How populist can a politician's wedding be?
The leader of the Romanian right-wing nationalist AUR party, George Simion, turned his wedding into a popular spectacle, having it broadcast live on Facebook and television. All Romanians were invited, the only requirement being that they should wear traditional clothing. Thousands took him up on the invitation. The national press thinks little of such PR stunts.
A very distasteful precedent
Simion's political marketing is out of line, Krónika criticises:
“If the age rating didn't specifically prohibit it, the AUR leader might even have given the public a glimpse of his wedding night, just to secure extra votes for his party - and of course for himself in the 2024 presidential elections. Such tactics are unprecedented in Romanian politics. Although the power of reality TV, the tabloid press and human curiosity in general should not be underestimated, one must hope that the majority has now had enough and no longer wants to put up with this unscrupulous and revolting propaganda.”
Bring on the good populists
Simion's populism is unrivalled, Libertatea writes in dismay:
“A genuine and positive populism for Romanian society must be anti-reactionary and anti-conservative. But Simion has no rivals. ... No one in politics even tries to tackle painful problems or to engage in uncomfortable discussions. Do you want to be a good populist? Then do something, dare to engage in uncomfortable debates on various topics. ... If you don't, Simion's lies will lead to dramatic events, to witch hunts and wars against imaginary enemies.”