) is my certain dead.

    • avatar
      Zisis Poimenidis

      Still there is a great risk that Trump may very well be an undercover Tsipras. But you are right, a society without a middle class is like a harbor without a seawall or a brakewater. We all know what happens to the small boats when the big waves hit the harbor

  112. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    Next time connect with people and real issues. Insults and mockery no longer work. Media lies no longer work. EU is deluding itself. This is just the start

  113. avatar
    Fernando Nabais

    “Populism” is simply the name the Establishment gives to those outside the Establishment. It is obvious the Establishment wants to keep “Populists” out of power in order to keep the power themselves. Since the Establishment no longer listen to the people and only care after themselves, they started using non-democratic tools to stay in power, like media control and plain censorship. Everyone that does not agree with them falls into one of the following categories: racist, machist, xenophobe, homophobe or islamophobe, and all of these became a crime. So, not agreeing with the Establishment is now a crime. Not much different from Cuba or North Coreia.

  114. avatar
    Oli Lau

    Well so far it is seen as a bad thing by the establishment. And it is quite difficult to understand what they mean by “populism”

  115. avatar
    Andre Lopes

    Populism is necessary and like other social issues has limits. The limit is when populism step into another dimention (red pill-matrix)

  116. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Populism is feedback from the people that vulnerable people are suffering, there is few jobs, no job security and worker exploitation due to greedy bankers, profit mad corporations and mega-rich tax evaders and all EU country members and EU parliament are enabling and maintaining this at the expense of the people. The danger is when certain parties for whatever motives blame the poor and vulnerable, EU free movement, refugees and migrants instead of the real greedy mega-rich culprits and their enablers.

  117. avatar
    Pedro Pais de Vasconcelos

    Because it is fascism and has caused millions of dead and wounded and indescribable suffering and destruction in the 30sand 40s of the 20th century.

  118. avatar

    Just wanted to say thanks for a great article. I was seeking to understand why populism is always seen as a bad thing, and your article succinctly explained it to me. A rare thing on the internet these days! ;)

  119. avatar
    Joan King

    populism is surely what is says on the tin …the population has chosen …

    Not a bad thing- unless you are a bad loser!

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      The real problem being the EU ?

    • avatar
      Imanuel d'Anjou

      yeah, the EU is the reason you’re scared of brown people

    • avatar
      David Alan Roden

      Imanuel d’Anjou the UK has had multicultural integration for far longer than the eu has existed -hundreds of years – mainly due to the reach of the old empire – why don’t you go there and take a look instead of just spouting the usual scripted rubbish

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      Belief that you shpuld be killed and will to kill. Religious law that majority prefer

  120. avatar
    Johnny Sintra

    Too much easy “solutions” for too big problems – this is why populism is disgusting !

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      The EU is the problem, not the cure.

    • avatar
      Miguel Hilário

      Ivan Burrows Funny that you say the EU is totalitarian since it is your precious UK that is turning into Orwell’s worst nightmare through surveillance and censorship.

    • avatar
      Jimi Sowa

      Small but significant modification:
      Populism = socialism = “european union values” true European values.
      “Populism” is propaganda watchword, to depreciate everyone, who stay against the new leftist communist revolution, that was thought by Altiero Spinelli, Habermas, Joshka Fisher and other communists. Of course, the new method of performing communist revolution is different from classic method of communist revolution however the aim is the same. Good description you will find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf5A1y5qYp0&feature=youtu.be

  121. avatar
    Goran Batovanja

    We see that Merkel and her companion Husein B. Obama created so many problems, so we need to change course

    • avatar
      Barna Toth

      stupidest comment of day, congrats!

    • avatar
      Goran Batovanja

      Barna Toth Why dont you buy a ticket and go visit Syria and see at very place what bloodthirsty killers rented, supported and payed by Husein B. Obama have done? Maybe you are too smart for that?

    • avatar
      Jean-Pierre Rosa

      Goran Batovanja populists are responsible for Syria. Pay attention.

    • avatar
      Goran Batovanja

      Jean-Pierre Rosa Only reason for war in Syria is supply of fossil fuel to Europe. Husein B. Obama, Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to make pipeline over Syrian land and supply Europe. Assad does not want to allow it. That is why they rent army of jihad religious fanatics to destroy the whole Syria. That is only reason. Not some stupid stories about some “freedom” and “democracy”.

