The results of the United States election were shocking to many, even to many supporters of President-elect Donald Trump.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is hosting a public meeting to discuss the results of the U.S. election Saturday evening in Smithers. It begins at 7 p.m. at the Northwest Community College Gathering Place.
Cullen had an up close look at the election, having spent 10 days of the campaign in key states studying identity politics as a guest of the U.S. embassy. He was in Ohio on election night, a state that voted for President Obama, but went decidedly to Trump in this past election thanks in large part to a mostly white middle-class who felt left behind and were willing to either look past or embrace Trump’s often bombastic rhetoric.
“Hang on to your hats man, this is only going to get more interesting,” Cullen told reporters just after the election.
When asked if he thought a Trump-like phenomenon could become popular in Canada, Cullen did not believe it was possible.
“No, I don’t think so. Although, we shouldn’t be smug about this,” said Cullen.
“In the last campaign, the Conservatives tried an element of this when they went after the so-called niqab issue and then launched their offensive barbaric practices line, which was rejected broadly by Canadians and the Conservatives talked about how much they regretted that decision.”
With the Conservative Party in a leadership race, candidate Kellie Leitch has gotten attention — and campaign dollars — for her push to have a “Canadian values” test for newcomers to the country.
“In a leadership race, especially a crowded one like that one, the main goal is getting attention.
Ms. Leitch has shown herself to be quite disingenuous in getting that attention, just putting out controversial statements to get a few more tweets,” said Cullen.
“Yet, these things have consequence. There is simply no way someone can talk about targeting certain groups of Canadians or Americans and ramping up fear and anger without having some significant impacts on the way our country forms up.
“And Canada works well when we’re understanding our diversity is our strength, as opposed to somehow laying down white values or Canadian values that exclude certain groups of Canadians to the advantage of someone’s political aspirations.”