Monday, August 17, 2015

Ibbitson Detects the Scent of Revolution in the Air

Montgomery's Tavern, Lower Canada, 1837

Globe and Mail pundit, the ever outspoken John Ibbitson, thinks Canada may be ripe for a populist revolt.  It took him long enough to figure that out but it is a sign that reality may be setting in with Ibbitson and others like him.

Politicians take heed: Populist rebellions are under way in both the United States and Britain. Canada is not immune. If a backlash against political elites who disrespect voters ever reaches our shores, it will not be pretty

...populism can emerge on the left as well as the right. To the horror of Britain’s Labour Party establishment, Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn appears likely to win the party’s leadership. The radical socialist is polling far ahead of his opponents as ballots go out to party members, with the results to be announced Sept. 12.

...Populist movements have swept through Canada in the past, usually in times of discontent. The Great Depression spawned both the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation on the left and Social Credit on the right. Western anger at Central Canada’s indifference spawned the Reform Party in the 1980s.

...When any governing political elite ignores or belittles a group of voters, it risks a populist backlash. If the Conservatives win the next election, social activists may take direct action against them.

If the NDP or Liberals win, and the economy suffers because there is no political will to build an oil pipeline anywhere, expect a populist reaction from the right, especially in the West.


Ibbitson, true to form, foresees a populist rebellion led by some loutish thug like Rob Ford or some other rabble. It seems beyond his comprehension that a movement could coalesce around someone intelligent, focused and committed to genuine, progressive reform.

Of course there's a lot of discontent and frustration building. A good bit of that was inevitable when working class Canada lost its voice from the Left.  

As for some petro-revolt from disgruntled Albertans, why not?  They'll find a warm welcome if they come out my way brandishing pitchforks and torches.

4 comments:

Pamela Mac Neil said...

The right in Canada does everything by the back door. They have no serious ideas to rest their revolution on. Doing a revolution because pipe-lines are not being built is ridiculous. A revolution involves honest action put before the public. Stealth and secrecy is the name of the right wings game.

Dana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Mound of Sound said...

I agree with Ibbitson to his extent - I too see unrest on the horizon. The political apparatus no longer serves the public. The corruption of neoliberalism is that it elevates corporate interests above the public interest. Every free trade deal we enter entails some surrender of sovereignty. That, however, has never been addressed.

fem_progress said...

Not being built on someone else's soil? That would be rich.