By Jamil Jivani, June 14, 2022
Anti-establishment politics, sometimes called populism, can be in tension with a conservative worldview that wants to protect Canadian institutions. This tension is central to the ongoing Conservative Party of Canada leadership race: half the candidates are broadly campaigning on significant reforms, while the other half propose tinkering at the edges.
A group of young conservatives, including myself, discussed populism and democracy as part of a panel discussion on Tuesday. From the think tank Cardus’ office on Rideau Street, windows behind us gave view to Parliament Hill and the former site of the trucker convoy. Each of the panellists came at the issue from a different angle, but shared a common concern over how our institutions are responding to Canadians who are unhappy with the current economic and cultural direction of our country.
I’d like to offer an analogy to help Canadians navigate this critical moment, in hopes of arriving at some clarity over what a conservative response to legitimate anti-establishment sentiments might look like.