    • avatar
      Pedro Castro

      Goran Batovanja did Russian independent média tell you that?

      In case you haven’t noticed europe is investing seriously in other forms of energy not to mention there are other paths to that pipeline if needed.

    • avatar
      Goran Batovanja

      Pedro Castro So, your formula is: Russian information = lie and EU information = truth. OK, evil Russians lie. So, please tell me why did Husein B. Obama founded, armed and payed bloodthirsty jihadi killers to destroy the whole country and kill so many people? Why Angela Merkel in abeyance does any morbid command of leader whos country is not in EU? Why over 70% of people in Syria vote for Bashar al-Assad? Finnaly, do you have any idea how many false information come from mainstream media of EU ?

  122. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    It is only seen as a bad thing by EU fanatics because they know people are turning against their European experiment.

    • avatar
      Barna Toth

      yeah right…you have obviously no clue what populism means

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Barna Toth

      Definition of Populism:

      ‘populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite. The word populism comes from the Latin word for “people,” populus.

      Therefore if you are against populism you are a supporter of ‘elitism’.

      Anything else ?

    • avatar
      Miguel Hilário

      Ivan Burrows Power in the people is just anarchy. No country thrives on regional power.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Miguel Hilário

      ‘Regional power’ ?

    • avatar
      Imanuel d'Anjou

      have fun representing THE people, which should maximally be about half of them. disgusting appropriation of 20th century socialist terms.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Miguel Hilário .

      ‘Government of the People, by the People, and for the People’ – John Wycliffe – 1320

      Anything else is a dictatorship, which really doesn’t work.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Imanuel d’Anjou

      So you prefer a government that only represents the wealthy elite ?

  123. avatar
    Любомир Иванчев

    Because it doesn’t actually do anything to solve the problems and challenges society is facing. Problems like the demographic crisis of the native European populations, pollution, corruption, energy dependency from the Russian state and many others.

  124. avatar
    Giorgos Germanos Tsampekidis

    is a political doctrine that stems from a viewpoint of struggle between the populace and a ruling faction.
    Populism is most common in democratic nations.
    academic definitions of populism vary, and people have often used the term in loose and inconsistent ways to reference appeals to “the people

  125. avatar
    Yordan Vasilev

    The populism, right and left, is Utopia. It is a dictatorship in the best variant.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      Did Russia create the migrant crisis, the Euro crisis, the banking crisis, the agricultural crisis, the democratic deficit crisis and the mass unemployment crisis in the EU ?

      You don’t need Russian propaganda to know the EU is a disaster.

    • avatar
      Ingrida Marčiulaitytė

      Ivan Burrows I have only one question. Didn’t Russia create the Ukraine crisis, didn’t Russia support the conflict in the Ukraine territory? Have a look how the economics of Ukraine looks after everything what happened.

  126. avatar
    Matej Mlinarič

    How about just be adults and come to mutual agreement to deal with this instead of threatening with nuclear conflict with Russia and China….. There won’t be any winners after nuclear war cause whole planet will be decimated. So really put aside your differences and rather face common threat.


    This are our real enemies that threaten to destroy everything until only islam remains and all are subjected to sharia law…..




    See this is what islamists do cause it says so here and they have done it for pretty much whole history of islam…. So really stop importing masses that might ever seek our destruction…..



  127. avatar
    Jason Picci

    But it’s not a bad thing. To a point. And there’s still a long way to go before the globalist fellatio specialists are weeded out.

  128. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Because this “thing” that is being called “populism” is all about political hijacking the popular vote with lies and false promises with a strongly emotional and often violent appeal that does not solve or fix anything! It is a distraction from reality!
    Because this term “populism” is a misnomer that has been conveniently used by some self-serving nutcases that have proved to be as far away from reality as some of the established others.
    That is why THIS “populism” is seen as, and actually is, such a bad thing!
    Let us call a spade a spade.
    What we are experiencing today is not “populism”. It is political hijacking!

