MILAN – The right-wing populism that has emerged in many Western democracies in recent years could turn out to be much more than a blip on the political landscape. Beyond the Great Recession and the migration crisis, both of which created fertile ground for populist parties, the aging of the West’s population will continue to alter political power dynamics in populists’ favor.
It turns out that older voters are rather sympathetic to nationalist movements. Older Britons voted disproportionately in favor of leaving the European Union and older Americans delivered the U.S. presidency to Donald Trump. Neither the Law and Justice (PiS) party in Poland nor Fidesz in Hungary would be in power without the enthusiastic support of the elderly. And in Italy, the League has succeeded in large part by exploiting the discontent of Northern Italy’s seniors.
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