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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Populism in Politics Reply with quote

It looks to me like populism is affecting our politics in ways that we hadn't thought of prior to this.

This is a pretty fair description of populism.

Populism is a political doctrine that proposes that the common people are exploited by a privileged elite, and which seeks to resolve this. The underlying ideology of populists can be left, right, or center. Its goal is uniting the uncorrupt and the unsophisticated "little man" against the corrupt dominant elites (usually the established politicians) and their camp of followers (usually the rich and the intellectuals). It is guided by the belief that political and social goals are best achieved by the direct actions of the masses.

In a way, it's when the public discourse about political goals goes against the established political routines. Old elites are challenged by political ideas that come from outside their own circles. In normal times, the People are passive, and making their choices from offerings made by the parties. The results are surprisingly predictable.

But when the system really isn't working, real practical demands build up, and when a leader appears, there can be a stampede to the new, 'outside' choice. The previously ignored grumbles becomes a political force.

It's what gives Democracy its strength. It allows the system to adapt without a revolution. It isn't that populism can match academics when it comes to theorizing. It probably can't. It starts at the other end, where the problems are piling up, and moves to replace the people that seem responsible. In that sense, it needs leadership.

As the CBC puts it, we might disobey the experts ...
Mudde notes that populism is sometimes associated with simple, emotional responses to problems, though that is not the exclusive preserve of populists. In practice, it has been linked with nationalism and nativism, but also socialism.

At their best, populist movements might raise previously neglected concerns or problems. They might usefully challenge accepted wisdom. Or even attack real corruption.

But one needn't look far to find populism that manifest itself in attacks on politicians, journalism, the judiciary, academia and expertise. Trump, perhaps the quintessential populist of the moment, has derided the political class, media outlets and judges. The Brexit campaign included a dismissal of experts who warned against the impacts of Britain separating from the European Union.

You could say that widespread populism is, itself, an indication that the system is not working as it should. It isn't something to look down on. From the expert;s point of view, it ought to be looked at as a symptom of a problem. It probably means the 'experts' are wrong.

But often, the basis of their expertise is based on the study of the very normal routines that no longer work. In such situations, experts and organizaions often engage in collective denial. Populism is part of the feedback system that allows changes to take place early rather than late.

Why is this important? Because the fear of populism is starting to dominate both the Conservative and the NDP leadership races. It is involved in the immigration issue. It is a big factor in the Kevin OLeary issue. It is implicated in the Millennial issue.

I hope we can keep in mind that populism is another word for the voice of the People, and it is more fearful if it is ignored than if it is catered to. Secondly, the problems of the People usually end up being handled by yet another set of experts, and it is for the better.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can Trumpism be exported to Canada?

Kevin O'Leary speaks during a Conservative Party leadership debate at the Manning Centre...

Stephanie Levitz, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Feb 26, 2017
, Last Updated: 3:06 PM ET

OTTAWA — There were “Make America Great Again” hats, there were signs with Donald Trump’s name.

There was a panel devoted exclusively to the topic of whether Trumpism could be exported to Canada, and more than one other session made mention of the Trump effect.

It’s clear that conservatives at the Manning Centre conference were thinking about the political ramifications of the seismic political shift in the U.S. in recent months.

But does it matter what those particular conservatives think?

In the Populism Project, The Canadian Press is exploring the factors that led to Trump’s victory, how it is changing politics in Canada and testing them against the current economic, social and political climate of Canada to see whether the potential exists for the same kind of political upheaval here.

Held in Ottawa every year, the Manning Conference attracts a particular swath of the conservative movement — the self-described policy and politics junkies eager to chew on the issues of the day. Put another way, suggested Toronto politician Doug Ford, not exactly the average voter.

“Common folk don’t come to events like this,” he told a panel at the conference called “Down with The Elites?”

It’s the so-called common folk understood to have propelled Trump to victory, not just in the general presidential election.

What put him in the running for that at all was his complete overthrow of the American Republican establishment to win the U.S. state primaries and get the nomination in the first place.

The Canadian conservative establishment also hasn’t been immune to upset.

The Reform movement of the 1980s and 1990s rose up in response to a belief the federal Progressive Conservatives had lost their way.

Then there was Rob Ford’s mayoral victory in Toronto, argued his brother.

In that campaign, the conservative establishment supported the provincial liberal running against Rob, Doug told the panel, but Ford triumphed anyway thanks to his connection directly with voters.

No one should be naive enough to think the establishment won’t turn again, he said.

