Shame & Silence: Authoritarianism in Spain

Since the 1980s, the Western European political landscape has undergone a transformation the likes of which hasn’t been seen for decades, and which reminds many pundits rather uncomfortably of a similar trend in the 1930s: namely, a rise in public support for far right-wing parties. These organizations, classified as “Populist Radical Right” parties by the Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde, differ in size, popularity, methods, and even some policy, but they generally share three main ideological priorities: authoritarianism, nativism, and populism. Countries with histories of fascism like Italy and Germany have both experienced resurgences of their respective PRR parties. Spain, however, has somehow remained unreceptive to any significant infiltration of PRR groups or members into their parliamentary politics. Despite, or

This Week’s Developments

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week the Round-Up is short and sweet. We look at Syria, the return of Dilma Rousseff, Italy's new government and the EgyptAir crash.     Syria Brings ‘Fake News’ to the UN Apparently, the propagation of ‘fake news’ that has overtaken facebook recently has travelled to the highest levels of global government. Earlier this week saw the Syrian ambassador show up an emergency Security Council meeting with a photograph that allegedly depicted Syrian forces helping citizens, but were in fact from Iraq. US ambassador Samantha Powers rained all over Syria’s parade, an interesting reaction considering 75% of adults in her country believe fake news stories, and have voted for a President-Elect who peddled lies all the way to the oval

An Earthquake & A Climate Change ‘Debate’

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week the Round-Up is short and sweet. We look at Renzi's resignation, the earthquake in Indonesia, Trump's pick for the EPA, and a possible peace deal for Aleppo.  1. Italy’s PM Resigns Following Referendum Following a constitutional referendum on Sunday, Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister, handed in his resignation three days later. The PM supported a change the national parliament’s upper chamber among other reforms in an attempt to pass legislation through quicker. However, the referendum failed, and the PM followed through on his promise to resign. The Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, has officially received Renzi’s resignation and is now in the process to speaking to major political parties in parliament to designate a new PM. The

Pipeline Grumbles & Diplomatic Stumbles

No Natural Disasters Here, Metaphorical or Otherwise

On this episode of OM's Chatter we talk good news out of west Africa, sad news for the nationalists in Europe, which politicians dropped the ball this week (hint: they're the ones you expect to), the continuing saga that is the Dakota pipeline protests, & more. First, the gang celebrates some good news from around the world including a loss for the Austrian far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hoffer, and a victory for Gambia, which saw the election of Adama Barrow and the end of Yahya Jammeh's 22-year reign. We also check out some noteworthy topics: Trump's "Twitter diplomacy", Boris Johnson being Boris Johnson and fumbling on Brexit, the possibility of a Ban Ki-moon South Korean presidency, veterans protecting protesters at Standing Rock, and what

French Fashion and Political Action

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week's Round-Up covers the disastrous earthquake in Italy, Burkinis in France, Olympics follow-up & more!    Italy Quake Early Wednesday morning a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked central Italy. Amatrice, the town at the quake’s epicenter is ‘gone’ and rescuers are still searching for survivors; the death toll has now reached 247. According to the US Geological Survey the earthquake struck just 6 miles below the surface, compounding its destructive force, and was caused by a combination of factors including the movement of the Apennine mountain belt, which stretches about 3mm a year, and the southeast movement of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. The head of studies at Italy’s Geological Institute has claimed that Italy can expect an

OM Reading List: Homage to Catalonia

Memorial to Spanish Civil War Catalonia

For those history buffs among us, a look back can often serve to illuminate issues and themes that we see recurring in our time. Particularly with respect to warfare, stories from our past can often influence the way we perceive nationality and the rationales for going to war in the first place. First some background; the Spanish Civil war took place from 1936 to 1939 between the democratic, left-leaning Spanish Second Republic and the revolting nationalist and Falangist group (widely understood as Fascist) under General Franco. On both side there were coalitions of groups that loosely cooperated (until they suddenly didn’t). At stake was political reform; the left sought to limit the power of the monarchy and maintain a liberal state

No Rest for the Protest

The Round-Up Three Elections Gunman Referendum

The World in a Flash This week's Round-Up covers the G7 summit, Greek migrants, the history of rally protests in the US, Obama in Hiroshima, El Nino & La Nina, and the problem with tomatoes in Nigeria.   Union Protests Over French Labour Reforms Over the past week, union protests over proposed labour reforms in France have escalated after months of tension. The labour reforms are aiming to make it easier for firms to negotiate with unions and let go workers in the hopes it will incentivise firms to hire more readily if they know they can more easily shed workers. Officials have stated they will not remove the proposed bill but are open to modification. The nationwide protests have blocked oil refineries causing