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Ripples on the wave of populism

The problem with populism is that it is so popular. With social media, 24-hour news coverage and seemingly innumerable opinion polls, politicians are under pressure to distil complex issues into simple, straightforward slogans, leaving little time for nuanced debate.

Meanwhile, media channels, fearful of being accused of bias, try to give a voice to absolutely everyone, no matter how marginal or preposterous their view. And society reacts by picking facts and opinions that suit, turning them into increasingly dogmatic viewpoints.

Sweden, by tradition supportive of equality, is the latest place to struggle to accommodate populism. The struggle reared its head at the annual Almedalen democracy forum last month, on the island of Gotland.

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