“Don’t kid yourself, they are all good buddies at the end of the day,” he said.

Frustration with the conservative establishment in Alberta is also what led to the splintering of the Progressive Conservative party there, argued Derek Fildebrandt, the finance critic for the Wildrose Party that was the result of that splinter.

“The old, left liberal clique drove the PC party into the ditch,” he told a panel on Alberta conservatism.

The extent to which the current federal conservative establishment is vulnerable might not be known until after their leadership race is over, said Michele Austin, a Conservative strategist.

Thirteen of the 14 candidates in the race have long-standing ties to the party, she pointed out.

“The question maybe isn’t, are we vulnerable? The question is maybe, are the grassroots open to it?” she said.

The 14th candidate could be the man who answers the question — businessman and celebrity Kevin O’Leary.

The fact that attacks against O’Leary drew some of the biggest cheers during the Manning conference’s leadership debate speaks to the extent to which he is an outsider in that crowd, said David Valentin, a pollster with Mainstreet Research, running regular surveys of Conservative members on their leadership preferences.

O’Leary is currently running ahead of the pack in those polls, while a straw poll of conference attendees put his support at about 10 per cent.

Maxime Bernier, a former cabinet minister and longtime Quebec MP, won the straw poll with 32 per cent.

Kellie Leitch, whose focus on immigration screening for so-called Canadian values has generated controversy, garnered 5.6 per cent.

Leitch says that many Canadians she speaks with share her views, while the elite just dismisses them, a point she reiterated Saturday in releasing more elements of her immigrant platform.

But critics have accused her of deliberating seeking to stoke the kind of fear-based, anti-immigrant sentiment that won Trump and other populist movements in Europe so much success.

Any politician can tell you they receive hundreds of angry and often xenophobic messages, and it is a mistake to ignore them, said former immigration minister Jason Kenney, who is currently running to unite the right in Alberta.

“But we also make a mistake if we exaggerate their influence,” he said. “Most of those angry keyboard warriors leave it at that. Many of them don’t come out and vote, they don’t get involved in the process. Anybody who takes their lead from over-caffeinated angry voices is making a huge mistake.”

Many argue Trump’s victory in the primaries couldn’t be replicated in federal leadership race because of how it works. Primaries are a free-for-all vote that take place over months, allowing candidates to surf momentum. The Tory race requires card-carrying members to be signed up well ahead of voting day and all cast their ballots at once in a ranked system.

If a ranked ballot had been used for Trump, some American research has suggested he would have lost seven of the 11 states he won in a single day, as opposed to what he did do, which was win.

Another big difference, argued Valentin, is that the U.S. establishment discounted Trump.

The same cannot be said of the Tories in Canada. Nearly every other leadership candidate has taken turns beating up on O’Leary in recent days, Valentin said.

O’Leary has said his path to victory is expanding the party’s base, not drawing from the existing one.

But the existing base could wield more power than he realizes, Valentin said.

Each of the 338 ridings across the country is given 100 points, no matter how many members they hold.

So, for example, social conservatives who may feel threatened by O’Leary’s definition of the Conservative party as one that embraces LGBTQI issues, the legalization of marijuana and defending reproductive rights have room to mount a defence — sign up party members in ridings where there’s virtually no others.

“It’s easy for some single issue organizations to have outsized power if they can get their hooks into the right areas,” Valentin said.

If O’Leary does win, how that might change the entire conservative movement dynamic is a valid question, he said.

“A year from now, will the Manning conference, which laughed and booed and sneered at him, be bowing down and fawning over him like the Republicans now are with Trump?”


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if populism is new to Canadian politics or really that familiar with its definition .

The US election was much different than Canada and I'm not sure it makes much sense to try and compare the 2 .

I think there will always be people who feel the elites have too much power or that they don't look out for the little guy

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference can be summed up in this: we are coming out of nine years of Harper, and they are coming out of eight years of Obama. But it's worse than that. Americans have lost a lot of the 'equity' that they believed was in their homes. and their job losses are far more evident.

All the new ideas in Canadian politics that are rooted in the electorate come from the USA. Why do we have 'equity' in hiring, for example? The NDP is almost a branch plant of the US left.

The US has a real managerial 'class' that we have only in vestigal form. And most of ours are civil servants, which means they operate in an artificial economy where the restraints are overwhelmingly political, rather than economic. (TC could be a model.)

