November 15-17, 2019
Authoritarian right-wing governments in many countries – Hungary, India, Italy, Poland, and Turkey, not to mention Donald Trump’s America – have claimed the banner of populism. Canada has not been immune to this global populist wave, as evidenced by the election of Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta. Once the hallmark of Canada’s progressive left, populism today is the domain of a resurgent right, appealing to fear and anger, and proclaiming their defense of the common person against assorted elites.
What explains the recent success of right-wing parties in seizing the populist mantle away from the progressive left? Is right-wing populism actually a mask for authoritarian rule? Parkland Institute’s 23rd Annual Conference tried to answer the riddle of right-wing populism: what it is, how it emerged, where it might be leading, and the possibilities for the return of a progressive form of populism.