Alberta opponents of a carbon tax rallied yesterday and while Conservative leadership contender Chris Alexander spoke, the cries of “lock her up” referring to Alberta NDP Premier Alison Notley echoing the hollering of Trump supporters and opponents of Hillary Clinton. Alexander, much to the horror of many of his compatriots in the Conservative Party as well as most politicians in Canada did nothing – can actually be seen in the videos nodding in time to the chant and smiling. In other words, he was encouraging the chant. As even that bulldog John Baird tweeted, to seek the incarceration of a democratically elected premier because you disagree with her/his policies is repugnant and has no place in Canadian politics – nor any other democratic nation. But Alexander, with his feeble excuses, and his opponent, Kelley Leitch, have adopted Trump’s populism in the hopes of gaining political credibility in this country. For me, the sadness is not that a politician would stoop to crassness, but that there are actually Canadians who swallow this type of demagoguery.
The middle and working classes in addition to the poor are feeling isolated from the halls of power and left out of the prosperity that was promised with the onslaught of globalization. Too many CEOs and business leaders have milked the system for all that it’s worth and the common front line workers have been left behind. Unless traditional leadership does something to close the gap between the 1% and the 99%, there will be more of this. Moderates have to speak up, have to make themselves heard above the roar of the militants. Trudeau’s “sunny ways” need an injection of sunshine at the moment or we are in danger of the Trumpites taking over this country as well.