  129. avatar

    Because this “thing” that is being called “populism” is all about hijacking the popular vote with false promises and a strongly emotional and often violent appeal that does not solve or fix anything! It is a distraction from reality!
    Because this term “populism” is a misnomer that has been conveniently used by some self-serving nutcase that have proved to be as far away from reality as some of the established others.
    That is why THIS “populism” is seen as, and actually is, as such a bad thing!
    Let us call a spade a spade.
    What we are experiencing today is not “populism”. It is political hijacking!

  130. avatar
    Andrew Potts

    Populism is when the other guy gets more votes then you do and you cannot accept your party’s policies are seen as unsustainable, undemocratic or not in the interests of the people who voted.
    It’s often difficult for political groups to see the errors of their policy position as by nature they live in their own echo chamber and often do not have to live with the results of their decisions. So they shout populism.

  131. avatar
    Cãlin Rednic

    Well, this happens because it became the constant forplay of unkept promises and big deceivments.

  132. avatar
    Rodica Pricop

    Its not a bad thing. Its a wonderful thing. Its about the will of the people vs the will of the leaders. The EU leaders and most of the governments have no clue about what the citizens want or they do but turn a blind eye because its against their interests, banks multinational corporation, markets, so on… People want a reformed EU that doesn’t dictate to nations what to do or they simply want OUT! And what the self absorbed looney characters In Brussels say! We need morE Europe, more government, more rules even an army! Lunatics! They lost the plot completely! They wage war against Russia saying its like ISIS when Russia in fact is the only country whose army is fighting ISIS! EU citizens dont want war, you lunatics! The people of Europe had enough of their stupid leaders waging wars and destroying countries in Africa and the Middle East for petty oil deals. Who is exploiting the Libyan oil now? Your problem Brussels us that you think people are stupid..that’s why you are about to loose your beloved soviet like union. People are waking up. They don’t buy anymore your propaganda perpetrated by the the fake news main stream media. Populism will defeat the EU because people want to be free.

    • avatar
      Derrick Taylor

      I totally agree well said,

  133. avatar
    Faddi Zsolt

    Populism is the only solution for politics. The so-called elite is the biggest bunch of guiltiest criminals on Earth. They robbed out my country

  134. avatar
    Alex Tselentis

    Because it represents the dumbed down masses waking up to the matrix of lies they have lived under for decades ?

  135. avatar
    Erich Scheffl

    What does it help, when someone answers your debate? Nothing. The reason ist the stress level, under which people suffer, caused by the EU Austerity policy. This policy is an exhausting one for the people. Only money and greed. No improvements for the “small” people. Ashame EU.

  136. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    Populism is a bad thing and of course it is a result of strict austerity policy. It is an aggressive answer to suppression and a sign of collective depression. Populism is contagious we must take care

  137. avatar
    Theofanis Faid Koulouris

    Βecause it provides the ground for authoritarian regimes. The citizen’s responsibility and individuality is diminished throgh mass thinking.

  138. avatar
    Mi Gu

    Because it’s based on fake information, and it gives false reasons for real problems. Populism it’s used to get the power, but as they point the wrong reasons for the real problems, they wont bring any real solution. Populism do not use real facts, it used false fears of non informed people…

    • avatar
      England English

      You are a fake person.

  139. avatar
    Kevin Moore

    This fraise is so often used by the re-moaners . Im a Brexit person who has nothing against immigrants coming legaly to the country and Im fed up with these undemocratic whingers infering that anybody who isn’t in their eyes middle class Degree status are unable to think for ourselves. As Iv said no one minds sensible immigration but you have to have controls on the amount who are actually coming in. So wake up you condescending undemocratic Libs, Hand ringers . Wake Up .!

  140. avatar

    No one sees it as a bad thing except irrational liberals. Its populism, from the word POPULAR. The power in the left wants to see a borderless world, with an all powerful central government that controls everything and everyone. That produces all goods, provides all cervices, provides all the information people are allowed to know. And people do not want this. People want to honor their past, and have pride in their backgrounds. People want the freedom to choose their own way, and to speak what is on their mind. People do not want to work hard, only to be told that they do not deserve what they have earned, and that someone else, that just showed up should get half of it. Its like the left wing read 1984, and just loved it so much, they couldn’t wait to see it happen. The Muslim influence comes from the way that Saudi Arabia has been purchasing influence in the USA and England with their oil money for 50 years now. And yes, people don’t like this. But NO ONE is looking to infringe on the rights of others. Only to maintain equal rights for themselves. No one out there can honestly say that white men are not mistreated. Even the fact that they work harder, and therefore earn a bit more money is being used against them.

