The role of a politician has become more about getting elected and staying elected, rather than fighting to improve the lives of their constituents.
People think of Canada generally as a country that is tolerant and welcoming to immigrants. They believe in a liberal democracy that values human rights and freedom of speech. Although these are admirable qualities, Canada is becoming more intolerant and right-wing in its politics. This is concerning because it could affect international relations and how the world views Canadian ideals.
Canadian politicians are embracing right-wing policies on national security and healthcare issues. For example, Pierre Poilievre the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada ran a campaign filled with hate, divisive rhetoric, and widespread support for the Freedom Convoy and right-wing ideologies. His victory means Canadians must endure daily doses of vile, distasteful, divisive vitriol politics
His leadership style or lack of it is just an extension of outgoing interim leader Candice Bergen and before her O’Toole and Scheer. Their repugnant style of politics represents everything Canadians have come to dislike about their politicians.
Just like Poilievre, members of his party and other elected officials are appealing to Canadians’ fears and hatred toward immigrants, Muslims, and minorities to keep their votes. The current political climate has caused many Canadians to embrace nationalism and xenophobia toward people born outside their country. Politicians are using this to their advantage by propagating hatred toward foreigners to gain support from the populace. Many Canadians believe foreigners are responsible for most of the country’s economic problems.
They believe that foreigners steal jobs from Canadian citizens without consequences. In addition, they think that people of foreign descent commit most crimes in Canadian cities. Politicians are trying to pass legislation limiting immigration into Canada to capitalize on these fears. They want to restrict immigration so that only people from within Canada’s borders can vote for them. Essentially, they want a populace full of xenophobic nationalist voters who will accept few immigrants into their country.
However, there are some problems with this strategy. For one thing, most immigrants work hard and contribute to the economy instead of stealing jobs from native Canadians. Additionally, it’s not just foreigners who commit crimes; everyone shares the blame equally when crimes occur.
Lastly, limiting immigration hurts the economy since immigrants create more jobs than Canadian residents. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Canadian growth falters whenever there’s an influx of new immigrants in Canada (Mehring 2016). If anything, limiting immigration does not solve any of Canada’s underlying problems; it only creates grievances between different groups of people within the country.
Canadians pride themselves on being friendly people who value freedom above all else. However, the current political climate is leading them toward more intolerant ideologies that harm minorities and promote nationalistic policies toward immigrants. Therefore, if current trends continue, Canadians may take one day pride themselves on being hostile people who value obedience above all else- like so many other countries around the world have done in the past century.