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Could Donald Trump happen in Canada?

Win or lose, Donald Trump has elevated a new kind of politics—one of provocative non-accountability


 
Republican presidential candidate Donald J.Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at BB&T Center on August 10th, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. (Johnny Louis/WireImage/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald J.Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at BB&T Center on August 10th, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. (Johnny Louis/WireImage/Getty Images)

Never mind a week. For Donald Trump, a few seconds in politics can be a dangerously long time. Less than three months before Americans go to the polls, as Republican campaigners wait with dread for his next verbalized brain cramp, the party’s nominee keeps showing the speed and ease with which he can demolish all effort to make him seem credible. You’d think he was doing it on purpose.

Trump’s recent suggestion that gun rights supporters might take matters into their own hands to keep Hillary Clinton out of the Oval Office was the appalling case in point: mere hours after delivering a speech in Detroit, one meant to cast him as an informed and responsible steward of the U.S. economy, he blew apart that spadework with his smirking aside about the threat Clinton posed to a constitutional right to bear arms. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” he shrugged, before adding: “Although the Second Amendment people—maybe there is, I don’t know.”

There was no denying how badly the statement scanned, and coming hard on the heels of his attack against the family of an Muslim American soldier who’d died in Iraq, it added to the aura of irresponsibility surrounding his campaign. With each racially charged remark, with each thinly veiled exhortation to violence, one wonders what kind of country Trump hopes to govern should he defy the polls and win.

MORE: Welcome to a world where the facts no longer matter

The question applies to his actual platform as surely as to his inflammatory musings. One regrettable outcome of the Second Amendment uproar was that it pre-empted serious examination of Trump’s speech in Detroit, where he doubled down on proposals to scrap NAFTA, pick a trade war with China and force Mexico to pay for a wall on the southern U.S. border. Trump offers such ideas in the name of “protecting American jobs.” But they’re so unworkable, and so potentially damaging to the interests of voters Trump claims to represent, that long-time campaign observers like Stephen Craig are warning of a failed presidency should he try to enact them. “Who’s going to support the Muslim ban? How are we going to get this wall built?” asks Craig, a political scientist at the University of Florida who has studied the impact of campaigns. “How much energy if he becomes president is he going to put into trying to get these things done?”

If Trump seems unworried by such mundanities, perhaps it’s because voters in the U.S., and throughout the Western world, seem increasingly comfortable with the politics of non-accountability. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, the two most visible leaders of the “Brexit” campaign, spent weeks making sweeping claims of what the U.K. stood to gain by leaving the European Union—and dark forebodings of foreigners stealing jobs from native-born Britons if it didn’t. Farage’s campaign had claimed, among other things, that decoupling would free up some $500 billion annually for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), an assertion they had emblazoned on the side of bus.

Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the British UKIP party, speaks as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, listens, at Trump's campaign rally in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Nigel Farage, ex-leader of the British UKIP party, speaks as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, listens, at Trump’s campaign rally in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

To the world’s astonishment, Britons bought it, voting 52 per cent in favour of abandoning the EU. But with the actual process of Brexiting suddenly in motion, the principal proponents of the idea shrank from the task: Johnson sloughed off calls to run to replace David Cameron as Conservative leader and prime minister, while Farage quit his position as leader the U.K. Independence Party, saying he needed “a break.” As for that NHS promise, Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, a key Leave supporter, waved the number off as “an extrapolation,” adding with breathtaking levity: “Our promises were just a series of possibilities.”

Not, in short, an inspiring example of leadership. Yet the success of their campaign has inspired demagogues of a purer strain, who are keen to capitalize on the anxiety. In the Netherlands, Party for Freedom Leader Geert Wilders has proposed a “Nexit” for his own country, working diligently to fuse Euroskepticism with anti-Muslim tension. In a newspaper op-ed last month, he claimed the EU’s mishandling of “the immigration crisis” had allowed Muslims to pour into the continent unchecked. “Islam does not belong in Europe,” Wilders wrote. “We must stop all immigration from Islamic countries and start de-Islamizing.” In France, Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front Party is polling as high as 35 per cent with its warnings that Muslims will impose their religious values in France if allowed (though Le Pen’s proposal to take France out of the EU, à la Brexit, is less popular).

