Friday, 2 December 2016

postfaktische o post-verità

Whether the European political status quo can weather the trends that first emerged with the Brexit with the encore number, dénouement of the Trump ascendancy will see its first stress test this weekend with the run-off election in Austria and a contested referendum in Italy that could spark a constitutional crisis equally if it passes or fails. Even if the concept of polling hadn’t lost all its credence, the outcomes of both votes are highly uncertain.
What sort of precedent has already been struck and what would this shift bode more broadly? If elected, the conservative candidate of the Freedom Party Norbert Hofer will hold a plebiscite on continued EU membership, touted as Öxit. This protracted drama was too close to call in April of this year and a second vote was called for October—but delayed until now due to an issue with the glue on ballots mailed out. Meanwhile in Rome, Matteo Renzi’s government is pledging to dissolve itself if a sweeping reform bill engineered to reduce the gridlock that’s inchoate in the Italian parliament by divesting one chamber of its veto power. Even though that does smack as pretty much antidisestablishmentarian, populist elements oppose the change and its failure (and the resignation of the incumbent) are seen as an opportunity for social and economic conservatives to gain control.