This is an opinion piece. This is my opinion. I haven't researched this at depth but I've taken a long time to come to my conclusion and I think I'm right.
Here goes. The greatest threat to liberal democracy is the mutated form of politics that has beset us in the era of neoliberalism. The political caste has detached itself from the populace. They serve other interests now in priority to the public interest and that includes their own interest.
Jeffrey Sachs captured this modern dysfunction in one line:
Politics is about obtaining and holding power and the perks of office, not about solving problems, even life-and-death environmental problems.Trudeau is a poster boy for this dynamic. He swept the Liberals to a come-from-behind majority with great promises that resonated with the frustrated electorate only to effortlessly jettison those solemn promises like dandruff brushed off his shoulder to focus, instead, on holding power and the perks of office.
This is not to suggest that Trudeau is alone, some rogue leader. No, not at all. We see similar self-serving antics in Whitehall, Washington, Paris and other Western capitals. What concerns me is that this approach to governance, this breach of the implied covenant with the populace, is a knife sunk very deep into the back of liberal democracy. Decisions, plainly made to serve the interests of those we empower to make decisions, betrays the covenant and undermines our connection to the state. Why bother? Why not listen to the next fast-talking hustler who comes along with another basket of promises?
Surely if government responded to the challenges facing the people it is sworn to serve instead of those to which it owes no such duty, the spreading contagion of xenophobic, racist, hate-fueled populism would have a harder time taking hold. Wouldn't it be great if we could find out?