That kind of messaging has lifted leaders like them and Trump from their status as political provocateurs to legitimate contenders for power. But what happens if they take the next step? Governing, notes Craig, is a lot harder than stirring up hostility: unless they plan to tear up their countries’ constitutions, he says, they’ll soon find that forging their rhetoric into viable legislation demands self-restraint, consensus-building and tolerance for others’ views. In short, the opposite of what’s gotten them to where they are.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Silver Spurs Arena inside the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on August 11, 2016. (Gregg Newton/AFP/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Silver Spurs Arena inside the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida on August 11, 2016. (Gregg Newton/AFP/Getty Images)

In the Trump camp, there have been fleeting signs of that realization hitting home. In July, the candidate’s son and adviser, Donald Jr., reached out to Ohio governor and former Republican leadership candidate John Kasich, whose record of coalition-building and building support for his program might have lent some measure of coherence to Trump’s demolition-derby style of politics. According to media reports that were later confirmed by Kasich, Trump Jr. said his father would put Kasich in charge of both “foreign policy and domestic policy” if the veteran Republican joined the Trump ticket as candidate for vice-president. What, if any, responsibility that would leave Trump was unclear (his team denied the accuracy of the story).

In the end it didn’t matter. Kasich demurred, leaving the veep nod to Mike Pence, the rigidly right-wing governor of Indiana. Trump last week shuffled his campaign team, handing the top job to Stephen Bannon, an executive of the right-wing Breitbart News site and a self-professed fan of Trump at his most provocative.

The candidate himself, meanwhile, reverted to customary excess, repeatedly calling President Barack Obama the “founder” of ISIS and proposing an ideological litmus test for prospective Muslim immigrants. So the campaign of destruction continues apace, raising the question of what outcome it might produce in the hands of a more disciplined, less narcissistic leader. Trump might be headed for an election-day embarrassment. But he and others have elevated a new, zipless style of politics—one to which experts warn no Western democracy, not even Canada, should consider itself immune.

Kasich may have been scared off by the perplexing questions all this raises: why is such potentially destructive politics working? Do its adherents really want to see it in action?

A delegate interacts with Wes Nakagiri (L), wearing a US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mask, prior to the start on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A delegate interacts with Wes Nakagiri (L), wearing a US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mask, prior to the start on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

About all we know at this stage is that they’re feeling threatened. In the U.S., as in Britain and Europe, the white, middle class has been hit hard by the exodus of manufacturing jobs to countries where labour is cheaper, and by historic shifts in income distribution. A recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, for example, found the share of American adults living in middle-income households decreased in 203 of the country’s 229 largest metropolitan areas, while the share in the lower-income tier rose in 160 areas. The median income also fell in all but eight of those areas, which comprise 76 per cent the population.

With disparity has come a sense of political impotence: mainstream parties increasingly assume that the influence of the white, working class is on the wane. Add the transformative effects of international migration, say experts, and voters’ feeling of helplessness can take on existential dimensions. Matthew Goodwin, co-author of a 2014 book examining the rise of extremist politicians in Britain, makes much of the disproportionate strength of the Leave vote in communities that have seen the greatest influx of EU migrants over the last decade. “Really, this was a case of identity trumping economics,” he says. “The outcome of the referendum was intimately tied up with our experience of the EU membership, and how people have perceived that to have changed their local communities.”

Related: Did Trump really say that? Take our quiz

It also made clear that white voters are not the spent electoral force that party data-jocks assumed. In the U.S., according to a recent analysis by the New York Times, the sub-group of white, blue-collar electors from which Trump draws his support has been significantly undercounted, which might explain why so many pundits were caught off guard by his success in the primaries. The problem is that parties’ demographic models rely heavily on election exit polls that provide an incomplete profile of the electorate. During the 2012 U.S. election, for example, they suggested 23 per cent of voters were white, over age 45 and lacking college degrees; more recent research, based on census numbers and data from individual voter files, pegs their share closer to 30 per cent—a difference of about 10 million people in an election in which 129 million went to the polls.

