Source: Facebook

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared as a guest host on a Vox podcast where he complained about populism having a corrosive effect on democracy while promoting his government’s agenda. 

The Prime Minister appeared on the left-wing site’s podcast to appeal to younger voters, a demographic that Trudeau’s Liberals have been doing poorly with in recent public opinion polls. 

On the ‘Today, Explained’ podcast hosted by Sean Rameswaram, Trudeau said that concerns young Canadians have over the economy and the housing market are a problem because it drives negative sentiments that lead people down the road of populism, something he firmly stands against. 

Populism is the idea that society is divided between ordinary people and the elite and that elites are enriching themselves by reinforcing their position at the expense of the people.

Most Canadians agree that Canada is divided between ordinary people and elites, lending merit to populism’s premise.

The Prime Minister expressed distaste for what he describes as a global rise in populism, railing against this brand of politics’ anti-elite disposition, reliance on false information, and it’s supposed promotion of conspiracy theories.

“In every democracy, we’re seeing a rise of populists with easy answers that don’t necessarily hold up to any expert scrutiny. But a big part of populism is condemning and ignoring experts and expertise, so it sort of feeds on itself and relies on a lot of misinformation and disinformation.”

Trudeau continued this thought by saying that populism is a threat to Canada’s identity of generosity and kindness and that it feeds selfishness.

“There’s a lot of populism that folds into a level of individualism that I think is counter-productive to the kind of world we need to build where we are so interconnected.” 

When asked if he is worried about whether his opposition’s messaging on the budget will resonate with Canadians more than his government’s, Trudeau said that the opposition recognizes worries Canadians are having without providing solutions.

“I think the opposition is recognizing that there is concern and anxiety out there. The thing is though, they’re not offering any solutions at all for it.”

Trudeau went on to say that the government ought to play a key role in solving the country’s problems, contrasting himself with the Conservatives who he says do not believe this.

“And I believe, I mean the biggest choice and the biggest difference between me and the Conservatives right now is they don’t think government has a role to play in solving for these problems and these challenges.”

Trudeau bragged about his government’s initiative to increase the capital gains tax inclusion rate on high-income earners and businesses while deriding the Conservatives for opposing the policy.

“We’re raising capital gains [tax] so the wealthiest 0.1% pay a little more. Capital gains will still be lower than they are in California and New York for example, so it’s not going to be going after innovation, but it’s bringing in money so that we can actually invest more in young people, in fairness, in those kinds of things, and that’s something the Conservatives are totally against.”

Californians and New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes on capital gains compared to other states in the USA with a 13.3% and 8.82% tax rate respectively on its highest earners, on top of the federal government’s 20% tax rate. 

Trudeau went on to tell Canadians that in the coming federal election, they’ll have a choice between a party that believes the government has a role to play in protecting people or a party that will amplify fear and division and protects the wealthy while relying on the “trickle-down approach.”