2016 has been a crazy year.
Nowhere is this more true than in the massive political upheaval we have seen in numerous countries around the world, but particularly here in the West.
The picture above was taken by White House official photographer Pete Souza during a trip to Hanover, Germany on April 25 2016, seven months and one week ago. It pretty much sums up how totally mad 2016 has been for politics.
As you can see, it depicts David Cameron, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande, and Matteo Renzi — the leaders of the UK, USA, Germany, France, and Italy respectively.
Only one politician can legitimately say that they are still standing, just over half a year after this picture was taken:
David Cameron — Prime Minister Cameron resigned after a humiliating defeat in Britain’s Brexit referendum. He staked his career on the vote, and when Brits voted 51.8% to 48.2% to leave the European Union, he was forced to stand down. He has since been replaced by former Home Secretary Theresa May.
Barack Obama — Obama is about to the reach the end of his second term as president. He will leave the White House after eight years as Commander-in-Chief, replaced by Republican Donald Trump, whose rise from upstart protest candidate to president-elect is one of the biggest political shocks in modern history.
Angela Merkel — Germany’s Chancellor, and the de facto leader of the eurozone, is still standing. She has been Germany’s top politician for more than 11 years, and she does not plan on going anywhere, announcing in November that she intends to stand for a fourth term as Chancellor.
Francois Hollande — Hollande is still the French president, but he won’t be for long. With approval ratings from the French people of less than 10%, Hollande announced at the end of November that he will not seek another term. Next year’s presidential race looks like it will pit Republican candidate Francois Fillon against the populist, far-right candidate Marine le Pen of the Front National.
Matteo Renzi — The latest casualty, Renzi was forced to resign on Sunday after a crushing defeat in the constitutional reform referendum he staked his political career on. Renzi was Italian prime minister for more than two and a half years (a very long time in Italian politics) and his exit could spark a fresh crisis in the country, where the populist Five Star Movement is on the charge.
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