MORE: Did Trump say it, or Feschuk make it up? Take our quiz

The anger bubbling within this demographic was no secret. But even close followers of the political mood were surprised by the suddenness with which America’s better angels scattered. The taste for Trump’s name-calling, Muslim-bashing and mockery of civil debate has no precedent in presidential politics, says Craig, the University of Florida professor, and that’s exactly why it works: it’s a thumbing of the nose at convention that signals an abrupt break with the politics of the past, and never mind the consequences. The consummate conventionality of Trump’s opponent—a former first lady, senator for New York, secretary of state and all-round avatar of the ruling class—only feeds the syndrome. Fully 55 per cent of Republicans tell pollsters they see their choice less a vote in favour of Trump than one against Hillary Clinton.

At its worst, this antipathy lies beyond Trump’s capacity to contain. Supporters have been recorded at his rallies shouting “Hillary’s a whore!” and other misogynistic epithets at Clinton. Vendors outside last month’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland did brisk business selling a button featuring an unflattering photo of Clinton with the slogan: “Life’s a bitch. Don’t vote for one.” Others have directed their hostility toward Muslims and Hispanics. “Build the wall! F–k those dirty beaners!” hollered one man during a Trump appearance last spring in Dayton, Ohio.

The depth of the fervour has some in this country wondering whether it might take hold here and, if so, how to head it off. It’s thought that Canada’s positive experience with immigration mutes the politics of xenophobia: thanks to geography, the country sees nothing like the waves of migrants landing in Europe, or crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. But David Green, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver School of Economics, suspects Canada’s recent resource boom played no less a role, forestalling the increase in inequality seen in other countries by preserving high-paying jobs for people without college degrees. “Those middle-income guys don’t feel like the world is turning against them in the same way,” Green says, noting that employment in Alberta and Saskatchewan surged just as Ontario’s manufacturing sector was nose-diving.

The acid test, he warns, is yet to come. Western Canada now lies in the throes of an oil bust, while there’s no sign of recovery in central Canada’s manufacturing sector. Soon, says Green, Canada’s white working class could feel severe pain, “and that’s when you start getting angry white men looking around for [political] options. To me, the danger lies in Canadians doing something we do fairly often, and that’s look south of the border and decide we’re better, we’re fundamentally different. We’re not.”

Toronto mayor Rob Ford reacts as he speaks to his supporters during his campaign launch in Toronto on April 17, 2014. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Toronto mayor Rob Ford reacts as he speaks to his supporters during his campaign launch in Toronto on April 17, 2014. (Nathan Denette/CP)

We’re certainly not immune to the allure of populists and iconoclasts. Rob Ford won the Toronto mayoralty in 2010 by setting himself up as a foil to articulate, well-groomed candidates whom he portrayed as creatures of the system, beholden to “unions and special interests.” Working-class voters—many nursing grievances toward the city’s downtown elite—were delighted by his refusal to play by the unwritten rules, mocking his opponents and brushing off media; they turned out to the polls in unprecedented numbers to support him. Another outlier, Kevin O’Leary, the venture capitalist known for his part on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, has been mooted for the federal Conservative leadership in part because of his undeniable similarities to Trump. Like the Republican nominee, he’s built an enormous following on reality TV, where he excels in the delivery of glib judgments. But O’Leary has shown no appetite for Trump’s brand of ethnic and gender chauvinism. And Ford, who died of cancer in March, never seemed bent on laying waste to the political landscape. Though plenty divisive, he practised populism in the name of winning power and trying to enact his program of tax cuts and spending curbs.

MORE: Mark Towhey on Rob Ford, and letting his former boss go

Canadians’ apparent faith in that quaint model, where leaders present platforms they imagine will serve the common good, may be what sets them apart from their counterparts in other Western democracies. A Quinnipiac University poll released in June found that fewer than a quarter of U.S. respondents said they believe that Trump, if he wins, will be able to build his vaunted wall and have Mexico pay for it. Fully, 39 per cent said he will try and fail and 29 per cent said he won’t even try. Just 19 per cent believed he’ll be able to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, as he has vowed to do.

