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04 Dec

Michael Valpy on Canada as a Tinderbox for Populism in the 2019 Election

December 4, 2018 | By |

The Senior Fellow co-authored an op-ed about shifting Canadian values between elections.

Research from 2017 suggests that 30 to 40 per cent of Canadians are drawn to populism and Canada has already experienced its first “big bangs” in the provincial elections in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, writes Michael Valpy and Frank Graves, president of Ottawa-based EKOS Research Associates.

“Meanwhile, research over the last 10 years has found that Canada, like the United States, is turning into a society fissured along fault lines of education, class and gender. These are social chasms defined by the concentration of wealth at the top of society and, for everyone else, by economic pessimism and stagnation; by a comfortable feeling on one end of the societal teeter-totter, and a fear on the other end that a subscription to the middle-class dream might no longer be available.

Although there has been a recent uptick for the first time in 15 years, the portion of Canadians who self-identify as middle class since the turn of the century has declined from 70 per cent to 45 per cent, a stark number that mirrors America’s—signalling that Canadians have a deeply pessimistic view of their personal economic outlook. Only one in eight Canadians thinks they’re better off than a year ago. Only one in eight thinks the next generation will enjoy a better life. And EKOS finds that, by a margin of two to one, Canadians believe that if present trends with inequality continue, the country — this country! — will see violent class conflicts.”

Read more here.