  141. avatar

    I would like to see one good example – one – where populism, the defender of alleged national identities, customs and blah blah has produced something good. One. Looks at this abomination in the Philippines killing people. Does he lift anyone out of poverty? No. He gets on by giving in to the Chinese regarding claims on islands – actually that should be a big No-No in populist books – and making everyone afraid. Take Venezuela – are the downtrodden better off? No! Its always easier to blame your misfortunes on others than to get up and do something about it yourself. If you think your politicians are corrupt – stand for election (and then you will see what consensus building means).

  142. avatar
    Katrin Mpakirtzi

    Because you dont doing what you say….just words. After election you dont know what to do or how to protect and guide your ethnic team or a bigger team or collaborations berween differend ethnocities. Ethnomedenism against ethnikism. Medenism of autognosia and knowledge of your past means you was and you are and you gone be NOTHING!

  143. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic

    Populism is the way ordinarily people protect their homes, families and their countries, their ways of living.

  144. avatar
    Rumy Milten

    Is it? Why is Merkel’s politics so dangerous for Europe? Why is she not listening to us…did she forget who voted for her?

  145. avatar
    Vincent Lia

    Populism attracts too many of those that are not bothered to find fact and judge for themselves, it is easier to follow like a sheep and this is abused by the leaders or persons involved by dishing out lies as the followers are not bother to find out if what is said is true or not.

    • avatar
      Michele Werner

      I believe the opposite is true. It is easier to find out what is going on in your country, to understand the needs of your country and keep people accountable who mislead according to the local government than to really know what’s going on among the political elite, the EU headquarters and the UNITED. It’s all too big, too far removed from the needs of communities and their values, and, as designed, they will bully those who stand in their way and go after them with a media smear blitz.

    • avatar
      England English

      I hope so.

  146. avatar
    Wolfgang Mizelli

    populism talking bullshit, doing nothing, blaming others, preferably migrants or rich people ( = greedy bastards).

    • avatar
      England English

      Every time the left says that, they look a little more idiotic.

  147. avatar
    Louis Jeffs

    It’s about appealing directly to the ordinary person and their workaday concerns. Therefore, nothing in society improves very much, because folks are being flattered instead of challenged. It’s a pretence of democracy, in the five-wolves-and-three-sheep-voting-for-what-dinner-will-be spirit.

  148. avatar
    Daniel Parvanov

    It all began with liberal fascism… telling people what to think and try to shutdown anyone that no share liberal agenda… Populism is called bad cause new faces came and get place of career politics which cannot survive in real life … So for them is life and death and they will say anything about competitors…

    • avatar
      Michele Werner

      Very true!

  149. avatar
    Daniel Parvanov

    It all began with liberal fascism… telling people what to think and try to shutdown anyone that no share their liberal agenda… Populism is called bad cause new faces came and get place of career politics which cannot survive in real life … So for them is life and death and they will say anything about competitors…

  150. avatar
    Viena-Lemmikki Valkeameri

    Left was popular and we called it left. Hitler was popular with his party. To be popular is majority business. Now loosers are giving labels on those who are coming and takeing their majority, their popylarity. So nothing new, just the game.

  151. avatar
    Elisabeth Sommer

    What does Populism mean? Good populism – a politican gives serious promises and fulfills them. Bad populism – he gives promises and never wants to fulfill them, he only wants to be elected.

  152. avatar
    Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    Because populism suggests that complex problems can be solved with easy answers. Unfortunately, those easy answers usually involve categorically disregarding the rights of certain parts of the population.

  153. avatar
    Barbara Szela Lesniak

    ‘Populism’ vs ‘established political order’? – so this is the key …. Whose business is to defend each of the two? Aren’t we back to the 99% vs 1%

  154. avatar
    Peter Pien

    Populism, is a way to simplify to the border of ignorance!

  155. avatar
    Peter Pien

    Populism is a way to simplify to the border of ignarance!

