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Thread: 'Populist' Governments

  1. #1

    Default 'Populist' Governments

    Looks like 2017 is going produce a new breed of politicians to fight against 'populist' governments. I don't get this. A 'populist' government is a government that has been voted in democratically. Are these guys suggesting they are fighting 'democracy' as it makes no sense at all. In the U K Tony Blair (ex PM) is setting up an organization to fight Brexit. Their have been rumblings south of the border that some are going to try to combat Trump. Why are these guys tryin to undermine the will of the people?. If you live in a democracy you should live by it's rules whether you like it or not.


    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/254224...ive-companies/
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  2. #2

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    Lisa Raitt has launched a web-site to counteract Kevin O'Leary's run at politics. Now O'Leary has not even entered the race yet but Raitt is railing against what she calls 'irresponsible populism'. I would not vote for O'Leary in a million years but yes Lisa, democracy is such a dirty word.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle33488308/
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Looks like 2017 is going produce a new breed of politicians to fight against 'populist' governments. I don't get this. A 'populist' government is a government that has been voted in democratically.
    Actually, populism has a specific definition among social scientists, and it's not that. Here's a wikipedia page for reference. I also recently read this book, and it was great (it's an academic book, but written in a way that makes it accessible to non-academics, and also pretty short).
    “It’s so beautiful. What sort of bird is that?”

  4. #4

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    Social scientists may have their own word for populist or populism but the world does not run by what social scientist think. If the people want to vote for a certain person or persons it is what democracy is all about. Trying to change a vote or an action after the fact is basically standing in the way of democracy. Do social scientist know better than the rest of the population or are they just tall foreheads with an opinion.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  5. #5

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    You may not like social scientists, but they're the ones who came up with the term in the first place (political scientists, in this case), and the term hasn't really deviated much in common usage from the original meaning. There's some disagreement about the exact definition (which you can see in the wikipedia page), but it really doesn't just mean "voted in democratically".

    I suppose there's nothing stopping you from inventing your own meaning and trying to push that new meaning through, though--we do live in a free country, after all. Although I will observe that inventing your own word meanings combined with your apparent attitude toward "tall foreheads" is pretty populist.
    Last edited by Idealistic Pragmatist; 05-01-2017 at 02:18 PM.
    “It’s so beautiful. What sort of bird is that?”

  6. #6

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    ^social scientists use words to describe the way things work, to the best of their ability. Using g words that mean specific things helps them in that task. Populist done not mean popular. Republicans are not republican. Democrats are often not Democrats. Some Liberals are liberal and some are conservative.

    Remember ol' Bill trying to redefine "is"? Not helpful, was it?
    There can only be one.

  7. #7
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    Populists, whether they're from the left or right, tend to get their popular support by identifying some "other" (whether the other is within that society like say immigrants/migrants/drug dealers, or outside of it like Muslim extremists or Mexicans just waiting to jump the fence or steal more jobs) that is then made a target for their voter base, and then offer incredibly simplistic and unrealistic solutions to the supposed problem, while often ignoring the real problems. You can call that democracy, I guess, but duping the masses into voting against their interests by fear mongering isn't my idea of good governance, whether that be in the US, the Philippines, Britain, Venezuela or wherever else. Populism is often a precursor to various types of non-democratic governance, whether that be fascism on the one side of Stalinist/Maoist communism on the other.

    So no, populism isn't a good thing. It's certainly an indication that there is something wrong within a society, though. But it's generally not a solution to the problems it's risen in response to. For example, how is Chavez/Maduro working out for Venezuela? How well did Berlusconi run Italy? At what point do the people of the Philippines get fed up with vigilante killings of thousands of people, many of whom are likely innocent? In 10-20 years when the costs of Brexit are added up and compared to the supposed benefits of leaving, the populism that voted for it will be judged a huge mistake as well.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 05-01-2017 at 04:03 PM.

  8. #8

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    I don't think populism absolutely needs an other except so that the populist can say: I am one of you.
    There can only be one.

