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US Presidential Election

Proper Gander: Slave to the Algorithm

Panorama’s recent expose of Facebook’s darker side was scarier than Doctor Who, and like a Black Mirror episode come true. In What Facebook Knows About You (BBC1), reporter Darragh MacIntyre looks into what information about us Facebook gathers, and the sneaky ways it’s used.

Pathfinders: Coprophilia

Which of these news stories is true: The Queen threatened to abdicate if the Brexit vote won; the Pope supported Donald Trump for president; Hillary Clinton sold guns to ISIS; the Pope called fake news purveyors 'coprophages' (shit-eaters)?

Editorial: Life After Trump

Most political pundits predicted that Donald Trump would face defeat in the Presidential Elections. Likewise with the European Referendum in June, they were confident that the Remain side would win. On both counts, they were wrong.

In next year's French Presidential elections the Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, is expected to make major gains. In Germany, the Alternative für Deutschland, a far right populist group, may be in a position to challenge the ruling Christian Democrats. The Freedom Party of Austria gained most votes in the first round of the Austrian Presidential elections in April 2016.

Clearly, there is a surge in support for populist parties and politicians across Europe and in the USA who peddle nationalism, xenophobia and racism and pose as champions of the people against the establishment. Widespread disaffection with and mistrust of the mainstream political parties have emerged. It is not too difficult to see why this discontent has come about.

When Ideologies Run Out of Ideas

The “establishment” candidates Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush had money and media backing, but their bankrupt ideas doomed their campaigns.

The 2016 US presidential election revealed the splits within the Democratic and the Republican Parties. We witnessed the breakdown of the coalitions that each party had relied upon in past elections. As the political tendencies within both coalitions grew estranged from each other, the conventional ideology and slogans of each party became increasingly hollow and unconvincing. This new reality was revealed over the course of the primaries and the general election, as the ordinary tactics of the ‘establishment’ candidates proved not only ineffective and often completely counterproductive.

Identity crisis

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