OPINION: Poor and middle-class Canadians most likely to support Trump

JAMES WALLACE, POSTMEDIA NETWORK

, Last Updated: 6:17 PM ET

Canada’s latte liberals have made Donald Trump a frequent and favourite target of their toxic tweets.

Jumping on the bandwagon of their Democrat cousins south of the border, Canada’s left has found little good, kind or supportive things to say about the U.S. president, instead preferring to view him simplistically and self-servingly as a villain.

No surprise then, that a new poll by Forum Research shows two out of three Canadians surveyed (67%) “disapprove” of Trump.

More interesting? Who, in this country, does “approve” of Trump.

Not the rich, not older men, not women, not the highly educated or very clearly, either Liberals or New Democrats.

It’s the poor and the middle class, where Trump finds a glimmer of support in the Great White North.

Forum found 28% of those earning less than $ 20,000 across Canada support Trump. So do 28% of those earning $ 20,000 to $ 40,000.

That shouldn’t be a surprise.

Trump’s support in the U.S. is built upon a foundation of marginalized and disregarded middle and lower-class voters who viewed the political structure in Washington as broken, politically corrupt, out of touch and supported by upper income coastal elites and interest groups, who remain indifferent, even hostile, toward their aspirations and struggles.

They felt their government no longer served or supported them.

And that same sentiment could take root here.

“We shouldn’t be too smug about it,” said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff. “Rob Ford rode that same wave here five or six years ago.”

Fully 82% of Canada’s 35 million residents live in cities, with a third concentrated in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – strongholds of the wealthiest, most educated and privileged Canadians. They are also strongholds for the Liberal and NDP parties, and the activist social justice agendas that drive big city politics.

Then there are those who struggle. Who have watched their jobs disappear to Mexico or overseas, had to cope with an increasingly inaccessible health care system bloated with waste, bureaucracy and wait times, watched their children – if they can afford university – take on staggering debt. Prosperity, in this country, has grown only marginally since 2007.

And outside of the cities, in the darker corners of our country, Trump’s message may be taking hold.

“I don’t think we really know what goes on between Toronto and Vancouver,” Bozinoff said, adding there’s a “big segment” out there who relate to the populist message of politicians like Trump.

Food for thought.

jawallace@postmedia.com 

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