But Canada is already regulated to the tits. If we throw a plastic bottle in the regular garbage, we could be charged. If we smoke in our own cars with someone under 18 in the car, we can be charged. If we don't wear a proper helmet when riding a bicycle, we could be charged. Imagine what it's like trying to run a business, between tax regulations, safety regulations, the labour code, environmental regulations, and regulations I probably don't even know about.

And this means if the US has a dramatic pruning of regulations, we will have to do the same, no matter what 'the electorate' wants. Or our prosperity will suffer.

Populism already afoot in the land, but there is no leader for it to rally to. And it isn't as determined or as hostile. More Americans than you think are worried that the country is already in decline. I don't think Canadians feel that way -- they are just worried about the future. But the rebellion has started, as a reaction to political correctness, of which we have an abundance.

It's best looked on as an omen. It means change is coming, and while it may involve government, it will come from outside government. It will fundamentally realign government to society (hopefully) in an improved manner, but the transition can be rocky.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But it's worse than that. Americans have lost a lot of the 'equity' that they believed was in their homes.
Real estate equity jumped last year by the most in 65 years.
The amount by which the value of the houses exceeds their underlying mortgages rose to $8.2 trillion last year, a gain of 25 percent, according to Federal Reserve data.
Bloomberg News.
If we throw a plastic bottle in the regular garbage, we could be charged.

LOL...with what?

If we smoke in our own cars with someone under 18 in the car, we can be charged.

No you can't. If 15 or younger it can happen.[/quote]

If we don't wear a proper helmet when riding a bicycle, we could be charged.

Who is 'we' ?

You may ride without a helmet any time you wish. So can I (but don't)
17 and under is the law.

Imagine what it's like trying to run a business, between tax regulations, safety regulations, the labour code, environmental regulations, and regulations I probably don't even know about.

Probably hard since you got all this wrong to start with.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: USA real estate:

In the first quarter of 2016, residential investment accounted for roughly half of the 1.1% increase in real GDP. Historically, this is on the high side, but when you count spending on housing services as well as spending on various kinds of housing construction, the home construction industry can account for as much as one fifth of overall output in the U.S. economy.

That's why housing has traditionally powered the American economy out of recessions, and that's why housing's role as the trigger of the Great Recession was so damning to the subsequent recovery. While housing prices have improved—with home values in some markets higher than before the crisis—there's evidence that the housing bust has inflicted long-term damage on the home building industry and therefore the American economy.http://fortune.com/2016/07/14/real-estate-charts/

Think what you want. You will note that home prices have recovered the prices they achieved before the crisis only in a few cities, or parts of cities, in the US. Not everywhere, and only because of 3% financing. When the Federal Reserve put an additional .25% on the interest rate, the stock market when into a panic. It was the worst January in decades.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The media are turnng their guns on populism, as anticipated. This, from Andrew Coyne, who wants to make a distinction between conservatism and populism, lest any Conservatives be tempted ...

... [Populism] is not just different from conservatism: it is in most respects its opposite. While on the surface they might seem to share a skepticism of government or other concentrations of power, populism and conservatism differ radically in their prescriptions for controlling them. Against the populist faith in unhindered strongmen, the conservative binds power within a web of institutional constraints: customs, rules, Parliament, markets. It is a system of “laws not men,” of institutions that are of man but not by him.

Conservatism does not rest in the conviction that popular opinion is always right at any moment in time, but neither places its faith in all-seeing experts or visionary leaders: rather, it trusts in the wisdom that is accumulated through generations of trial and error, and the institutions and customs that embody it. In this it is more respectful of the people than populist demagogues, who never challenge the public to be better but only flatter them at their worst, never present them with any choices or tradeoffs but always play to the ever-present desire to have things both ways, at no cost to anyone — or no one but Them.

In its present form, moreover, with its contempt not just for experts but for the whole notion of expertise, populism has degraded into something closer to nihilism.

This is a weak argument. It dresses Canadian conservatism up in its Sunday best to make an argument for elitism. But isn't that our problem in Canada -- our so-called elites are (generally speaking) full of shit. There were a bunch of experts who signed on to the Green Energy proposals that are now threatening to de-industrialize Ontario. They still have their jobs, and probably get bonuses. But on Facebook, the people of Ontario are expressing their anger.

Those not in elites, not 'experts' generally think that particular areas of expertise are settled, and the engineering is in place so that the effects can be accurately estimated. But in all the important areas, that is not the case.

