Sunday will see the culmination of one of the longest, toughest — and flat-out weirdest — elections ever in Austria. Voters will choose between two candidates: Alexander Van der Bellen, the former leader of the small Green Party, and Norbert Hofer, a key figure in the right-wing Freedom Party.
The result will have a symbolic importance far beyond Austria. Is another country about to join the rise of nationalist and far-right populists elsewhere in Europe, and mimic the unexpected success of President-elect Donald J. Trump in the United States?
The pairing of finalists in this contest is odd enough: Both their parties were usually on the fringes of the traditional political establishment, which for decades was dominated by the center-left Social Democrats on one side and the center-right Austrian People’s Party on the other.… Seguir leyendo »