The same air of disbelief has emerged in Britain, with one in 10 poll respondents saying they don’t believe Brexit will be implemented, as if the whole campaign had been nothing more than theatre. They might yet prove correct, because in the same survey, published by the Independent newspaper, seven per cent of Leave voters said they’d reverse their choice if they had a do-over—almost enough to erase the decision—while some four million people have signed a petition calling for a revote. Khembe Gibbons, a lifeguard from Suffolk, summed up the sentiments of the “mulligan” crowd when he told surveyors he now feels misled by the Leave campaign’s claims and promises. “I personally voted Leave believing these lies, and I regret it more than anything,” he said. “I feel genuinely robbed of my vote.”

It’s an encouraging sign for fans of sober second thought, if not for the idea that campaigns matter. And there are indications that similar doubts will prevail in the U.S., where poll averaging suggests Trump’s rhetorical excesses have dearly cost him. By the end of last week, he trailed Clinton by 10 points, and was openly acknowledging the prospect of defeat, raising more questions as to whether he ever imagined his toxic campaign would carry him to the White House. “It’s either going to work, or I’m going to, you know, I’m going to have a very, very nice, long vacation,” he shrugged to CNBC.

Still, there are miles to go before voting day, and plenty more ground for Trump to scorch. That he keeps burning himself makes him no less a menace to everyone else.


 

Could Donald Trump happen in Canada?

  1. If one sets ideology aside, Donald Trump has already happened in Canada, and his name is Justin Trudeau.

    Both excel at social media self-promotional narcissism.

    • “Both excel at social media self-promotional narcissism.”

      Drop the “social” and Donald Trump has already happened in the US, too.

    • Your comment is an excellent example of why a Trump could happen anywhere. The problem isn’t the candidate – the problem is that the average voter can’t or won’t think outside of his wildly irrational prejudices.

    • Unfortunately we are already there. We have a Prime Minister who’s popularity and electability is not based on politics or performance as Canada’s leader but rather on his charisma, appeal to a specific demographic (the very young) and his widely published photographs via McLeans and others.

  2. A Trump style candidate is less likely to occur in Canada. The Canadian voting public are much more fickle than Americans. After Mulroney, the conservative party all but disappeared only to give way to new political parties as the Canadian public voted for change. However, the conservatives rose again a few years later under a changing Canadian political landscape. The US is staunchly a 2 party system and has been for over 200 years. No alternatives / no choice. For them in 2016 it is either the devil or the deep blue sea. Always was and always will be. God help America.

    • I have doubts that the US will always be a two party system. There is so much internal conflict between the Tea Party and the GOP. A split seems nearly inevitable, especially if Republicans lose majority in the Senate.

  3. “It’s thought that Canada’s positive experience with immigration mutes the politics of xenophobia: …”. Yes, thought by our government.

    “Soon, says [David] Green, Canada’s white working class could feel severe pain”. ‘Soon’? Delete and insert ‘Now’.

    • Positive experience with immigration? Tell me about it. What about the concentration of Chinese in Vancouver and Richmond who show little signs of integration; what about the many Chinese who came over for the ‘investment’ program only to dump their wives and children in Canada and go back to China where they could make more money? These were principally Liberal initiatives with little or no accompanying responsibility for English as a second language funding. The Liberal government’s concept and funding of ‘multiculturalism’ simply guarantees pools of non-integrated immigrants. Perhaps the US concept of the ‘melting pot’ was a better immigratiion strategy.

  4. In one sense we have already had a “Trump-like non accountability candidate”. Rob Ford. Everybody who should know, knew he was unsuitable both intellectually and emotionally for the job just as the majority feel Trump is unsuitable. Rob was totally out of his comfort zone possibly exacerbating his need for alcohol and drugs to self medicate. (here they differ….Trump does not drink or do drugs). He lied. He exaggerated. He boasted. He made his own rules. He banned unfriendly media. He had his own radio show where he framed the issues. But libel laws kept our media quiet about the big things like his addictions, spousal abuse and criminal associates. Media here were also civil people who adhered to the code that you don’t go after family either. Until the rules were changed for journalists. But by then he was already embroiled in the “crack” scandal. And there was no way to remove him. No “mulligans” allowed. Councillors even considered petitioning Ontario to change the Municipal Act but though better of it on reflection. ( I agree) Even to this day detractors are trying to lay the blame on the police force for not charging Rob with a DUI citing correspondence saying the police escorted him home……just as Trump detractors are looking to anybody to blame for his hi-jacking the Republican party. In my opinion if the police were to intervene and lay a criminal charge against Rob, that would have only thrown fuel on the fire. Better to have him go down in defeat at the next election. In the interim our Councillors found a unique solution and stripped him of all but his statutory powers. So in Canada municipalities are relatively safe from a Trump like candidate reeking havoc. Provincial and federal leaders have theoretically limited power. But we all lived through the Harper years of total control by the PMO office so we know it is possible.

