In Harper's World, Trudeau's Brand of Liberalism Can Only Fail - 2018-10-14
Whatever disdain Stephen Harper had for liberals as Canadian prime minister shows no signs of abating now that he's out of office.
In an interview Thursday in Toronto, where Harper was promoting his new book "Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption," he explained his thoughts on populism, economics, recent political developments in Canada and why the "pragmatic center left" approach won't work.
His thesis boils down to a few core ideas. One, the world is in a period of dramatic economic and cultural change that has dislocated large swathes of people in advanced countries. Second, mainstream politicians need to adapt by abandoning ideological rigidity and "elite" thinking to address real problems faced by working families, or risk losing them to fringe parties.
Third, and here's Harper's kicker, the moderate left and liberals actually can't adapt, because they have become so extreme on social issues they will be rejected by the electorate. The risk is voters -- feeling voiceless -- increasingly seek populist solutions. For Harper, it's moderate conservatism or bust for the Western world.