  156. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    partiti populisti o gatekeeper.? I gatekeeper sono create dal sistema in funzione del sistema . Abbiamo bisogno di politica , di democrazia , di partecipazione , di essere rappresentati.

    populist or gatekeeper parties.? Gatekeepers are created by the system depending on the system. We need politics, democracy, participation, to be represented.

  157. avatar
    Carmelo A. Costanza

    At face value, populism seems appealing and intriguing, yet once scrutinized, such ideology is merely illusory, radically nationalistic, protectionist, isolationist, scapegoating and dissimilates from others. It focuses on more of a disjointed than a cohesive manner. The victims who support populism should reflect on its significance and on history, and optimistically, rationalism will come into fruition.

    Unfortunately, the current ambiance is not cognizant of the errors of the past, since they didn’t experience the same condition of those who experienced the same.

    In addition, such concept also demonstrates on an illusory approach with reality and offers vague and short term solutions towards the significant and arduous political, economic and social reality, which is affected via ideology in contrast from a commonsensical perspective. It’s an unfortunate approach at manipulating the sentiments of the populace for political opportunism towards a vague, illusory, demagoguery and demoralized solution, vision and message.

  158. avatar
    Carmelo A. Costanza

    At face value, populism seems appealing and intriguing, yet once scrutinized, such ideology is merely illusory, radically nationalistic, protectionist, isolationist, scapegoating and dissimilates from others. It focuses on more of a disjointed than a cohesive manner. The victims who support populism should reflect on its significance and on history, and optimistically, rationalism will come into fruition.

    Unfortunately, the current ambiance is not cognizant of the errors of the past, since they didn’t experience the same condition of those who experienced the same.

    In addition, such concept also demonstrates on an illusory approach with reality and offers vague and short term solutions towards the significant and arduous political, economic and social reality, which is affected via ideology in contrast from a commonsensical perspective. It’s an unfortunate approach at manipulating the sentiments of the populace for political opportunism towards a vague, illusory, demagoguery and demoralized solution, vision and message.

  159. avatar

    Populism for me can be seen as a way one individual opinions can be publicised and believed by many people. It is similar to the way marketing works, however, it is much more political term rather than for selling things. But, the vision is the same, it is to get the ones who have the power to implement and realize it conscious and can do the necessary action to answer them. The opinions can be derived from issues, needs or other things. There will ofcourse voices from the populist that are bias, illogical, not really benefitting the people who really need them or seriously disadvantaging the lives of others. For that, we have to consider any proper actions towards it, perhaps by changing the policies, using the power of the country’s leader/s and the other institutions to administrate and balance the condition again as to make the populist understand the steps and effects of actions they will receive. And all prospective conditions will depend on how well those who administrate respond towards such populist. To put in mind though, they need to consider the other parts that are not in the populist group Other parts might be quiet or silent because they don’t see any effects to them, they don’t know the effects and/or they just don’t care. As they work as the administrator, the communicator between the populist and non-populist, they will be the ones who really have to value whether the risen voices and whether such populist from time to time are bad or good. It will all depend on the time and policies of the country when such voices occur.

  160. avatar

    I still don’t get why populism is bad. Why wouldn’t people vote for someone who champions their cause if the democratic process has not previously addressed their needs. It seems that if a candidate comes along who does recognize the issues, why wouldn’t I vote for that person?
    I’m trying to understand.

    • avatar
      Mike Cramb


  161. avatar

    thanks for a coherent answer on this– the last time i gave populism any thought was freshman u.s. history in college, and it seemed like the word had taken a 180-degree turn in the tone of voice whenever it popped up in discourse.

  162. avatar
    David Whittington

    Fascism is often mistaken for nationalism, and it is easier for incompetent governments to gel their people by appealing to their animalistic hatreds….

  163. avatar
    Mike Cramb

    I think a lot of people & most politicans have forgotten how democracy works. The people vote in the person who best represents their view of how the State should be run. Unfortunately politicans have forgotten this & pursue there own agendas or the plans of some elitest group trying to change the world. Populism is a return to true democracy where politicians actually represent the views of the voters, if its good or bad we wont know until populist politicians have been elected & held a full term. I think old party politics is on the way out people dont trust the old partites & there hidden agendas. If the old parties had not taken the voters for granted populism wouldn’t exist.

