There’s a change happening in the Western political landscape. And the Canadian establishment needs to stop misleading themselves about what it means for this country.

Last month data confirmed what many of us suspected: that Canada is actually ripe for some version of a populist uprising.

An authoritative report by Edelman revealed that “80% of [Canadians] think the elites who run institutions are out of touch with regular people” and “69% say we need to prioritize Canadian interests over the rest of the world.”

This emerging paradigm shift threatens the power of Canada’s political class and they’re doing everything they can to deny it and mock it. Yet their efforts will only backfire because they’re misdiagnosing the problem.

The latest issue of the The Economist observes that “the old divide between left and right is growing less important than a new one between open and closed.” This open vs. closed argument has become a popular talking point. The basic idea is that the establishment is tolerant, cultured and welcoming (open) in contrast to common sentiment that is fearful, ignorant and hateful of the other (closed).

Surface level data initially supports this conclusion. The Edelman report points out 52% of Canadians are concerned about immigration. Other surveys yield similar results. But what no major survey has done is dig deeper to get to the bottom of what specific element of immigration concerns people.

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See Also:

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U.S., Canada ‘perplexed’ about migrant surge into Canada, Kelly says

Many asylum seekers coming to Canada had U.S. cases denied