Could Canada be ripe for Trump-style division?

January 20, 2017 - 2:30pm

KAMLOOPS — I am fully willing to admit when I screwed up, and here is a pretty obvious example.

I had no inkling that Donald Trump could win the presidency.

I was fully confident that a candidate who was so contemptuous toward women, toward minorities, and toward the media could not possibly get the support necessary.

What I didn't remember as I was foolishly making predictions was the electoral college system that, time and time again, screws the candidate who wins the popular vote.

But today, as we live in a world where President Trump sits in the Oval Office, there's another aspect of the electoral climate I failed to comprehend, and that's the extent of the division south of the border.

United States they are not.

Those who voted for Trump can't understand why anyone wouldn't, and those who voted for Hillary Clinton think the same about their candidate.

They live in bubbles, sustained by the media sources that cater to those bubbles alone.

Each bubble is quick to discredit the media source that feeds the other, whether it's Fox News, MSNBC, or Facebook memes.

So it's not only the candidates who are divisive, it's also media sources that spoonfeed content only to their already-established audiences, rather than reporting the facts.

In fact, that climate leads to candidates like Trump, rather than the other way around.

The question now is, do the same conditions exist here in Canada?

Are we ripe for the same type of candidates to arise?

That's why it will very interesting to watch Kevin O'Leary and Kellie Leitch as they vie for the Conservative leadership.

Neither is as egregious a personality as Trump, but both are ready to employ dog-whistle, populist politics that will only contribute to more division.

My hope is Canada can prove we are a united nation in spite of our differences, more united than the one with 'united' in its name.

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