The French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville expressed great hope and admiration for the United States in his seminal 1835 study Democracy in America. In many ways the country went on to succeed beyond his wildest dreams as both a model for democracy and its greatest defender. But Tocqueville had a nightmare vision of America too, populated by statists and demagogues, competing for the votes of ignorant, irresponsible citizens. In the 2016 election campaign, writes Trevor Shelley, Tocqueville’s worst fears are being realized.
Author: Trevor Shelley
If Justin Trudeau’s current poll numbers hold up and the Liberals win the federal election, conservatives will be angry, depressed, fearful, and astonished that Canadians would elect such a putz as prime minister. Eventually they’ll try to figure out what went wrong. And when they do, writes Trevor Shelley, they would be well-advised to consider the recommendations for a new conservative political narrative by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of The Conservative Heart: How To Build A Fairer, Happier, And More Prosperous America.
It is hard to overstate the political upheaval that occurred in Alberta’s May 5 election. The NDP soared from four seats to a 54-seat majority. Wildrose grew from five seats to a 22-seat Official Opposition. And the PCs plummeted from 70 seats to 10. A 44-year-dynasty ended, certainly, but according to Trevor Shelley, so did a 110-year-old tradition of dynastic politics. Its likely successor, writes Shelley, is a two-party state, sharply defined as progressive vs conservative, in accord with Tocqueville’s democratic ideal, the rule in most Canadian provinces, and the apparent trend in Ottawa.