  164. avatar
    Don Lupton

    Not many of you will remember politics in the 1940s Then the great debate was between socialism and capitalism. The political parties said “This is what we believe! If you do not then do not vote for us!” They tried to convince the public that their way was the right way.
    Things changed a little over time but the onset of Blair and Clinton changed politics.They asked part of the pubic what they believed and made that their policy. Unfortunately the people who’s opinions they took on board were the liberal elite and the better educated who were in their thrall.

    There was a vast number of ordinary people who had lots of common sense who were ignored.

    Instead of waiting for the tide to turn the Conservative party decided on the same policy just at the wrong time, just as Blair was being discredited Cameron decided to emulate him.

    And so here we are today.

    As for Europe it was sold to us on a complete lie. In the 70s we still respected politics.
    Ted Heath in particular told us thing that were completely untrue.

  165. avatar
    Michele Werner

    Populism is seen as a bad thing because that’s how the political elite, including George Soros want you to see it. They are the ones who designed the EU in the first place, as a step toward one world government. They have worked hard to abolish borders and historical European values of religion, culture and sovereignty. Now that several countries in the EU have realized that they bought into a bad deal and are working to change their lot, So rose advises the EU to bully them, and, of course, inform the whole world how terrible they are!

  166. avatar
    Lino Bonnici

    Populism is a big threat to the international establishment , including the national

    association. it is the populism who calling for the isolationism , and to building the

    walls on the 21th Century!!! actually we must working together to deleted their

    power through a big united front against all the sick minds isolationists who they

    want to destroy the international civilization.

  167. avatar

    The rise of so-called ‘populism’ is due to one thing, and one thing only: increasing loss of confidence borne of constant failures by ‘mainstream’ parties to deliver what the people of a country wants

    • avatar
      Bill Cameron

      Bill Cameron
      This word used to be used pick out those leaders whose proclaimed interests were to serve ‘ordinary’ people. It can now be identified with a mode of propaganda aimed at using unthought prejudice. This duality of use is now used quite unscrupulously in propaganda.

  168. avatar
    England English

    The EU architects WANT to destroy the nations of Europe. They WANT a flood of migrants that will erase any sense of hegemony or national identity. They DO NOT care about your safety, culture, history, or prosperity. They WANT to rule Europe and suck up the wealth of nations while envisioning themselves as kings.

    The best thing you can do is to see this now and respond politically, before you too are disenfranchised and left to rot in an ancestral home you no longer recognize as violence becomes more and more pervasive.

  169. avatar

    I love the format of the site. Politics in the modern world needs an update. We should start voting for policy instead of people.

  170. avatar
    John Harrison

    It’s only a bad thing to those who wield power, for they are under threat. Otherwise its a great outlet for people to express their discontent or feelings with their respective establishments.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      Could you give us an example please or are insults all you have ?

    • avatar
      Ginster Plantagenet

      his behavior and comments in the EU parliament. Besides he is still in there gets his salary and all he does is NOTHING besides blackmailing fellow MP

    • avatar
      Greg Castel

      Populism is BS as Ginster says, it’s generally aimed at the less well off in society as an easy sound bite without any real political meaning! “Get our country back”? From whom? Maybe the bankers need to start looking at home before they start blaming others? Where are Farages real policies? If we got rid of the private banks who are sitting on billions of “Our”, money, and brought in National owned banks where the governments of the day could use to invest in new build/green start ups, maybe we could kick start our economies again, instead of being held to ransom by money grabbing idiotic bankers who haven’t got the foggiest on how to run or manage a business? That way the European countries could avoid being held by the bollocks for borrowing money? Greece, Portugal, et al have to pay interest rates of 7%, how on earth are they supposed to clear their debts??
      Farage is part of the problem and cheap sound bites don’t help, so get your head out your arse and come up with some real policies that have a chance of working?
      Also “Why oh Why”, can he be allowed to keep taking money for a job that he doesn’t even turn up for half the time? Oh yes because the gullible keep voting for his BS sound bites?

    • avatar
      João Machado

      Ginster Plantagenet Lol. The only thing he did was to revolutionize European politics… nothing much… just lead one of the biggest countries out of the EU. Nothing major…

    • avatar
      João Machado

      Greg Castel If you have a problem with MPs not turning up to their jobs you should check the attendance stats and realize 95% of them should all be fired. Which is most probably the best thing to do to end this flying circus once and for all..

