Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The rise of alternative parties

The success of Podemos at the European elections has prompted them to take an interest in local politics. In Orihuela, Podemos polled 1,008 votes and has now convened a meeting in one of the city’s parks.

Their appeal to those who have had houses re-possessed and to those who oppose the plans for rubbish dumps is strong. By using social media websites and internet messaging, they are able to get their message across to the disaffected, particularly the young.

Alternative politics were largely ignored in the past because the parties involved found it difficult and expensive to get their message across to the public. Using the internet and mobile phone messaging, it is both easy and cheap for these parties to promote their policies. This type of approach is particularly appealing to the young who use these forms of communication of a daily basis.

Fed up with the mainstream parties who seem to offer much the same thing, it is understandable that the disaffected should want to vote for something else. The more radical the ideas, the more appealing the party. In France it is the right wing that have captured the vote, here it is the far left – the result is the same though in that it will shake up the establishment into rethinking their manifestos.

I doubt that the majority will want to see Podemos with their extreme views running the country or even a local council but they will welcome the pressure that a new party exerts on the thinking of those who do win the next elections.

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