Tuesday 27 June 2017

500 years after the Reformation, politics now faces one of its own

Swiss Guards arrive before Pope Francis delivered his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Christmas Day. Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Swiss Guards arrive before Pope Francis delivered his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Christmas Day. Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
David Quinn

David Quinn

The coming year will mark the fifth centenary of the start of the Reformation. In 1517, the German monk, Martin Luther, hammered his 95 'theses' to the church door at Wittenberg objecting to various practices within the Catholic Church, not least the sale of indulgences.

The year just coming to an end saw an increasingly angry electorate hammer its own set of theses to the door of every single mainstream party in the Western world, setting off a Reformation of its own, except this time a political Reformation. This Reformation will continue into 2017.

At a minimum, Marine Le Pen will do very well in the French presidential election next year, and even if Angela Merkel becomes German chancellor for a fourth time, she will be a greatly diminished figure because of her recklessly generous refugee policy.

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