  9. #9

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    I think populism does have it's place. You get governments that hold power provincially/federally for to long then they get complacent. Start to take people for granted. Populism could put the brakes on a lot of the cronyism, waste and just downright bad governance. There is only so much a population will put up with. They either vote out who is in or their is an uprising. If politicians try to circumvent the votes it's telling the public that they don't trust their judgement, we know better than you. People like Lisa Raitt want to think twice about stopping someone from running just because they do not like what they have to say. Populist politics are not what I particularly want but you cannot deny any ones right to vote for who they want. If they majority vote against what you don't want then you have to go with the majority. I don't give a ratz azz what political scientists call it. Democracy is what it is, the will of the people.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander II View Post
    I don't think populism absolutely needs an other except so that the populist can say: I am one of you.
    Not really, the Other is a target for stirring up emotions and positing a threat. More "they're not Us" or "I'm not Them." "I'm one of you" is only a by-product of that.
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    ^^Nobody is trying to deny anybody the right to vote for who they want. Raitt is running a preemptive campaign against O'Leary... that's it. You might not like it but she isn't taking away anybody's right to do anything.

  12. #12

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    ^Wrong wording on my part. Far better her to start running a decent campaign and let the chips fall were they may if O'Leary enters the fray. A pre-emptive campaign against O'Leary is a waste of time and energy. If O'Leary gains any traction at least it will be done democratically and surely she should understand that. If populist governments are to become a trend people will have to learn to live with it. There is always the next election cycle.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    Someone seems to be worried over O'Leary. Lisa, he has never supported a carbon tax, tsk tsk..

  14. #14

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    O'Leary is a joke. I don't know why he's even on her radar. Maybe slow week in Ottawa.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    The Conservative leadership race itself is somewhat of a joke. No candidate appears to be particularly well suited to taking on Trudeau any time soon. I like that Chong and Bernier are at least putting forth policies and positions, but Chong just doesn't have the charisma to be a leader and some of Bernier's positions are probably a bit too libertarian for a mainstream party (plus the whole leaving top secret documents at your biker-associated girlfriend's place thing, which did not say much good about his competence). O'Leary would be a total disaster for the Conservative party, in my opinion. I just don't think his schtick will work with a significant portion of the Canadian public. He might be able to win the leadership, but after that it would be a total sideshow. Then again, much the same was said of Trump.

    But once again Gemini, your comments about populism betray the fact that you do not seem to understand how it is truly defined and used by political commentators, journalists, political scientists, and so on. As has been said, it's a free country and you can say that an apple is a banana all you want. Just don't be surprised when people start looking at you funny or not taking you seriously.

  16. #16

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    ^How truly condescending of you knowitall. What, are you trying to do, fob yourself of as a political scientist?. Splitting hairs about the meaning of the word 'populist'. All politicians should go into office to represent all people but some of them when they get there forget that and just start helping themselves or run on their own agenda. If huge numbers of the public start to loose faith on who is in power then you have someone like Trump who comes along who is going to shake up the political scene, drain the swamp, get things moving and speak for whoever feels neglected by the political class it must have been a breath of fresh air for some people. Finally they feel that they have someone in their corner. Would Canadians vote for someone like O'Leary. Sure, some would but not enough to get to be PM. Why, because I don't think Canadians are anywhere at the stage yet where they think the government does not represent the majority of them. We have no where near any of the problems the States has. We are not even close to the U K with their Brexit from the EU. Lisa Raitt by setting up this web-site to stop 'irresponsible populism' has just basically legitamized O'Leary as an actually threat.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    ^How truly condescending of you knowitall. What, are you trying to do, fob yourself of as a political scientist?. Splitting hairs about the meaning of the word 'populist'. All politicians should go into office to represent all people but some of them when they get there forget that and just start helping themselves or run on their own agenda. If huge numbers of the public start to loose faith on who is in power then you have someone like Trump who comes along who is going to shake up the political scene, drain the swamp, get things moving and speak for whoever feels neglected by the political class it must have been a breath of fresh air for some people. Finally they feel that they have someone in their corner. Would Canadians vote for someone like O'Leary. Sure, some would but not enough to get to be PM. Why, because I don't think Canadians are anywhere at the stage yet where they think the government does not represent the majority of them. We have no where near any of the problems the States has. We are not even close to the U K with their Brexit from the EU. Lisa Raitt by setting up this web-site to stop 'irresponsible populism' has just basically legitamized O'Leary as an actually threat.
    Well said. However, life in Canada may change quite drastically in the next few years. We are highly dependent on the US for trade, and the US is becoming very protectionistic. Moreover, we can't expect a lot of goodwill from them going forward under the new administration - especially from its right-wing ideologues. (There's a number of people that are highly "opportunistic" in the new administration.)

