I am a big fan of the Samara Centre for Democracy. They have found that we are not in a Populist Moment in Canada. However our political discourse would make you think the opposite.
Here is a link to Samara Centre for Democracy “Don’t Blame the People” research findings. It is also Alberta that has become deeply divided between the UCP and NDP and related Populist rhetoric that feeds off it.
For some context check out their research. They do a good job explaining what Populism is (and isn’t). It is important the Centrist Progressives in Alberta understand what this is…and isn’t.
If you are immersed in Twitter and some other parts of social media platforms, you may well perceive Albertans are already deeply into Populism. Twitter is a tribal feeding tool but not an accurate reflection of the broader social/political reality. The Samara Centre for Democracy recent research proves this point.
However, many politicians, who are by definition “Elites,” are very often using the language of Populism and fomenting a division between the respective Bases (Tribes) for competitive political purposes. It is not resulting in good government.
Has Alberta Declined into Populism?
Alberta emerged from the 2019 election dangerously divided on combativite Right vs Left hyperpartisan political perspectives. There are strong signs that both ends of the spectrum are evolving into Populism. Both sides claim to be “working for the People” where in fact they are pandering to their partisan Bases.
Those partisan Bases are relatively small but very engaged, highly cohesive and disproportionately influential compared to the fragmented Centrist Progressives. The NDP Left Base has public sector unions, environmental activists and various social justice groups involved. The UCP Right Base has Evangelical Christians, some energy focused industry associations with many suffering energy service suppliers, some Libertarians and the closet separatists.
Where are the Centrist Progressives Now?
The Centrist Progressives are more diverse and complex in their political views and mostly really don’t like to be, or be seen, as “partisan.” They are fragmented and as a result, don’t have any clearly identified organizational platforms or dominant networks to use as a focal point to work within to express political action and exert influence.
Without an effective political centre the Populist extremists will take over and dominate political discourse and endanger our broader representative democracy and the “Us” diminishes compared to the “You” versus “Me.”
Is Canada Next to Suffer From Populist Politics?
We are also well into the Red Zone of the October Federal election so all this Populism is real and in real time for Canada. Ontario and Alberta have already decided to enable American style Alt-Right Populism to take over our political cultures. Will the same happen to Canada? Let’s hope not.
In the meantime Alberta’s Centrist Progressive are meeting to share ideas and perspectives on what to do about the divisiveness in Alberta’s politics. If that interests you come to the Reboot Alberta Revival Gathering in Red Deer July 27. More registration information Click Here!