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Next Elections: Rising startup/ anti establishment party vote

Citizens who do not intend to vote cite disappointment that so little has changed despite previous votes. They are angry at their leaders, the lack of representation and politicians’ behaviors in their interest and people related to them. In this political and social environment are presented the new political anti establishment organizations, like the nowadays business model of startups.

Anti-establishment organizations based on the well-known personages of culture, sport, business, academic life etc. aim to be the same big pushers in WB6 as they are now a large political force in European politics, especially in Western and Central Europe. This model is seen that would be the new era of political forces instead of the old-fashioned politic parties. These parties are the necessity of the mass voters and aim to fill the space left empty from old-fashioned parties, especially they want the attention of the youth people organized by a common set of demands from their voter with the scope for a greater direct and comprehensive democracy.

Actually, the dimensions of this new political model are getting bigger in the political market. They have increased their vote share up to 12% for the last ten years in European countries. Their rise in support has come at the expense of both center-left and center-right parties. One of the main reasons what the voter have shifted in this new dimension of political market is about the natural end of the generation which belong to the post-cold war era. Voters are made cynics when it comes to the actually model of election candidates and party campaigns. They are aware about the empty promises, hollow words, and repetitions of stale undertakings and, again, disappearing acts by the newly elected.

The resulting increase in countries being run in coalitions with anti-establishment parties has allowed these parties to engage directly with citizens and assist the government in a number of European countries to resolve pending or postponed problems for many years. New parties can serve as a catalyst for social and political life, but also for economic debate on issues that old parties have avoided, but in fact they are the main arena of debate for mass voters. Since anti-establishment parties act far more than they think, they are the new credible reference point for voters.

Recent testimonies across Europe suggest that the profile of people most likely to vote for young politicians without prior experience in politics are massively men with little education, believers of all faiths, younger ages and groups including immigrants who are not integrated into society. Voters of some of the small parties or anti establishment ones have these features in some of the Western Balkan countries, such as Serbia, Montenegro or Kosovo.

In Albania, even though these political forces are created, it seems that they have not yet been able to find common ground with voters and gain their trust. Reasons are needed to be found within Albanian politics, but mostly they are seen as a continuation or connected with the old politics of major parties in Albania, which are considered by the voters equally responsible for the situation of political market in place for over 30 years.

Voters in the WB6 countries seem to still need time to have chances to be like counterparts in Western Europe.

Trust in institutions is low in WB6 countries, as in overall. Trust has been in freefall for a decade. Disillusionment is widespread, but some voters trust government less than others. Men, middle-aged people, non-tertiary educated people, and the poor people are somewhat less likely to think people in government can be trusted to do the right thing.

But these groups are also more likely to believe that the government system "needs big changes" or "needs to be replaced". These groups are the most trusted followers or voters of anti-establishment parties. Young voters, especially, have less faith in the expertise served by old parties. Politicians have become part of a cycle that promises more than they do, benefiting more than contributing and promoting elements of corruption more than all other members of society. The main political parties are less representative of the people.

Their interests play a more important role in public debate than the interests of voters and they spend more money making a role that is actually a political theater disliked by mass voters.

On the other hand, media affiliation has further marked the misuse of the rights they enjoy under public status in the function of citizens. Media denunciations are made to hunt for each political party those opponents or individuals who are considered to be in danger of dirty work or positions held by politicians and related persons.

Examples of increased support for small anti-establishment parties are in initial phase and soon will be a new political model in all BB6 countries. What motivates the downsizing of voters from the mainstream parties and goes to the growing support of a small party seems to reflect, in addition to attracting new energy and a more representative agenda that quickly resolves their problems is also a milestone, which coincides best with the growing dissatisfaction with the main parties.

Small parties hold a variety of policy positions, in fact in any government change they are part of governance at different levels. But they are represented with positions that have little political burden on voters, but their role can quickly resolve long-lasting problems over the years makes them into the major political beneficiaries of the current political transition. In this way, they are not affected by major political changes or reforms.

However, their voters do not have different views from major party voters in most policy areas. Small party voters have lower levels of trust in the government and are more likely to be disappointed with the mainstream parties. This fact explains the increase of support for small parties, which is a protest vote finding a candidate with a candidate that voters know, or a party without a story that is "nobody, but of great value."

What should be kept in mind of WB6 voters is the adaptation of the experience of Western European countries, which represent a life-long political market situation for young candidates that in every parliamentary election has coincided with a net increase in votes for small parties.

In net terms[1], parties with prominent leaders mainly win votes from the majors rather than “eating” votes from other newly small parties.

The experience of the last 5 to 10 years could serve for the newly experiences in WB6 (North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania). The actually policies of minor parties vary widely in Western Europe. They have a mix of agendas, often grounded in political pragmatism or opportunism rather than a coherent ideology, because they do not have to make the difficult and unpopular trade-offs associated with governing.

Newly parties commonly promise to upset the existing power structures, and promote the self-interest of their voters and supporters instead of the mass voters. On economic issues and questions of redistribution, agendas ranges from liberal (lower taxes and welfare spending) to socialist (increased regulation, renationalization of infrastructure, and growth of the welfare state). Voters for the startup parties are no more likely to embrace policies to alleviate inequality or protect the poor than are voters for the major parties. Nor do many of the minor parties focus on these themes.

But minor party voters are more likely to be concerned about job security and to have negative views about globalization and free trade. Minor party voters are more likely to self-identify as working class. The protectionist economic policies of many minor parties may therefore account for some of their appeal. But some of this rhetoric taps into the broader cultural anxiety associated with globalization rather than its immediate economic effects.

The diminishing economic security explains the main reason about the rise in the populist vote across Western democracies, but the story is not appropriate for WB6.

Income inequality doesn’t explain minor party support. Income inequality has been increased a little in last decade. Unemployment, injustice and informality are the only economic variables that are reasonably well correlated with the minor party vote over the past two decades. The data for the three indicators is showing an increase rate or unstable trend. In this context, the data of employment rate, especially for the young population workforce are not good and show that the most energy in labor market is used under the capacity.

The still high unemployment rate and insecurity at work may lead to a shift of votes to new parties if workers continue to blame the policies of the main parties. There are some facts from the European economy about a link between unemployment at work from trade and economy competition and populist voting. When they see that big parties have failed to activate economic agents to enable the creation of more jobs, then new party voters are more likely to reject the policies they believe are contributing to insecurity and inequality at work, which are identified as a result of the wrong policies implemented by the main parties.

From the geographic point of view, the economic activity and incomes have grown faster in most major cities compared to the regions over the past decade in the all countries of WB6.

The same is the situation also in Albania and Kosovo cities. The regional economies of Tirana, Durres and Pristina have all grown substantially faster than other regional areas in those countries. Some areas in these countries are growing faster than the general growth trend of economy because of the density of population, but also from concentration of the main businesses and government activities. But most of the difference results from different rates of population growth.

In summary, it seems likely that policy and protest both play a role in the rising new party vote. As the number of startup parties grows, voters looking for an alternative to the major parties are increasingly likely to find a party that focuses on an issue that resonates with them. The growing minor party vote isn’t neatly explained by changes in the economy.

Most economic indicators don’t align closely with the minor party vote or the increasing difference in vote between the cities and regions. Longer-term structural changes that have reduced job opportunities in certain sectors and regions play into concerns about how the economy and the governance of natural and public resources are used, without increasing the rate of corruption and with politicians more accountable to the law and that preserve integrity.

 

[1] Grattan Institute - A crisis of trust: The rise of protest politics in Australia