Argumentation and fallacy in Dutch populist discourse A comparative analysis of right-wing and left-wing parties.

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The present study sheds new light on the way Dutch populist parties with different positions on the political left-to-right spectrum use persuasive language in election campaign discourse using a corpus-based comparative discourse analysis of the argumentation of two Dutch populist parties, the right-wing Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) and the left-wing Socialistische Partij (SP). The findings reveal that the two populist parties express their populist nature in a completely different way. PVV frequently uses multiple populist themes, and more informal fallacies when trying to persuade the public, while SP uses little populist themes and predominantly uses valid argumentation to persuade their audience. Since SP shows little populist characteristics in their rhetoric but an anti-elitist stance, it can be argued they should simply be considered anti-elitist. PVV can be considered prototypically populist while SP can be considered populist to a minimum. This suggests that two seemingly similar parties, in the sense they are both considered populist, can differ immensely in rhetorical style and ideology, and should therefore not be generalized.
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