As we rapidly approach the new year, it is the time to make our annual prediction.
This year, I firmly believe that Canada will rapidly accelerate further towards populism much like our southern neighbor as well as our friends in the European Union.
While Canada experienced traditional Conservative populism this year, framed as a battle between the “people” and the “elites”, through the election of Doug Ford, 2019 will bring new found energy, and far past the traditional base of Conservative populist circles.
This year left-wing as well as Liberal groups may experience the most significant shift towards a populist tone and policy.
Firstly much of the ground level Conservative anger has been mobilizing since 2015 in Canada, and since 2008 in the United States.
The far larger time frame provided ample time for modern right-wing populist movements to develop within both the United States and Canada, and in many ways mature to their current prime.
Left-wing movements have only been energized and therefore really mobilizing since the early election of Donald
In Canada, we have seen some displays of this left-wing shift from the NDP, the Liberals, and even from union representatives.
We have had an NDP MP and former potential leadership candidate using a serious racial slur, without apologizing against a sitting Premier.
On top of this, Union leader Jerry Dias, has taken multiple cards out of the Donald Trump playbook, going so far as to recommend Canada use some of the most controversial policies of Trump presidency, as well as suggestion his union representing almost every journalist in the country, is the direct opposition to Canada’s Conservative Party leader, Andrew Scheer.
While many groups have taken on the bitter tones of populism, it seems no one has taken the idea on their shoulders more than the Trudeau government.
Now for most, populism for most seems to relate to the bitter, divisive, and frankly bigoted speech we heard from across the aisle during the 2016 election.
These are the hateful statements such as when Donald Trump said Mexicans are “rapists”, or when Hillary Clinton labeled Republicans as “deplorable” which are designed to separate the nation between the good (the people) and the bad (the elite).
(While the basis has been the people vs the elite, the names of each group could easily change, but the overall outcome would largely be the same.)
When it comes to that kind of divisive politics, the Liberals have their hands full, already describing their opposition as racists, ambulance chasers, who would like to see this country return to the dark ages.
All this might I add, while actively claiming moral superiority at every turn.
While this good Canadian vs bad Canadian mentality is worrying, the Liberal populist shift goes far deeper at the policy level, specifically when it comes to economics and long-term economic policy.
Economists have used the term populism here in reference to governments which engage in substantial public spending financed by foreign loans, resulting in hyperinflation and emergency measures.
According to Wikipedia, in popular discourse, “the term has sometimes been used synonymously with demagogy, to describe politicians who present overly simplistic answers to complex questions in a highly emotional manner, or with opportunism, to
The Trudeau government appears to be casually copying many parts of this.
While Canada is not experiencing hyperinflation, we are experiencing massive deficits which could take until 2045 to pay back, as well as a rapidly devaluing loony and while this occurs, the Trudeau governments general attitude towards a balanced budget seems to be that “it will just balance itself.”
These deficits are by no means pointless.
They are as a result of the Trudeau governments continued large-scale promises which do provide some benefits to the masses, even if the government does not really know how to pay for it.
Here is the important factor though, with discussions on guaranteed minimum income, and a national
The Trudeau government may already be Canada’s populist government, ready to provide everything from shirt off your
With movements like the Yellow Vests, ANTIFA, trucker convoys, and more all growing, one thing seems certain, in 2019 the people’s voice will keep growing, and politicians will keep trying to win their votes.
What do you think? Will 2019 be the year of unleashed Canadian populism?
Are the Liberals already a populist party in hiding? Join the conversation by commenting below!