The election of Donald Trump and the rise of populism in various other Western democracies is a salutary warning to Canadian policy-makers. As we are beginning to see with the burgeoning Western separatist movement – the so-called “Wexit” – it cannot be assumed that Canada is immune to these same forces.
But what are the causes of rising populism? What can policy-makers do to make our politics more responsive to people to whom populism might appeal? Canadian politics must be more oriented to answer these questions if we are to avoid the populist disruption and polarization observed elsewhere.
In the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s first paper in its Real Jobs for Real People series, titled “Forgotten People and Forgotten Places: Canada’s Economic Performance in the Age of Populism,” Sean Speer seeks to answer these important questions.