Portal:Left-wing populism

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Left-wing populism

Left-wing populism is a political ideology which combines left-wing politics and populist rhetoric and themes. The rhetoric often consists of anti-elitist sentiments, opposition to the system and speaking for the "common people". Usually the important themes for left-wing populists include anti-capitalism, social justice, pacifism and anti-globalization, whereas class society ideology or socialist theory is not as important as it is to traditional left-wing parties. The criticism of capitalism and globalization is linked to anti-Americanism which has increased in the left populist movements as a result of unpopular US military operations, especially those in the Middle East.

It is considered that the populist left does not exclude others horizontally and relies on egalitarian ideals. Some scholars point out nationalist left-wing populist movements as well, a feature exhibited by Kemalism in Turkey for instance. For left-wing populist parties supportive of immigrant and LGBT rights among others, the term "inclusionary populism" has been used. With the rise of Greek Syriza and Spanish Podemos during the European debt crisis, there has been increased debate on new left-wing populism in Europe.

Selected biography

Kirchner marzo 2007 Congreso.jpg
Néstor Carlos Kirchner (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈnestoɾ ˈkaɾlos ˈkiɾʃneɾ]; 25 February 1950 – 27 October 2010) was an Argentine politician who served as President of Argentina from 2003 to 2007 and as Governor of Santa Cruz from 1991 to 2003. Ideologically a Peronist and social democrat, he served as President of the Justicialist Party from 2008 to 2010, with his political approach being characterised as Kirchnerism.

Born in Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Kirchner studied law at the National University of La Plata. Although the Dirty War had begun, Kirchner did not take an active role. He met and married Cristina Fernández at this time, returned with her to Río Gallegos at graduation, and opened a law firm. Kirchner ran for mayor of Río Gallegos in 1987 and for governor of Santa Cruz in 1991. He was reelected governor in 1995 and 1999 due to an amendment of the provincial constitution. Kirchner sided with Buenos Aires provincial governor Eduardo Duhalde and President Carlos Menem (1989–1999). Although Duhalde lost the 1999 presidential election, he was appointed president by the Congress when previous presidents Fernando de la Rúa and Adolfo Rodríguez Saá resigned during the December 2001 riots. Duhalde suggested that Kirchner run for president in 2003 in a bid to prevent Menem's return to the presidency. Menem won the presidential election but, fearing that he would lose in the required runoff election, he resigned; Kirchner became president as a result.

Kirchner took office on May 25, 2003. Roberto Lavagna, credited with the economic recovery during Duhalde's presidency, was retained as minister of economy and continued his economic policies. Argentina negotiated a swap of defaulted debt and repaid the International Monetary Fund. The National Institute of Statistics and Census intervened to underestimate growing inflation. Several Supreme Court judges resigned (fearing impeachment), and new justices were appointed. The amnesty for crimes committed during the Dirty War in enforcing the full-stop and due-obedience laws and the presidential pardons were repealed and declared unconstitutional. This led to new trials for the military who served during the 1970s. Argentina increased its integration with other Latin American countries, discontinuing its automatic alignment with the United States dating to the 1990s. The 2005 midterm elections were a victory for Kirchner, and signaled the end of Duhalde's supremacy in Buenos Aires Province.

Instead of seeking reelection, Kirchner stepped aside in 2007 in support of his wife, Cristina Fernández, who was elected president. He participated in the unsuccessful Operation Emmanuel to release FARC hostages, and was narrowly defeated in the 2009 midterm election for deputy of Buenos Aires Province. Kirchner was appointed Secretary General of UNASUR in 2010. He and his wife were involved (either directly or through their close aides) in the 2013 political scandal known as the Route of the K-Money. Kirchner died of cardiac arrest on October 27, 2010, and received a state funeral.


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