Populist Politics Has No Substance

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Ron Benn 2 months ago.

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  • #752679 Reply


    I am old and set in my ways. I despise party politics and powers-that-be backroom back scratching.
    But, Once upon a time I could define political leanings as :

    Big L
    Small l
    Big C
    Small c

    They all would come up with platforms and budgets. They all would make tongue-in-cheek promises and most fit the old joke. How do you know when a politician is lying? It’s easy. His lips are moving.

    I have no idea what a populist is. So far as I can tell – it is a politician that has no plans, uses simpleton slogans , hates the media and says dumb stuff off the top of their head.

    Is there any substance to populist politics ’cause I’ve not seen any yet.

    #752968 Reply

    The Voter

    I think to be a populist, you also have to personally attack your opposition as well as whatever they stand for. Can you imagine Bill Davis spouting what passes for Tory rhetoric these days?
    I’m reminded of the anecdote that Justin told at his father’s funeral about when, as a boy of 7 or 8, he’d seen Joe Clark in the Parliamentary restaurant and made some snide comment. His father took him to task, telling him that you don’t attack the individual. You can disagree with what they believe but you still treat them with respect as a person.

    #752962 Reply

    sisco farraro

    Good evening, Chaz. My background is in science and I have been delving into municipal politics for a short period only.

    I was unfamiliar with the term populism so I do what I always do in a situation like this, check out Google or Wikipedia. Tonight Google told me, “At its root, populism is a belief in the power of regular people, and in their right to have control over their government rather than a small group of political insiders or a wealthy elite.”

    As I have seen noted oftentimes by Bulldog commenters, Ottawa City Hall seems to be run by Jim Watson and his merry council not by the citizenry. Based on the definition I quoted from Google, the Ottawa municipal government does not appear to be populist. Hence your lead statement appears to be true.

    #753012 Reply

    Ron Benn

    sisco, isn’t it interesting that the two highest profile “populists” on this side of the Atlantic are part of the “wealthy elite”. It definitely seems at odds with the definition that you cite.

    Are they really populists, or are they merely imitating a populist? Along a similar line of thought, who decided that the people who wear masks and carry clubs, bats and the like when they join protests were anti-fascists? It seems to me that the pretty much line up perfectly with the definition of a fascist, notably someone who uses forcible suppression of opposition.

    Is it just lazy journalists and editors, or is the mainstream media’s never-ending search for eyeballs part of the problem?


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