Populist Defeated In Austria, For Now

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As I reported, there has been a long hard road that led Austrians to the polls Sunday.

There has been a mad push by the Right-wing Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer. Hofer gained much of his support by pressing an anti-establishment, Neo-nationalist campaign. But this has now come to an end.

Norbert fell several points short of his opponent Alexander Van der Bellen. This can be seen as a victory for liberals. Van der Bellen is more of an establishment, pro-EU leader. And it seems that the Left had escaped a year-long nosedive.

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But this is surely not the end.

The Telegraph reports

For those on the Left of European politics the outcome of the long and tumultuous presidential campaign in Austria is cause for celebration. Despite the widespread collapse of social democracy across much of Europe, there is a sense that the resurgent populist Right has been put back in its box and that after the global shocks of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump the political center has regained momentum.

But such celebration is premature, for this is far from being a liberal triumph. On the contrary, the latest election result in Europe is yet another reminder of a growing challenge to the liberal mainstream that has been building for many decades and still has a long way to run.

This is not over because there is one clear flaw in most Liberal thinking; they cannot listen to their people. It has been proven time and again that Liberal leaders have an agenda, one that they will not turn from because they are ideologues.

They cannot leave their social justice agendas long enough to see that their house is on fire. And this is why they will ultimately lose to the populous who are popular because they have heard and promised what the people want.

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