In economics, for example, what is the better economic policy? You can find economists that will back almost anything. Those presently in fashion see the solution in higher prices (inflation) and are framing policies all through the west to create inflation -- and failing! But higher prices do not benefit society as a whole. They make us poorer.

Populism is what happens when the experts get so confused about how 'their' system works that they don't recognize when they fail!

What do you do when your society's expert elites are ... well, like TC, feckless about money, and too smart to listen to the public? And have tenure?

The mainstream is concerned with housing, and getting the best education for their kid, and where to get daycare -- stuff like that. The other set is concerned with climate change and gender justice. The two worlds have lost touch with each other.

We have 'experts' telling us we can be any sex we want, and forcing us to change the plumbing in our schools to something more appropriate. Huh? And we have 'real conservatives' like Andrew telling us that something so radically and weirdly new is what has evolved out of the refined experiences of the past? What poppycock!

My bet is Conservatives don't know how to react, but they just don't want to rock the boat when the ruling party is doing such a good job of sinking it.

To be clear, not all experts are so out of touch with the goals of mainstream society, but certainly those calling the shots in the most crucial areas of policy-making have failed to deliver, at this particular moment in time.

Populism isn't something to shun. It's our neighbours giving voice to their complaints, and when there are a lot of them, behind an articulate leader, we should listen to them, and maybe even join with them.

This isn't something you derive from definitions, Andrew Coyne style. This is something that comes from the moment, and it is inevitably channelled into our political institutions, where the bugs are worked out. Those institutions are where the refined experience is institutionalized -- not in a blind faith in so-called experts.

Personally, I have no fear because we Canadians have already elected an upper-class fop, backed by the core of the Dalton McGuinty machine, to national office. How could populism be any more threatening than that?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NDP’s Niki Ashton launches leadership campaign, hopes to mobilize millennials to counter ‘Trump-like messages’ in Canada

Marie-Danielle Smith | March 7, 2017 1:05 PM ET

OTTAWA — Inspired by the left-wing populist campaign run by Bernie Sanders in the United States, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton officially announced her bid for the federal NDP leadership Tuesday.

“We need strong leadership to stand up to the elites in Canada and the elite politics … that are holding us back,” she told a small but vocal crowd of supporters at a mid-morning campaign launch event in Ottawa. “It wasn’t supposed to be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way. What we need is a progressive agenda for system change.

“You privatize it? We nationalize it. You deregulate it? We regulate it.”

Ashton’s speech sought to place her bid among the movements “fighting back,” invoking the imagery and slogans of the women’s marches that took place after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January, and praising Black Lives Matter for calling attention to racism across Canada. (She even borrowed a Black Lives Matter slogan in her speech, saying, “The system isn’t broken — it was built this way.”)

In an interview with the National Post, Ashton said she’s concerned about American populist narratives spreading north, especially in the Conservative party’s leadership campaigns. Canada isn’t as different from the U.S. as people think, she said.

“In the U.S., the insecurities that come with inequality have led to the rise of people like Donald Trump, but also people like Bernie Sanders. The right is mobilizing around Trump-like messages — the O’Learys, the Leitches. What kind of vision are we putting forward?” she said.

The 34-year-old Ashton, a self-described millennial, wants to see a resurgence in the New Democratic movement, bringing in young working-class people and activists focused on women, racialized groups and indigenous peoples. Ashton said she “grew up around activism” and wants to harness that energy, describing the party’s position as being at a “crossroads.” Her campaign slogan: “Building a movement together.”

“We’ve seen the rise of people taking political action in the last few months, particularly since Donald Trump got elected. Even here in our own country, people are getting out and participating in activities and seeing the need to fight for justice in a big way,” she said.

“We need to be reaching out and connecting with these people. … The NDP has struggled with relevancy over the last while and that’s something that we need to tackle.”

She is obviously confused about populism if she wants to oppose populism by becoming Canada's version of Bernie Sanders! Bernie was more 'populist' than Trump, for Gawd's sake.

But clear thinking is not the stuff of NDP leadership contests. The ironies here are just too rich -- it turns out again, the New Democratic Party isn't new, it isn't democratic, and its parties stink.

But you can see -- the appeals to populism to counter populism are already in Canadian politics

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More of the irrational left's fear of the people ... the problem is ... the welfare state isn't sustainable, and is at its limit now. It is FAILING on every measure. These commentators can't acknowledge that for some reason.

