Could left-wing pop­ulism take flight?

Avi Lewis says the NDP needs to en­gage in fire­brand pol­i­tics if it is to avoid dec­i­ma­tion Re­sults glitch fur­ther mires Munk de­bate be­tween Bannon and Frum in Toronto Ex-teacher kills two women in yoga stu­dio Si­cily storms, floods kill at least 12 peo­ple E

StarMetro Calgary - - CANADA & WORLD - Alex Ballingall Ste­fanie Marotta Gary Fi­ne­out Frances D’Emilio Samy Magdy And Hamza Hen­daw­iTHE

OT­TAWA—The sym­bol­ism, to Avi Lewis’s eye, was spot on. The leader of the fed­eral NDP, on Bay St. in Toronto on Fri­day, talk­ing about how the “ul­tra-wealthy” need to pay their share.

But for Lewis, the im­agery fiz­zled with Jag­meet Singh’s mes­sage: a trio of pol­icy pro­pos­als about stocks, cor­po­rate wealth and tax­a­tion that might be too tech­no­cratic to get peo­ple worked up. And if you, like Lewis, be­lieve Cana­di­ans are ready for a fire­brand ver­sion of left-wing pol­i­tics — a pop­ulism of the left, he says — then that won’t cut it.

“Why go for some­thing that you have to ex­plain? What pop­ulism tells you is that there are sim­ple truths about our econ­omy that can be com­mu­ni­cated with great power,” said Lewis, who coau­thored the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial demo­cratic trea­tise, the Leap Man­i­festo, with his wife, author and ac­tivist Naomi Klein.

“Jag­meet is ab­so­lutely in the right di­rec­tion,” Lewis said. “He’s tak­ing a lit­tle step, and he needs to leap.”

Pop­ulism is of­ten as­sumed to be a right-wing phe­nom­e­non, a buzz­word to char­ac­ter­ize the Don­ald Trump move­ment in the U.S. In that con­text, the word is short­hand for a pol­i­tics of anti-elitism and xeno­pho­bia — that Trump is fight­ing for “real” Amer­i­cans against the dom­i­nant forces of “glob­al­ism,” the ide­o­log­i­cal cul­prit he blames for ship­ping jobs to China and let­ting too many out­siders into the coun­try.

But pop­ulism isn’t ex­clu­sive to one side of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. Jan-Werner Mueller, a pol­i­tics pro­fes­sor at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity, told the CBC last week that pop­ulists can come in dif­fer­ent ide­o­log­i­cal shades, so long as they trade in a rhetoric of di­vi­sive­ness that ques­tions the le­git­i­macy of those who don’t share their views.

Avi Lewis co-au­thored a so­cial demo­cratic trea­tise ti­tled Leap Man­i­festo. Avi Lewis says that NDP Leader Jag­meet Singh is mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion, but needs to go fur­ther: “He’s tak­ing a lit­tle step, and he needs to leap.” Pro­test­ers yell at ticket hold­ers out­side Toronto’s Roy Thom­son Hall Fri­day night to protest the ap­pear­ance of for­mer Don­ald Trump strate­gist Steve Bannon at the Munk De­bates. Po­lice laid charges against 12 peo­ple. Be­fore it even be­gan, the Munk De­bate that pit­ted for­mer Trump strate­gist Steve Bannon against con­ser­va­tive com­men­ta­tor David Frum was al­ready steeped in con­tro­versy.

Now there’s even more. The Munk De­bates an­nounced TAL­LA­HAS­SEE, FLA.—A brood­ing mil­i­tary vet­eran and for­mer teacher who railed at women and Black peo­ple in a se­ries of poorly lit videos shot two women to death and wounded five other peo­ple at a Florida yoga stu­dio be­fore killing him­self.

on Satur­day that they made a “tech­ni­cal er­ror” in de­liv­er­ing the re­sults of Fri­day night’s face­off be­tween Bannon and Frum, af­ter ini­tially an­nounc­ing that the lat­ter had lost when it had ac­tu­ally been a draw.

The de­bate had al­ready faced crit­i­cism, with calls to can­cel the event amid protests over Bannon’s in­volve­ment, in­clud­ing a rau­cous rally out­side Toronto’s Roy Thom­son Hall that re­sulted in the ar­rest of 12 peo­ple.

The Munk De­bates typ­i­cally be­gin with a vote ask­ing the au­di­ence to choose whether they are for or against the ROME—Storms lash­ing Si­cily have killed at least 12 peo­ple with tor­ren­tial floods, Ital­ian au­thor­i­ties said as the coun­try’s leader headed Sun­day to the Mediter­ranean is­land.

ques­tion at hand. They also ask whether the au­di­ence mem­bers are open to chang­ing their votes af­ter lis­ten­ing to the de­bate. At the end, a fi­nal vote is done with the same ini­tial for-or-against ques­tion. The de­bater who swayed votes to their side wins.

At the end of Fri­day’s event, they asked the au­di­ence whether “the fu­ture of west­ern pol­i­tics is pop­ulist, not lib­eral.” The now-in­cor­rect re­sults showed a clear win for Bannon at 57 per cent in favour and 43 per cent against — a far cry from the cor­rected tally posted Satur­day morn­ing MINYA, EGYPT—Hun­dreds of Egyp­tian Chris­tians at­tended a fu­neral ser­vice Satur­day af­ter seven peo­ple were killed in an am­bush by Daesh mil­i­tants of buses car­ry­ing pil­grims to a desert monastery.

of 28 per cent in favour and 72 per cent op­posed, re­sult­ing in a draw.

“The sys­tem in­volves var­i­ous peo­ple talk­ing be­hind the scenes,” said Rud­yard Grif­fiths, chair­man of the Munk De­bates, in an in­ter­view with the Star. “There’s one per­son that’s man­ag­ing the live poll. That per­son is com­mu­ni­cat­ing with an­other per­son who is en­ter­ing it into a slide, and then an­other op­er­a­tor is col­lect­ing those slides that are dis­played on the screen in the hall. So there’s a lot of dif­fer­ent mov­ing pieces.” Chris­tians at­tend a ser­vice at an Egypt church for vic­tims of a re­cent mil­i­tant at­tack.



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