Category Archives: Populism

Canada is a tinderbox for populism. The 2019 election could spark it.

As Canadians, we sit atop the continent, watching as our neighbours slide into cultural civil war. It has become easy to just be appalled as America becomes riven, with social media and antagonistic rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum erasing the middle ground. There are two Americas, incommensurably separated on the fundamental issues of the day: climate change, the economy, social issues like health and education, employment, the media, immigration in particular, and globalization and free trade.


Revealed: one in four Europeans vote populist

Populist parties have more than tripled their support in Europe in the last 20 years, securing enough votes to put their leaders into government posts in 11 countries and challenging the established political order across the continent.

The steady growth in support for European populist parties, particularly on the right, is revealed in a groundbreaking analysis of their performance in national elections in 31 European countries over two decades, conducted by the Guardian in conjunction with more than 30 leading political scientists.


Stephen Harper: Macron’s Armistice rebuke of Trump ‘example of disconnected elitism’

French President Emmanuel Macron’s stinging rebuke of Donald Trump’s “America First” policy at the centenary commemoration of the First World War Armistice was another example of the “disconnected elitism” fuelling populism throughout the western world, according to former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper.

In an interview with The National on Monday, he traced what he believed were the origins of the surge of populist movements that have toppled or shaken governments from Budapest to Brasilia.


Toronto Elite Can Guffaw At Steve Bannon All They Like, But They Ignore His Words At Their Own Peril

Last Friday an unruly mob of protesters greeted well-heeled Munk Debate attendees with hostility as they lined up to enter Roy Thompson Hall to watch the debate between two intellectual heavyweights. Toronto-born American conservative pundit David Frum faced-off against former Trump White House chief strategist and co-founder of conservative firebrand news website Breitbart Steve Bannon. The motion argued: “Be it resolved, the future of western politics is populist, not liberal…”


Canada: Shielded From the Populist Wave No Longer

In the aftermath of the 2016 election and the rapid spread of populism around the globe, one country seemed immune: Canada. Justin Trudeau, the charismatic, dashing, and woke prime minister, sees himself as progressive liberalism’s leading light. But Canada is ripe for a populist revolt, and Trudeau may end up being its perfect catalyst.


As a Toronto Mob Brays, David Frum and Steve Bannon Joust over Populism’s Split Soul

Why are the anti-Nazis wearing masks? Maybe they should buy mirrors.

It’s always gratifying when real life actors conspire to validate claims that an author makes in the abstract realm. Thus did I experience a blush of pundit’s pride upon observing the protestors who assembled in downtown Toronto in advance of Steve Bannon’s Munk Debate with David Frum on Friday night. Just days before, I had noted progressives’ now-epidemic habit of labeling everyone they dislike as a—real, not figurative—Nazi. And now, just days later, here I was, in a security line outside Roy Thomson Hall, surrounded by hundreds of protestors declaring Bannon to be a Nazi, and we audience members to be on moral par with Hitler’s followers. Some of the placards betrayed signs of haste—including signs held up by a couple that read, “Fuck You Nazis,” and “Nazis, Get Fucked,” on matching sides of a grease-stained pizza box. But the sentiment came through loud and clear: It’s 1933. Which side are you on?


Europe’s Civilizationalist Parties

Is Europe returning to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders such as Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”


Women increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties, study shows

Aggressive far-right protesters took to the streets of Chemnitz this week demanding authorities take a tougher stance on migrants in Germany. Most of those in attendance were male, but a few women could occasionally be spotted in the crowd.

Indeed, most people tend to picture the prototypical supporter of Germany’s far-right PEGIDA movement and right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party as angry white men. But that’s not entirely accurate, according to a new study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), which is affiliated with Germany’s center-left Social Democratic Party. The report, which examines right-wing populist voters in Germany, France, Greece, Poland, Sweden and Hungary, found that women are increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties.


German far Right rebuffs Steve Bannon’s effort to forge Europe-wide populist movement

A leader of the far-Right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has poured cold water on plans by Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s former political strategist, to forge a wide populist alliance to undermine the European Union.

“We’re not in America,” Alexander Gauland, one of two co-leaders of the anti-immigrant party, told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain in an interview published on Saturday.

“The interests of the anti-establishment parties in Europe are quite divergent,” he added in comments that amounted to a blunt rebuff to Mr Bannon from one of Europe’s most influential far-Right parties.


The myth of a New Nazism

In June, former UK prime minister and Labour leader Tony Blair warned that today’s rising tide of populism risked ‘a return to the 1930s’. He is far from alone in drawing such an analogy. Over the past two years, since the election of Donald Trump in the US, and the Brexit vote in the UK, a flurry of op-eds, endless political speeches and countless books have all made a similar claim: that just as the institutions of liberal democracy nurtured, and then fell to, Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party, so too might our institutions nurture and fall to contemporary fascists in populist clothing.