Canada’s last lines of defence against populism
It turns out Canadians are surprisingly amenable to populist forces. So what’s preventing an authoritarian leader from rising to power?
John Geddes
March 7, 2017

A week after Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States last Nov. 8, Conservative MP Ted Falk rose in the House of Commons during the time set aside for “members’ statements,” which falls just before question period and is, as a rule, politely ignored. Falk represents the Manitoba riding of Provencher, hard by the windswept Minnesota border, and he spoke briefly of the “special relationship we have with our long-time friends and neighbours” to the south. Then he finished up with, “May God continue to bless America—God bless Donald Trump.”

That last part raised eyebrows among the many who take it for granted that Canadians had recoiled en masse at Trump’s win. But back home in southeastern Manitoba, often referred to as the province’s Bible belt, Falk’s words weren’t controversial. His constituency is largely evangelical Christian, reliably conservative and shares a lot in common with the American voters who made Trump president. (Falk declined to be interviewed for this story.)

In fact, Canadian conservatives in general tended to welcome Trump’s win. An Ekos Research poll, which happened to be released on the day Falk rose in the House, found that while only 30 per cent of Canadians approved of Trump, fully 57 per cent of declared Conservative supporters viewed the new president favourably.

The populist energy stored in that reservoir of pro-Trump sentiment has to be taken seriously by Canadian Conservatives, especially those now vying for the federal party’s leadership. From the Liberal perspective, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lately reaffirmed his old warning of a populist backlash unless government policy reduces economic inequality. And, further left, MP Charlie Angus launched a bid for the NDP leadership last month by urging his party to redefine itself in opposition to Trump-style populism. [....]

Frank Graves, the veteran Ekos pollster, has tracked and quantified similar strong currents coursing through Canadian conservatism. “The idea that a populist leader couldn’t win in Canada, that we couldn’t have an analogue to Trump, is I think nonsense,” Graves says.

His public opinion research shows pessimism about the economic outlook and misgivings about diversity. For instance, Ekos polling found back in 1995 that 81 per cent of Canadians agreed that “cultural diversity” contributed positively to Canadian identity. Asked the same question early last year, only 66 per cent rated diversity as having a positive impact.

Then there’s economic unease. According to Ekos, the percentage of Canadians who view themselves as middle-class has plummeted from nearly 70 per cent around 2002 to below 50 per cent last year. Few adult Canadians think the next generation will fare better economically than theirs has. And presented with the statement “If the current patterns of stagnation among all except those at the very top continue, I would not be surprised to see the emergence of violent class conflicts,” Ekos found that 57 per cent of Canadians agreed.

Combine hopelessness about economic prospects with a magnified sense of the risks out there in the world, and Graves says the result is, among some Canadians, a growing hankering for more order—even a tendency to accept authoritarianism.

“That type of outlook is much more receptive to the idea that we need a strongman who’s going to make decisive government actions to deal with this,” he says. “So he’s going to build a wall, or he’s going to deport illegal immigrants, or he’s going to bomb enemies.” [....]

Other researchers also point to Canadian attitudes that appear receptive to a Trump-like message. For a recent McGill Institute for the Study of Canada conference in Montreal, University of Toronto political science professor Michael Donnelly analyzed an online survey of 1,522 Canadians conducted by the polling firm Ipsos and found scant evidence that Canada is particularly big-hearted when it comes to outsiders who want in.

Donnelly reported that when Canadians were asked how much they agree or disagree with the statement “The government should be generous in judging people’s applications for refugee status,” their tendency to be generous ranked a middling ninth out of 22 countries. Canadian generosity only outranked Britain’s by a notch, and was just modestly ahead of Germany—both countries widely regarded as having struggled to accept immigrants. “Whatever is driving Canada’s exceptionally positive history of immigration and integration over the past half century,” Donnelly concluded, “it does not appear to be an exceptionally tolerant public.” [....]

It starts with the demographic clout of Canada’s foreign-born voters. They made up 20.6 per cent of the total population in the 2011 census, the highest proportion among the G8 countries, far higher than the roughly 13 per cent in both the U.S. and Germany. It also matters that the vast majority of Canadian immigrants choose to live in big cities in Ontario, B.C., Quebec and Alberta.

University of Toronto political science professor Phil Triadafilopoulos stresses how immigrants to Canada become voting citizens more quickly than in other Western democracies, and how potent their votes have become in Canadian elections. “They don’t remain outsiders,” Triadafilopoulos says. “Politically, they become insiders very quickly.”

