Before the municipal elections a class asked me to visit their political market. The children all got assigned a political party and had to make campaign material. One of the groups got a populist party. They asked me what I found good about that party. My answer was that I was happy that people who felt unrepresented found a voice, even if I don’t agree with their policies.
The political discontent in most Western countries sometimes puzzles me. So, I’m trying to figure out why it’s there and what it means for democracy.
- How come people in the Netherlands, a country that appears in the top ten of all the lists of good things in the world are so unhappy?
- Or, how is it that a small minority of people feel unheard, when factually they get a disproportionate amount of attention?
- Why are groups in societies becoming more tribal, and why does that mean you don’t want to talk people from another tribe?
- How can some consistently blame others for the troubles they experience, without taking any form of responsibility?
- Why do some people vote for an anti-elitist message by electing very elite and privileged politicians?
I’d like to share what I discover in the next couple of months, and would love to hear some reflections.