The election of the new Conservative government in Ontario has been widely seen as a victory for the populist right. Certainly the new Premier, Doug Ford, claims to speak for “the little guy” in opposition to the so-called “liberal elites.” But, like Donald Trump and right-wing populists in Europe, he is likely to disappoint many of his supporters since he lacks a coherent economic strategy that will truly benefit his base.
My congratulations to Premier John Horgan and his government in BC. They are keeping their word and moving forward with a referendum to replace the province’s “first past the post” electoral system with Proportional Representation (PR), so that every vote in every community counts.
What is the true nature of the Liberal Party of Canada? Is it a genuinely progressive party of the centre-left, worthy of the support of those pushing for a more equal and inclusive society? Or is it essentially a party of the status quo which campaigns from the left but generally governs from the right? These questions have a rich historical dimension which remains relevant today.