    • A couple of major differences. Ford stayed on message throughout the campaign. He actually did a very good job of that from a campaigning point of view. The other difference, it wasn’t a national campaign that will last more than 12 months. Much of what Ford said/did before the major scandals didn’t get major airplay.
      .
      oh, and Ford was never in line to have the codes …. that’s a pretty major difference

  5. Could a Donald Trump emerge in Canada? Definitely!
    Our political system is so obviously ‘rigged’ that nothing can conceal the fact……… In many ways, our system amounts to a benevolent dictatorship run by a small band of elitists catering to Eastern Canadian ‘Old Money”. But the west is tiring of being led by the nose, and if a ‘Trump’ type were to rise to prominence, it will likely be a westerner. Anyone with those aspirations will need strong financial resources and a level of visibility that’s difficult to gain in this country. The CBC would do all it could to stifle such an interloper, and the secondary networks, knowing what side their bread is buttered, would do pretty much the same. It would take a strong personality, and one capable of securing international attention.
    Hard to find anyone with those prerequisites……………. however, if the NDP fails big in Alberta, the seeds could be sown.

    • Sure, there asses in every population but it takes a crowd of asses to elect them. Do we qualify? I don’t think so because by and large our average voter seems better educated and better motivated than the electors in the US, But then perhaps I am wrong – the same people elected Justine.

  6. Canadians are tired of having no choice at the polls, all of out political parties are pro-globalization and thus pro-mass immigration. This year our government is letting in 305,000 immigrants + 60,000 refugees on top of an already here 380,000 foreign students + several hundred thousand temporary foreign workers. In the past 20 years housing is some areas has more than quadrupled and university tuitions have tripled while Canadians earn less income now than they did 30 years ago (when adjusted for inflation). Bringing in cheap labor to drive down wages and having Canadians compete for housing against china’s 1.5 billion people, who earn their income in a manipulated closed market economy has decimated the middle class in this country. Yes many Canadians are pissed and yes as a result a Donald Trump style nationalist/populist could easily happen here and I hope that we do get the choice (since we were never asked) if maybe for once Canadians could come before foreigners and profits.

  7. We’re already in the era of non-provocative unaccountability. It’s easier to find good pictures of Bigfoot than a member of the Ottawa press gallery who has directed a serious and pressing question about the PM’s personal carbon footprint in an era of government supported climate activism.
    PM Trudeau claims to believe that “carbon-driven climate change” is the crisis of out times. His words. However, he did not apparently feel that the over-use of fossil fuels meant he should forego a vacation on a tropical island far from the winter that millions of Canadians stoically endure. Moreover, he didn’t forego that winter get-away, in spite of being in favor of energy pricing policies that will put a similar vacation even further out of reach for hundreds of thousands of Canadian families.
    And, even further, he apparently does not feel any compunction about flying his family all the way from Ottawa to Vancouver so he could go surfing. Again, the PM favors taxes on energy that are meant to discourage Canadians from unnecessary travel. By failing to call the PMO out on this, the Canadian media has given Trudeau a free pass on this and other hypocrisies.

    • Excellent points Bill. As you stated, the left-wing media, led by the Liberal CBC, fails to bring any of this hypocracy to the forefront.

  8. He already has, but Harp is gone now…so move on folks

  9. Look at the electorate’s voting habit in the last election, the people who voted thought it was a popularity contest and the biggest vote nearly went to the abstainers. This proves it has happened in Canada only in the Canadian way.
    In both cases the western world is getting tired and a new civilization is in the forecast, and today’s people deserve everything they are going to get.

