A conservative political scientist says the recent election in Italy demonstrates that the populist movement is starting to get a foothold on the European continent.
The political establishment has been reeling after about half of the Italian electorate voted for populist parties that were once considered fringe. The biggest winner was the Five Star Movement, which won about 32 percent of the vote; it was followed by the League, which has been described as a far-right, anti-immigrant, "Euroskeptic" party.
As in other European countries, the Italian voters were concerned about the hundreds of thousands of recently arrived migrants from the other side of the Mediterranean. This is a wakeup call for Europeans, says Dr. Charles Dunn, professor emeritus of government at Clemson University.
"Time is short. They are beginning to recognize that they need to act and act quickly," he tells OneNewsNow. "So the Five Star Movement in Italy signifies that the call for change is coming much more rapidly and with much greater influence."
Dunn says like France and Germany, Italy is clearly influenced by the immigration debate.
"So people are beginning to vote in new leadership, with the help of the populist movement, that is beginning to stand against terrorism and immigration," he observes. "That's changing the tenor, the culture of Europe. That's the key thing: the culture of Europe is at stake now."