PhD student Kayla Preston on far right groups, populism and the federal election

PhD student Kayla Preston recently published an article on The Conversation. A political sociologist studying de-radicalization, Kayla wrote about the threat of far right groups in Canada and their potential impact on the federal election. We have included an excerpt of the article below. The full article is available at The Conversation’s website.

With far right groups on the rise, we should keep an eye on populism this federal election

While the Canadian electorate is mostly made up of Liberal, Conservative, Green and New Democrat party supporters, it also includes people who are seeking a new direction for Canadian politics — one that promises to be “for the people.” And some of these people are part of far right groups who are calling for a new populist movement.

Research shows that globally, the far right calls for an authoritarian populist government. This is a drastic step away from traditional conservative governments on the right of the political spectrum. Right-wing populist governments often see themselves as an alternative to the political elitism they envision resides on both the right and the left.

However, they differentiate themselves by providing oversimplified and often divisive solutions to social problems such as income inequality. And this is cause for concern as far right groups and far right violence have been increasing in Canada over the past decade.

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