      • Poor Ford had serious addiction problems but his theme for running government efficiently was right on. Trump’s popularity in the US stems from his opponent being an established liar with more baggage than Air Canada. As for O’Leary, he is almost as narcissistic as Trudeau but key differences are that he’s smart, articulate and has experience managing both people and money wisely.

        • O’Leary? hey buddy, wanna buy a bridge? real cheap, just for you

        • You cannot run a govt ‘efficiently’. It’s not a factory filled with robots..

          And stop with the partisan lying.

          • The Liberals are proving that you cannot run a Gov’t efficiently. I would wish for honesty and integrity .Manifests being changed , hiring Liberal friends at inflated prices ,means we are still waiting for the BIG CHANGE that was promised. This is just like the old time Liberal party methods.

          • Partisan whining isn’t going to change anything, Demers

          • You can’t run a government efficiently? Ralph Klein proved that a lie. You mean you can’t run a government efficiently if the ministers insist on riding around in $1,700.00/day limos provided by campaign volunteers? It isn’t “Partisan whining.” It is taxpayer whining and we have every right to do it and we will keep doing it and by gawd the opposition better keep reporting on it and Trudeau better keep answering for it because we are working to earn that money and they are pi**ing it away. Now you as a senior citizen might not care because as long as you get your pension, all is good but me as a taxpayer, I care and it isn’t partisanship. I am a civil servant and I am not pi**ing away taxpayer money. Those people who are, are giving the rest of us a bad reputation. Please don’t pretend government can’t be more efficient. That is a lie.

  10. When will the Canadian media stop thinking Canada is always behind the USA. In the case of a fear mongering, hate speaking, bigoted political leadership, we already had ours. His name was Stephen Harper. We went through that cycle already, and finally Canada woke up and kicked that so and so to the curb.

    • Wrong, wrong, wrong. Harper was a wonderful prime minister, cut the GST, put Canada on the international stage, cut the debt, etc. He was not bigoted, did not speak hate, and did not fearmonger. Anyway, you now have prime minister selfie who I hope will fulfill all your daydreams.

      • As Lois says, you are wrong. Harper did some unwise things but the twitter crowd didn’t understand the depth of what he had done in the worst economic period since the Depression, which I grew up in, nor did they understand that tax and spend only works if you pay down the debt in the good times. He certainly wasn’t a Trump.

      • Excuse me Lois, but you need to do some fact checking. Yes, Harper did cut the GST. Was this a good idea? Probably not as it was one of the factors leading to his governments INCREASING the Canadian federal debt by about 150 billion during their time in power. This included running the largest budget deficit (over 55 billion dollars in 2009/10) in Canadian history. Remember the expensive orange juice, the fake lakes, and the gazebos? (The only recent Canadian government that reduced the national debt was Jean’ Chretien’s which managed to reduce the debt by about 105 billion between 1997 and 2008.) Yes, Harper did put Canada on the International stage – as a laughingstock. A country that could not be trusted and did not live up to its commitments. Remember what Harper did with the Kyoto accord? Remember Camp Mirage? I was appalled at some of Harper’s diplomatic faux pas. I will grant you that in terms of bigotry and hate speech Harper was not in Trump’s class – but you might recall that Harper was very much a practitioner of the politics of fear. Remember the “snitch line” so you could turn in your neighbours for “barbaric cultural practices”? Remember the Obama “Hope” poster but with Harper’s face and the word “Fear” replacing the word “Hope”?

        Here is the bottom line question – Were you and I living in the same country when Harper was Prime Minister? From your comments above, it doesn’t seem like it!

  11. We shouldn’t be so smug up here. We literally voted a guy in because he takes good selfies. As for a Trump-style character having success up here? It could happen, if the leftist government and media keep pushing the agenda that they have. Especially when you think of the mess Justin and his cronies are gonna leave this country in. Look at Europe: there will be far right parties winning the elections over there, and it will be no secret as to why.

  12. Just another Macleans column telling millions of Canadians that they are stupid for supporting Conservative ideology.

    Honest hard working Canadians watch left wing governments (Provincially and Federally) waste Billions, and are now
    moving towards unconventional private sector candidates who promise to actually solve problems.