In an influential 2013 paper entitled “Immigration, Citizenship and Canada’s New Conservative Party,” Triadafilopoulos and two co-authors, McMaster University’s Inder Marwah and Carleton University’s Stephen White, note that 84 per cent of eligible immigrants in Canada become citizens, compared to just 75 per cent in Australia, 56 per cent in Britain, and a mere 40 per cent in the U.S. [...]

Even more crucially, immigrants in Canada tend to cluster in Toronto and Vancouver, in what most political party election strategists view as key ridings. “To alienate large numbers of immigrant voters in dozens of federal ridings would almost certainly mean surrendering those ridings to other parties,” Triadafilopoulos, Marwah and White write.
Still, they point to “grassroots conservative opinion” that often seems resistant to high levels of immigration and policies promoting multiculturalism. That leads to what Triadafilopoulos, Marwah and White dub a “populist’s paradox” facing right-of-centre Canadian political leaders, who must find ways to speak to their base while also broadening their “ethnic” appeal.

It’s a dilemma that’s familiar to Preston Manning. [....]

If the Canadian election map makes taking an anti-immigrant line a losing proposition, and the Canadian way of choosing party leaders makes it hard for a populist outsider to win, there’s still the possibility that the Conservatives might try to activate the economic side of populism.

Even there, though, the formula behind Trump and Brexit doesn’t look like a natural fit in Canada. Trump blended his anti-immigrant rhetoric with promises to scrap or overhaul free-trade agreements. The Brexit forces linked discomfort with foreigners to resentment of the EU free-trading order. But in Canada, liberalized trade enjoys broad buy-in—particularly on the political right, and notably in the Conservatives’ resource-exporting western strongholds.

So echoing Trump and the Brexiters in railing against unfair foreign competition is a non-starter for Canadian Conservatives. [....]

From the sounds of his Hamburg speech, Trudeau doesn’t intend to leave the next Conservative leader any easy opening to outdo him when it comes to giving voice to the disquiet of Canadians who believe the economic order is stacked against their families. It remains to be seen what additional policies the unveil in the upcoming budget to back up that rhetoric.LiberalsIf Trudeau fails to deliver, a right-leaning populist might seize the chance to try to fill the vacuum. Overall, though, the prospects for a right-of-centre populist movement in Canada look dim, even though opinion in Canada, according to pollsters like Graves and academics like Donnelly, contains plenty of the same mix of fear and pessimism that fuelled Trump and Brexit.

There’s no shortage of Canadians who, if they’d heard Ted Falk wishing God’s blessing for Donald Trump, might well have said, “Amen.” But if they’re hoping that Trump-style populism will slip across the border and succeed in Canadian politics, they’re likely to discover that Canada’s welcoming reputation has its limits.

What he's saying is that Canada's political institutions aren't democratic enough to allow populist sentiments entrance, It's like a confession of the failure of a state that, as O'Leary says, puts 'diversity' over 'competence'. He also makes the mistake of thinking the central issue of populists is immigration. He's wrong on that one.

For the record, building a wall or stopping all immigration isn't going to be the core populist issue. When the populist moment arrives, a lot of immigrants will join in because it will involve economic issues.

What is called 'populism' is a broad-based recognition that the 'system' isn't working for the mainstream, however good it is for government employees and other dependents of the state. Don't forget, immigrants are major beneficiaries of the state. Governments will hire an immigrant over a white Canadian male, as we all know, and as Conservatives seem to accept.

But the USA had eight years of Obama, while we had nine years of Harper. And that means our immigration policy ksn't a mess. It's the spending where the mess is developing.

But Justin promised a more dynamic economy than Harper could deliver. That no longer even seems to be on the horizon. That failure is yet to be revealed, ie the public isn't feeling it yet. But if Trump seriously wants to bring the American state into a new alignment that serves a different coalition, he has to face the economic facts. We have been in an economic bubble probably for at least a decade, where government economic counsellors are encouraging what they call 'inflation'. To you and me, that means higher prices! Does that seem like a winning formula to you?

That's what Obama's gang were trying to do -- fix the problem by bailing out the banks. Trump must stop that, and make the institutional changes necessary. And, as I see it, there's no way he can do that without devaluing the American dollar, and allowing the market to set interest rates once again.

And when that moment arrives, there will be a lot of anger. Interest rates could easily double or triple, for example. That's when ... a populist reaction will emerge in Canada. The Liberals will be trying to activate the welfare state to save themselves, but its costs will have tripled, and people will come to see that because the costs will jam up the economy.

If Conservatives had any moxie, they'd be selecting a leader for that kind of world.
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Populism in Politics

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