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Cas Mudde ✊ @CasMudde
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This weekend Brazilians will go to the polls to elect a new president. #Brazil is fifth biggest country in the world, in terms of population, and symptomatic of a remarkable authoritarian turn in the world's biggest states. #thread
1. China is the biggest country and only non-democracy in top-5. But even here General Secretary Xi Jinping has taken the country in a (even) more authoritarian and nationalist direction.
2. India, the world's largest democracy, has been governed by PM Narendra Modi and his radical right BJP-led coalition since 2014. MOstly ignored by international media, India has seen sharp rise of radical and sometimes violent Hindutva activism.
3. USA, third-biggest country and second-biggest democracy, is governed by a populist radical right president who is slowly but steadily shaking the dominant Republican Party in its image.
4. Indonesia, the world's third-biggest democracy, seems to buck the trend, with populist radical right Gerindra party on the rise, but its presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto well behind incumbent president Joko Widodo.
5. Brazil, finally, is electing a new president after years of corruption scandals and rising crime, which have propelled far right candidate Jair Bolsonaro to top position, near-certain winner of first round and increasingly likely winner of second round.
6. Elections are always national first, and only regional or global second. Hence, it is problematic to look for common explanations that go beyond the trivial. But the consequences are global. Liberal democracy is in decline and under stress.
7. With USA no longer interested in defending liberal democratic values, in own country and globally, authoritarian leaders, democratically elected or not, have much more political room to do whatever they want. This makes Brazilian elections so dangerous.
8. And with EU in defeatist and dysfunctional mode, there is no one to fill this gap. Withdrawn into its own internal struggles, EU also no longer functions as inspiring model globally.
9. While all of this is depressing, it was neither inevitable to happen nor is it inevitable to continue. Bolsonaro and Trump are in many ways freak incidents, while BJP is still faced with strong opposition in India.
10. The ball is truly in the corner of liberal democrats, to find ideological and organizational rejuvenation, but time is of essence, as the playing field is actively skewed against them.
11. As much as rise of "authoritarianism" is local, national, regional and global, the struggle for liberal democracy is too. #TheEnd
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