    This columnist seems to think that accountability in America and in Canada means driving full speed into a wall.

    In reality…….. Accountability means working hard, paying reasonable taxes and expecting that the tax revenues are spent wisely.

    Accountability is investing in the single contributor of raw tax revenue…… The private sector.

    Accountability is reaching out to the downtrodden in our nations and convincing them that they can have everything if they too play by the rules.

    Accountability is about stopping those who illegally enter the country and pay no taxes but use the social systems that legal citizens pay for.

    Accountability is making countries like Korea and Japan fully pay for the protection that the US provides.

    Accountability is about electing leaders who have viable solutions to real problems. Not by electing those who cause racial division or those who have nice hair and like to hug.

  13. I only wish it could be so.
    Someone that is not a normal politician & not being so politically correct.
    We need a statesman for a leader (not a celebrity politician like Obama & Trudeau) – someone who would deal with real issues especially security (i.e, be careful who we let into the country) & economy (be fiscally responsible, etc. -i.e, balance budgets, etc.).
    We need someone who is successful in life before politics & loves his country & culture & wish to protect it & give back to the country.
    We do not need people that are career politicians that are only dreamers & not realists – like a community organizer & part time drama teacher, for example (What achievements & worldly knowledge & skills could they possibly have for the job).
    The regular media (Mclean’s included) are largely to blame for the poor caliber of politicians we end up with. This situation likely would not occur if media would be more bipartisan & report events factually & not with a leftest slant.
    Trump is addressing real issues that should be discussed & resolved. Because he is not a politician (but is a true patriot), he does not approach it in the political correct way the left has set up. The leftist slant in the way in the media he is demonized is unconscionable.
    My biggest regret in Canada is that Stephen Harper could not serve us one more term. I would rate him as one of our greatest Prime Ministers.

  14. A lot of Canadians agree with trump its time to stop the BS concerning immigration and jobs and big government unlike our PT PM who believes budgets balance themselves and if we kill the terrorist they win. Trudeau would rather run around shirtless like a horny teenager looking to score on the beach. I would take 10 trumps any day over what we have in Canada and cant wait if trump does gets in he will kick our party boy PM to the curb on the world stage but ours does this every time a 2 min speech turns into 10 minutes of um’s and ah’s..

  15. Get over it Charlie Gillis and the 48% of Britons who elected to remain in the sclerotic EU, there is no such thing as a do over! After all, Britain is NOT Quebec or some other third world country where they keep voting until the desired result is achieved. No, this is nothing more than a gaggle of globalist shills all considering themselves ‘experts’, warning that Britain, after a millennium of sovereign existence and with the world’s fifth largest economy would suffer myriad calamities were it to end it’s 23-year membership in the ramshackle EU. What nonsense!

  16. It is interesting (read as extremely biased) how even before reading the article, the author and magazine show both their left-wing socialists agenda and their total disregard for the truth in reporting.
    What do you mean by lack of responsibility? If Trump stands for anything, it is to stand on your own two feet and take responsibility for yourself. Allowing special interest groups, illegal immigrants, politically correct advocates (the perpetually offended) and other Liberal nonsense has been the ruination of our countries and apparently the reader is supposed to overlook this plight.
    Trump may have faults but they pale in comparison to the alternative. Rather than acknowledging that people like Trump are really speaking for the citizens, it’s apparently much easier to sit back and take low pot shots instead.

    • I agree and what troubles me most is this seeming amazement by the author that the middle class, be they American or Canadian, is for some reason really angry. Additionally, the impression made here by the author about those blue collar types without a college degree smacks dearly of a new kind of racism. To the author and his cohorts, take heed, college degrees are not going to protect the ‘white collar’ work for much longer, we have already seen Canadian banks outsourcing as much of their work as possible, legal and accounting services doing the same and this country’s constantly importing ‘engineers’ within the TFW program.There is no escape from globalization except for ignorance and it seems that most reporting currently is a new form of escapism, completely ignoring the reality around oneself by placating ourselves with the notion that it can’t happen here because we voted in the saviour.

