OTTAWA, ON (March 22, 2019): In our latest issue of our Inside Policy magazine, MLI’s authors take a closer look at how populism is warping the politics of the West, and what Canada ought to do about it.

From the UK’s turn towards Brexit, to the election of Donald Trump in the United States, to the rise of right-wing populist governments across Europe and beyond, populism has been acutely felt throughout the world.

Although Canada has so far resisted this populist impulse, Sean Speer argues that it is certainly not immune from these forces. As he writes in our cover story, a proportionate political and policy response to these disruptive public sentiments will require drawing from both sides of our ideological spectrum.

“We aren’t merely talking about competing political preferences between the 40-yard lines of public debate. There’s something more profound going on. Our basic frameworks are under strain,” writes Speer.

“The Left’s emphasis on institutional barriers to social mobility and the role of public policy to break them down will be an essential component. So too is the Right’s thinking about the role of families, the dignity of work, and the limits of state action. This cannot be an all-or-nothing proposition.”

Along similar lines, both Linda Nazareth and Philip Cross point to the prospect of a global economic slowdown that will likely only increase the kind of fear and anger that can lead to populism. Cross also warns that, in the event of a near-future downturn, the government’s hands will be tied as a consequence of the West’s long-running stimulus spending.

“There is a risk beyond the simple failure of stimulative policies to boost growth,” explains Cross. “Growing public frustration with chronically slow growth lies behind many of the specific threats to orthodox economic policies, notably rising protectionism and opposition to globalization.”

Beyond an examination of the causes, implications, and policy responses necessary in a world of rising populism and discontent, our Q1 issue of Inside Policy covers the full-range of public policy issues facing Canada’s decision-makers, including:

  • Pipeline politics;
  • Carbon taxes;
  • Pharmacare;
  • Foreign interference and disinformation;
  • Why Canada ought to ban Huawei;
  • The Canada-China Relationship;
  • Responding to the crisis in Venezuela, and more.

In a tense and fragmented world, and with what is sure to be a divisive Canadian election just a few months away, getting public policy right is more important than ever.

With that in mind, we hope you enjoy the latest edition of Inside Policy.

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