    I wouldn't be surprised if the US deliberately takes some swipes at Canada to discredit our middle of the road lifestyle and politics. So I think Canada is extremely vulnerable to some sort of economic crisis, tipped partially by changes in US policy and trade deals. (Our country's high personal levels of leverage, while better timed to low interest rates than the USA of a decade ago, it still near off the charts high while our economy isn't exceptionally strong or - using the latest buzz word - "resilient". A consumer driven credit crisis may be on the horizon that leaves our politicians making desperate deals with the US to maintain trade.)

    It would be good to read up on guys like Wilbur Ross and Carl Ichan.


    Bankers Behind "Great Foreclosure Machine" Join Trump's Cabinet as Treasury & Commerce Secretaries
    https://www.democracynow.org/2016/12...e_machine_join

    What does Trump's commerce secretary pick mean for Canada?

    Ross, 79, and Trump, 70, became friends when Ross was involved in the rescue of one of Trump’s failing casinos. Ross’s modus operandi is to take a bankrupt company and either strip it and sell it for parts, or merge it with another clunker to resell at a profit. Fans say he’s saved American jobs, critics say he’s capitalized on the hardship of workers.

    “His expertise is making a purse out of pig’s ear and if you look at the state of the U.S. economy, that’s pretty much what it’s going to take, is rescuing a nation, arguably, that is on the brink of bankruptcy,” said West.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/what-...nada-1.3186823
    Last edited by KC; 06-01-2017 at 12:18 PM.

  18. #18

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    ^Trade is just one of the aspects. We still have a decent medical system, good immigration policies, very little racial tension (compared to the states). We have better social service networks, more confidence in our fellow man. I don't think we are in need of any of the drastic measures that the voting population of the States have put themselves in. In a lot of ways the government of the states have broken that country and Trump could have been the clutching of straws that made people do the irrational. Hopefully in 4 years they are not in a bigger mess than they are in now.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    ^Trade is just one of the aspects. We still have a decent medical system, good immigration policies, very little racial tension (compared to the states). We have better social service networks, more confidence in our fellow man. I don't think we are in need of any of the drastic measures that the voting population of the States have put themselves in. In a lot of ways the government of the states have broken that country and Trump could have been the clutching of straws that made people do the irrational. Hopefully in 4 years they are not in a bigger mess than they are in now.
    All that can go away pretty fast if we aren't prepared to rapidly offset job losses and higher taxes from trade reductions and requirements to fund military and UN activities. Canada has been prudent on a number of fronts but that prudence may only mean that we will be among the first in line to be retired to bail out the US. We've been a proverbial freerider on defence by being under the US defence umbrella for decades. That's just one thing I would expect to change. (Mexico will pay for the wall and Canada will pay for the ships - or whatever ...)

  20. #20
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    Thing is, Trump isn't a real populist. He doesn't represent the lower or even the middle class. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he only really represents rich people. He may have said things to make people believe he represents them but he's kind of a hypocrite. He says he'll bring jobs back to America, how about he starts with his own business https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.52191f01154b.

    He also doesn't pay taxes and implies that anyone who does is an 1diot. I'm not trying to start a political argument here I'm just saying that Trump isn't a real populist. Bernie Sanders is a real populist.

  21. #21

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    ^Don't all politicians say things to make people believe them then they turn out to be hypocrites. It's a big part of the political fabric.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    ^yes but not all politicians claim to be (or imply they are) populists. Trump has taken up that mantle and I don't think he is genuine in doing so.

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