"Italy’s Five Star Movement falls in electoral polls but deepens citizen participation."
The populist wave that swept the democratic world in recent years is breaking up. In some places, it has exhausted itself and revealed its empty clamor. In other places, it has remained strong. Elsewhere it has potentially transformed politics forever by building an infrastructure for ongoing citizen engagement outside the moribund confines of established party systems.
Though it is no easy task to fathom the temper of the body politic in these unsettled days, in the U.S., President Donald Trump seems headed for defeat if the errant polling that led to the great surprise the last time around has been corrected. In Latin America, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico have remained popular despite their defiance of science in the pandemic. In the western part of Europe generally, the COVID crisis has had the opposite effect: It has not bolstered populist fervor, but enhanced trust in those with experience and expertise over the wary welcome of those who would throw out the baby of governing capacity with the bathwater of tired old politics.