- Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen in the second round of France's presidential election
- Edward Lucas: But his battle shows the fragility of a political system that can be easily exploited by outside powers like Russia
Edward Lucas is a senior editor at The Economist, where he was the Moscow bureau chief from 1998 to 2002. He is also senior vice president at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own.
(CNN)Here's the way Western democracies are supposed to work. Populist parties -- the ones that offer incendiary, crowd-pleasing answers -- belong on the fringes. Elections are fought between mainstream parties, which are big coalitions of idealists and pragmatists, reflecting well-structured social and economic interests. The outcome is decided by voters, not by foreign interference.