  17. “Could Donald Trump happen in Canada?”
    Short answer: Most definitely!
    Example: Kevin O’Leary.

    • Yes it will for sure…See we were right supporting Trump from here in Canada Where is Obama and Hillary who should be advising to be calm to these young rioters and teach them whats Democracy Is this what obama and Hillary called smooth transition even now they are plotting to disrupt the country with her relative soros who is also friend of our Canadian emigration minister who is plotting how to bring in more and more radicalized muslim refugees while ignoring nonmuslim refugees who will be a better choose. all will look bad.not gonna happen Parents of these young people have to tell them this si not th way Democracy works .Mr.Trump clearly said he will take care of everyones problems be patient an give him time.We are sure its the handy work of soras ,Middle east,donors all special interest people at work encouraging these people.As far as rest of Americans who didn’t vote for Mr.Trump &Hillary followers The media (who have to responsible) we are one all are Americans lets unite and build the country we want ,Debt free,Win In Trade again,Power fun military Jobs creation Good health reforms all this can be done only if w behave like a democratic country .we need to teach the young ones whats the meaning of Democracy and the time to heal and unite and support Our New President to do his Job. Now our great neighbour Canada we know you have been fed with all sorts of lies by the media about trump Try to understand this man we elected.he single handedly fought The entire Media,his own unfaithful party,Crooked hillary obama and their donors F.B.I, The State Officials,he said nothing about Legal emigrants or Moderate muslims He respects them it was all about Radical islamic jihadis and Illegals who are both not so good for our country.Now about his remarks about women please let us show you a video of Obama talking about P…y thats locker room talk you don’t tape that and use it after 11 years ? We are sure women talk somethings in private in their rooms thats called private anyway all the women who accused were all bias.8years of Obama was not enough.What can we do ion he didn’t take care of ..we dint call it Blackwash but now even CNN calls it Whitewash ?? we voted for him dammit
      soon Canada is ging to follow suite wait and see there are many in Canada who are fed up like us about political correctness and too sacred to speak out

  18. If Kevin O’leary enters politics as he he has hinted at, he would make Trump look positively Churchilian.

  19. Trump has happened in Canada…his name is Dennis Leary or is it, Kevin O’Leary. They both appear to be brassholes anyway. And I never voted for Mr. Trudeau or NDP anyway.

  20. Yes it will for sure…See we were right supporting Trump from here in Canada Where is Obama and Hillary who should be advising to be calm to these young rioters and teach them whats Democracy Is this what obama and Hillary called smooth transition even now they are plotting to disrupt the country with her relative soros who is also friend of our Canadian emigration minister who is plotting how to bring in more and more radicalized muslim refugees while ignoring nonmuslim refugees who will be a better choose. all will look bad.not gonna happen Parents of these young people have to tell them this si not th way Democracy works .Mr.Trump clearly said he will take care of everyones problems be patient an give him time.We are sure its the handy work of soras ,Middle east,donors all special interest people at work encouraging these people.As far as rest of Americans who didn’t vote for Mr.Trump &Hillary followers The media (who have to responsible) we are one all are Americans lets unite and build the country we want ,Debt free,Win In Trade again,Power fun military Jobs creation Good health reforms all this can be done only if w behave like a democratic country .we need to teach the young ones whats the meaning of Democracy and the time to heal and unite and support Our New President to do his Job. Now our great neighbour Canada we know you have been fed with all sorts of lies by the media about trump Try to understand this man we elected.he single handedly fought The entire Media,his own unfaithful party,Crooked hillary obama and their donors F.B.I, The State Officials,he said nothing about Legal emigrants or Moderate muslims He respects them it was all about Radical islamic jihadis and Illegals who are both not so good for our country.Now about his remarks about women please let us show you a video of Obama talking about P…y thats locker room talk you don’t tape that and use it after 11 years ? We are sure women talk somethings in private in their rooms thats called private anyway all the women who accused were all bias.8years of Obama was not enough.What can we do ion he didn’t take care of ..we dint call it Blackwash but now even CNN calls it Whitewash ?? we voted for him dammit
    soon Canada is ging to follow suite wait and see there are many in Canada who are fed up like us about political correctness and too sacred to speak out

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