    • avatar
      Greg Castel

      João Machado great reply! If you can’t beat them join them? Sounds like one of Trumps “Smart” comments?
      Read about Diem25’s (New deal) and a possible real alternative for Europe and then we can have a conversation?
      Until then carry on with the childish sound bites, with no policies? Revolution? Ha! He is no better than the current lot? Are you really trusting a banker to put it right?
      Good luck!

    • avatar
      Greg Castel

      Ivan Burrows 2 wrongs don’t make a right?

  171. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Only the self important elites think its a bad thing, mainly because it undermines their god given right to rule and hands power back to the people.

  172. avatar
    Vytautas Vėžys

    Because it questions government, and government don’t like to be questioned.
    “Carrier politicians” chooses this profession to talk about abstract things, not to work and solve problems. That’s how work will never be done and you still keep promising your people the same over and over…

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      Its amazing how many people ignore the debate point & just use this page to insult people.

      Is this the how the many problems of ‘Europe’ are to be solved now ?

    • avatar
      Lydia Lykiardopoulou

      Fabiana…..this is very rude, no matter what is right or wrong about what we are discussing here !

    • avatar
      Leonardo Monteiro

      So if two wolves and a sheep vote for what is for dinner, the sheep should just shut up?

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Leonardo Monteiro

      The sheep can vote but it’s still going to get eaten, it is the natural order of things.

      A system of government where the minority (just another name for elites) rule would mean the sheep lives but the wolves die which is a dictatorship, not a democracy.

  173. avatar
    Christofer Catilan

    What might be the opposite of “populism”…”unpopulism”? :-) All political agendas contain more or less populism, simply because unpopular agendas wouldn’t appeal to people. But populism is falsely used to mainly refer to politicians whose priority is the national interests before international ditto. Globalism is just another kind of populism when people think it will solve all the big problems in the world as deadly conflicts.

  174. avatar

    Populism is not necessarily inherently bad. It becomes unacceptable once false information and scaremongering are used as tactics in gaining votes and support. If concrete facts, based on evidence, are used, and only opinions differ – it’s not an issue. However, when you slap ‘350£ million per week will go to NHS if we #Brexit’ on a bus or shout ‘Immigrants are taking our jobs’ or ‘Muslims are terrorists’ – then it becomes a problem.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      And pro EU elites don’t use lies, half truths, deceit & fear-mongering to keep themselves in power ?

      The £350 million is what we will save every week by not wasting it on the EU, it will be up to the government to decide where to spend it, on the NHS or otherwise. You either did not understand this or you are guilty of spreading pro EU fake news.

    • avatar
      Andy Sanders

      Ivan Burrows no it’s not. Get your facts straight. That’s the amount without the rebate the UK gets and without the aid of the EU to areas London hasn’t given a crap about since Thatcher.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Andy Sanders

      Firstly, who mentioned rebate ? he asked where the figure of £350 million which is the correct figure, go look it up.

      As for the rest of your post it was just the usual meaningless left wing rubbish so was ignored.

  175. avatar
    Ēriks Gasiņš

    Populism within itself isnt bad, but since politicians tend to not make good on their promises, that is when the populism is bad and hence word ”populist” gets a bad conotation in people’s minds.

  176. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    The inclusion of populist nationalists and the authoritarian turn in certain member countries in conjunction with the British exit do not open up better prospects for the future In this context the reformulation of the European intregation system will undoubtedly depend with great difficulties

  177. avatar
    Alonso Isidoro Roman

    For me it is because populism tries to make mention of feelings and leaves behind the reasoning. A single person can think rationally, a crowd is unable. It is very easy to question feelings with false information and the gift of the word.

  178. avatar
    Manuel Da Bernarda

    All kinds of political communication has a certain dose of populism.So how to face it? Trying to understand the intentions behind the speech,and evaluate it!

  179. avatar
    Stefano Zuzzi

    I think that populism word, it means :
    ( << listen to the people >> ) ; to their problems.
    What’s the wrong with that,? .

  180. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    Firstly Farage is an ex-Tory plant set up to bring about the Brexit vote by feeding lies to vulnerable disgruntled people when any intelligent person who has done their research (including Farage) knows the actual truth and would not blame a group of innocent people-unless like Farage who had an agenda. Otherwise real Populism is feedback from Utopian populists, average disgruntled populists,misinformed populists and racist populists. The solution lies with the feedback from Utopian populists.

