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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchPessimism and Distrust Could Sway Elections Around the World

Pessimism and Distrust Could Sway Elections Around the World

Authors: Caroline Alexander, Raymond Colitt, Sam Dodge, Jeong-ho Lee, Iain Rogers, Andrew Rosati, Yuko Takeo, Andre Tartar

Organization/Publisher: Bloomberg

Date/Place: January 21, 2021/UK

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 1,800


Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, Economy, Germany, Japan, France, Mexico, South Korea




In this economy analysis by business news giant Bloomberg, polarization, inequality, and distrust are growing amid the COVID-19 pandemic that continues battering the global economy (with most developed nations facing the worst health crisis), and will decide the political fate of several world leaders who will face the voting polls over the next two years. The leadership in Germany, France, South Korea, Japan and Mexico will face the test of post-pandemic times, as the US has just shown the door to Donald Trump and his “make America great again.” Each of these five nations faces a challenge of its own: Germany’s ruling party just picked its new leader, ending the reign of ageing Angela Merkel; drug-haven Mexico is facing unemployment and rising poverty; living costs are rising in South Korea with growing demand for universal basic income program; Japan’s long-time Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stepped down, enhancing fears of the ageing population that does not expect a better time coming; and amid rising Islamophobia and interventions in foreign countries, France’s Emmanuel Macron’s government has faced strong opposition from parliament to the streets – with “Yellow chest” protestors refusing to give-in despite his brutal policing. The fallout of the pandemic will hover over all the election campaigns, and it remains to be seen whether the Washington poll results will repeat in these capitals. However, individual popularity like that of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López and Merkel will also play a role. Merkel will, however, be Germany’s first in-office chancellor not to run for the office. The elections in the country will see an intense competition with new entrants vying to be leader. Japan is facing a dual challenge: a dampening economy due to decrease in exports, and a looming leadership crisis exacerbated by rising coronavirus infections resulting from the boost in domestic tourism that was encouraged by the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga through its subsidies. South Korea’s battle with coronavirus has given the ruling party impetus in recent parliament polls, and universal basic income program campaign will get traction in next polls. Macron had promised to transform a France tired of its establishment parties, but is moving to the right in his policies. His regime has faced stiff opposition on the streets where civilian protestors, police and media have been roughed up umpteen times. His time is marked by rising Islamophobic incidents, and the next polls will decide the direction France takes.


By: Riyaz Ul Khaliq, Non-Resident CIGA Research Associate



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