Redaction Weekly: Return of the left?

PEOPLE’S VOTE campaigners tried to reverse the Brexit vote for years. Their work has made No-Deal more possible, and helped hand Boris Johnson a huge mandate last December.

On the surface, defeat was inevitable. Recent triumphs for Narendra Modi, Benjamin Netanyahu, Andrzej Duda and various right-wing populists have strengthened the idea that conservatives will continue to dominate.

But as both New Zealand and Bolivia votethis weekend, one only need look at the polls to shatter this illusion.

Jacinda Ardern, after arguably being hamstrung by a coalition including NZ First, has finally acheived an overall majority that will allow her to implement her social democratic policies.

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Meanwhile, Luis Arce – Evo Morales’ successor for the MAS party – comfortably leads the polls a year after a coup ousted the former Bolivian president.

Do voters choose far-right populist parties because they genuinely like them? Or have liberal and centre-left parties become so docile that they just haven’t put up the fight over the past few years?

While not perfect, Ardern’s decisive, heavy-handed response means New Zealand has remained almost Covid-free.

And Luis Arce has consistently been referring to the economic growth and prosperity for the ordinary Bolivian in the Morales years, instead of shying away.

Either way, returning Labour to power in New Zealand and MAS in Bolivia would certainly be a statement.

But it would have its challenges – Ardern, for example, will need to deal with her ambiguous policy towards China.

As Wellington’s biggest trade partner, can she afford to call them out? Read our analysis here:

Why Jacinda Ardern and Labour tread a careful path on China

Here’s the best of the rest from this week:

IMMIGRATION FEARS

Are Czech voters still fearful of immigrants representing them? Yes, according to Pirate Party candidate Cyril Koky.

EXCLUSIVE: Fear of immigrants remains high in Czechia, says Pirate Party candidate

It’s not much better in Britain – Labour MP Sarah Owen, fresh off a heroic vote against the CHIS bill, spoke out last week against anti-Asian racism during the pandemic.

‘Coronavirus has been given the face of a Chinese Asian person’: MP calls for action over anti-Asian racism

DAMN THOSE POPULISTS

Trump and Boris have suffered heavily in the polls for their poor performances during the pandemic. So why does Bolsonaro get away with it? Read new reporter Isabel Baldwin’s debut here:

Brazil: Covid-19 deaths are soaring, but so are Bolsonaro’s approval ratings. Why?

AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA

The conflict rages on. Roving content editor Tim McNulty investigates the sparks behind the violence.

‘A Perfect Storm’: How coronavirus helped trigger a conflict in the Caucasus

LOOKING FORWARD

As Ardern inevitably celebrates her election victory and Luis Arce prepares for a DNC-style collaboration between the ‘Anyone but MAS’ candidates ahead of the second round in Bolivia, Trump and Biden look set to face off on Friday for the third (second?) and final presidential debate.


Featured Image: Nevada Halbert @Flickr

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