  181. avatar
    Yannick Cornet

    Because it’s narrow-minded and short-termist, whereas problems are often complex, global and long-term.

  182. avatar
    Paul Hillard

    I’m watching the people of Catalonia being crushed this morning by the Spanish police when trying to exercise their right to vote.The vote is being called Populist. If democracy works, it is by it’s very name the vote of the people, and if the majority of people vote a certain way, that’s democracy at work.

    Democracy by its very nature cannot be for the minority, unless the majority say it’s OK. By saying democracy cannot be valid unless it protects the rights of the minority is an oxymoron. Otherwise, any minority group has an equal share, and that’s not democracy. Should we give the minority of Nazis a voice? Only if the majority of the people say yes, and I doubt that would be so. So the result is that the minority group (Nazi’s for example) do not get a voice. They may have an argument with a right for free speech, but that is a different argument.

    It seems democracy is acceptable when it fits the narrative/agenda of governments/elites, but when it doesn’t, it’s called Populism and should be crushed.

    Should a Government not be elected because it receives the most votes in an election, and is therefore popular? How many political parties would relinquish their right to rule because they are popular?

    Perhaps we should re-evaluate our version of democracy and pause trying to spread it around the world as a justification for removing (sometimes democratically elected) heads of state.

    • avatar
      James McManama

      Your logic seems confused.

      You say that majorities should be able to overrule minorities.

      Yet you object because Catalonia (a minority within Spain) was overruled by the majority.

  183. avatar

    Populism is bad because it promotes the idea that ordinary people actually matter. Thus, it is bad. Only the elites and their lackeys matter. Ordinary people are to just shut up and do what their masters dictate.

  184. avatar

    Very often people who are from nationalist parties are called populist. Populist by public opinion is someone who talks unrealistic decisions and bullshit. Populists arent bad. Tehya re against that fucking lyberalism and fake democracy + the islamic invasion caused by immigrants and only 20% of them are refugees. People who made so many wrong deccisions and arent giving any good decisions call others populists. In Bulgaria we have the united patriots coalition which is nationalistic group of 3 parties. Nationalism isnt extremists as they make it sound. Europe and Bulgaria need nationalism. We are at collapse because we follow fake democrats and parties which look like a business club rather than a political party. 5

  185. avatar
    marco briccone

    I find it interesting that Cas seems to be confusing the terms populism and orthodoxy. He needs to look up their definitions. Populism is defined as being concerned about the needs and wants of “the common people.” Orthodoxy is defined as conforming to established doctrine or one way of thinking. Finally, the common people seem to out number the elite so shouldn’t populism correlate in some fashion with democracy?

  186. avatar
    jim burke

    it is better for the majority of the citizens to control the government rather than the Elites the minorities may take a hit but under a liberal democracy we have seen rules made by the elites who try to dictate the morality of the country and have a fictional Ideology and understanding of reality for most of it’s citizens Not one country in the history of the world would I say employ a good moral code so the government should provide an army collect taxes provide safety stop trying to be our moral teachers like in a theocracy so populism is not perfect but it is better than the theocracy we have under Trudeau

  187. avatar
    Just Me

    I feel like the most basic standard of America is that all people are created equal. Populism strays from this concept. Despite the fact that populism supports the majority of the population, it also discludes so many people.

  188. avatar

    Populism is the label applied to anyone who seeks to hold living, breathing people above and before legal entities.

  189. avatar
    John Gilbert

    This idea of Populism is driving me crazy. I view it as representing the average hard working person. Not the rich, the powerful, not really the poor…meaning those who don’t choose to work and thus are poor. Populists should be represented. To be a politician, but at every turn their work should be 100% TRYING to protect, advance and level the playing field of the working class. Now what constitutes working class. That is tricky, but they definitely need to be writing and likely around whatever wage is considered minimal to afford a home for a married couple with two children…perhaps with one staying home while the children are in school. I know this will be attacked as completely arbitrary, but you have to stay somewhere. The point is like when you fall in love, it maybe can’t be exactly quantified, but you know when you are average versus elite.

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