As Western govts face ideological void, fringe parties are flourishing
By Jonathan Eyal
Ideology - the glue that used to bind Western politics - has been dying a slow death since the end of the Cold War two decades ago, and parties have learnt to adapt to this.
Another reason is the rise of single-issue movements. These range from the downright silly - one Swedish party advocates making legal the download of any copyrighted material on the Internet - to the respectable but narrow, such as the Greens, and all the way to the downright sinister variety of extreme left and extreme right movements.
This requires effort, time and ingenuity. Since these commodities are in short supply, Western politicians are attracted to a different idea: tinkering with existing electoral systems to ensure that ballot results still produce clear answers.
By either the men of reason, or the men of hate.