Monday, March 13, 2017

Populism Up North

I like Canada, and therefore take an occasional look at social developments there. Political scientist Michael Valpy writes in The Globe and Mail that something very like Trumpism is brewing among the Canadian electorate. Valpy describes findings by a leading Canadian pollster:
Over the past few years Mr. Graves has found a persistent and deepening pessimism among Canadians about their economic future, with racism, nativism and xenophobia appearing as byproducts of growing economic angst and resentment. He has found that almost 25 per cent of Canadians believe there is a good chance they will lose their jobs in the next couple of years.

He has found that 70 per cent believe that almost all the economic growth over the past 20 years has ended up in the hands of the top 1 per cent. He has found persistently hardening attitudes to immigration and to the increase of visible minorities in the population, supporting the notion that we are closing – not opening – as a society and that our iconic multicultural identity is, to say the least, being questioned.

Indeed, another recent poll showed that vetting immigrants for “Canadian values” – seen by critics of Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch as her code language for discouraging non-white immigration – is favoured by 90 per cent of Conservative supporters and almost 60 per cent of Liberal and NDP supporters.
Translation: a healthy majority of all Canadian voters support screening immigrants for Canadian values. I hear definite echoes of Trump arguing for ensuring U.S. immigrants share our values.