Soon after Maxime Bernier founded the People’s Party of Canada, the mainstream media pursued a campaign to undermine and slander the PPC as a gathering grounds for racists, the uneducated and the backward thinking.
National treasures like Maclean’s writer Paul Wells called the PPC voter base the “stupidest people on Twitter”.
Wells’ sentiments were part of a larger reaction to what is broadly being recognized as Canadian populism.
For an elite and privileged sector of the Canadian population, populism is the new big bad wolf.
Snorting through his expert analysis, Paul Wells makes some comparisons between Maxime Bernier and Donald Trump, grinning the whole way through.
Wells seems to think that Bernier is confused about his own positions. Is he a libertarian or is he a conservative? Wells doesn’t seem to know.
People asked the same thing about Donald Trump: is he a Republican, or is he a Democrat? In truth, he really is neither in the original sense of the terms.
The answer might be a lot simpler than that. If you were to observe political trends around the Western world it would become evident that the old left-right political divisions aren’t as stable as they once were.
After all the entire system of left and right is a descriptive axis that only emerged after the enlightenment and the American and French revolutions.
A new paradigm is underway and the line of division is more tangible than the ideological loyalties of the past left and right.
The new division is between the devotion to your own (your own family, your own community, your own people) and the devotion to the many corporate interests which make up globalism.
Populism transcends race, class and identity
The most recent iteration of Liberals looking down their noses at ordinary Canadians came in the form of a CBC 22 Minutes segment on the yellow vest movement sweeping throughout Canada.
The CBC represented everyone who dons a yellow vest as unwashed plaid-wearing buffoons, ignorant of the issues Canada is facing.
If you call yourself a left-winger and don’t watch this video with distaste then you are either knowingly or unknowingly supporting the elite’s status quo.
Canada’s elite seems to be stuck in a mentality that looks at all challenges to its power in terms of class.
Except this is a fatal flaw since the “people” are an organic mass that transcends class, race and identity. Populists can be wealthy, they can be educated or they can be part of the working class and the disadvantaged.
Generalizations like the ones Wells and the CBC are perpetuating only serve to undermine any legitimate criticisms that people might have against the yellow vest movement or any similar populist push in Canada.
Canadian elites haven’t learned a lesson from the election of Donald Trump
However, there is one point in which Wells and the CBC are correct.
Their entire reactions and comments are exactly in line with how ruling elites have reacted to populism throughout the world.
We saw this with Donald Trump and other places in Europe. It starts with ridicule and absolute dismissal from the political establishment and the mainstream media.
This only serves to embolden populists. In a sense, populist movements feed and thrive when they are challenged by the very elites they have set themselves in opposition against.
It seems that the Canadian elite have refused to learn a lesson from their American counterparts and are pursuing the same policy of ridicule and shaming that was employed during the last US election.
Well, here’s a tip: it doesn’t work.
If there’s anything to learn from the election of Donald Trump and populist governments throughout the world it’s that listening to popular sentiments is the best way to avoid being replaced.
Except the sad reality is that the Liberals and the enabling mainstream media in Canada won’t listen to its people.
Wells and the CBC made their house out of straw and the big bad wolf is about to huff and puff and blow it all away.