Editorial: 2016 began with the inauspicious death of David Bowie.
Seldom has a celebrity death sparked such an intense outpouring of mourning on social media. Rarely has a star been deemed worthy of so many column inches dedicated to a legacy. It was the unexpectedness of Bowie’s death--just two days after the release, on his 69th birthday, of Bowie’s latest album--that caused the most pain.
But there were plenty more profound shocks to come in 2016. Shocks that could cause many people a lot more pain in the long run. Back in February, the odds on a dual forecast predicting a vote in the UK for Brexit and a Trump triumph in the US presidential election were longer than those on Leicester City winning the English premier league. Both those upsets came to pass, but already many who contributed to the political shocks on both sides of the Atlantic are expressing buyer’s regret.
2017 could deliver similar upsets in France and Germany, with the Front National’s Marine Le Pen making a viable contest out of the race to enter the Élysée Palace and the Alternative für Deutschland party making waves in Luxembourg’s neighbour to the east (although it would be an upset of Leicester City proportions if they won a majority next October, they could do enough to cause serious damage to Angela Merkel’s prospects of a fourth successive term as chancellor).
Luxembourg, thankfully, has managed to withstand the seemingly insuppressible march of populism across Europe. The Grand Duchy’s ADR spends its time making nonsensical claims about the loss of Luxembourg identity and tilts, nay, rages, against windmills with its spurious defence of the Luxembourg language. Fortunately, when Luxembourg holds local elections on 8 October 2017 many foreign residents will also be eligible to vote. Following the defeat last year of the referendum on allowing non-Luxembourgers to participate in electing national parliament, it is imperative that as many foreign residents as possible use the privilege to vote next autumn.
Delano is urging its readers to make just one New Year’s resolution for 2017. If you have lived here for five years or longer, pledge to go to your local commune and get yourself on the electoral register. Exercise your right and act to make 2017 a more positive year than 2016.
Duncan Roberts is editor-in-chief of Delano magazine. Have a comment? Send it to [email protected]