Is there a place for populism in this campaign?

It was a surprise decision from the independent commission that organizes the official leaders’ election debates: Maxime Bernier, leader of the new People’s Party of Canada, will be invited to take part in the English- and French-language debates next month. It’s an unexpected opportunity for the populist politician – who has sparked controversy over his stance on immigration – to raise his national profile. Today in The Conversation Canada, Chedly Belkhodja of Concordia University helps us understand how populist tactics have become a worldwide phenomenon and what role it will play in the current federal campaign.

We’ve also got another election story that takes a hard look at the early days of the campaign and concludes none of the political parties are likely to address key issues facing society.

There’s advice for aging Canadians about how it’s never too late for seniors to start an exercise regime and we look at an upcoming United Nations meeting on universal health care with the goal of improving global health.

Science Literacy Week continues and we leave you with a fascinating story by Jonathan Fisher of Memorial University of Newfoundland, who has just returned from the Arctic where he was studying the largest, slowest and oldest fish in Arctic waters — the elusive Greenland shark. Jonathan will take part in our Science Literacy Week event tonight in St. John’s at the Geo Centre.


Scott White


Today's Featured Articles

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, in Ottawa on September 4. Bernier is associated with the populist movement in Canada. The Canadian Press/Justin Tang

What place does populism have in the current election campaign?

Chedly Belkhodja, Concordia University

In this election campaign, it would be a good idea to recognize the existence of social inequalities and to rethink the issues of redistribution and social justice without giving into populism.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has his makeup applied during a commercial beak at recent the Maclean’s/Citytv leaders debate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Style over substance: Another uninspiring Canadian election campaign

Lawrence LeDuc, University of Toronto; Harold D Clarke, University of Texas at Dallas; Jane Jenson, Université de Montréal; Jon H. Pammett, Carleton University

Given entrenched characteristics of Canadian electoral politics, the 2019 election is unlikely to deal in any meaningful way with concrete solutions to the important problems of our times.

Research shows that as little as 20 minutes of brisk walking per day can result in a 20 per cent reduction in early death over seven years. (Shutterstock)

Downsizing to an early death? Why exercise is so important as you age

Scott Lear, Simon Fraser University

It doesn't matter much how much you exercised in your youth, according to the science. What really matters is how much you exercise now.

If countries commit to universal health coverage alone, they will be emphasizing disease management over investing in wellness. (Shutterstock)

Universal health coverage alone won’t radically improve global health

Maisam Najafizada, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The UN's global health policy related to universal health coverage should be grounded in primary health care -- with meaningful benchmarks to ensure patient participation.

A camera catches a huge Greenland shark in eastern Baffin Bay, near Disko Bay, Greenland. Jonathan Fisher

Huge sharks, tiny plankton: Exploring the changing Arctic from an icebreaker

Jonathan A. D. Fisher, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The eastern Arctic and sub-Arctic marine areas of Canada are changing rapidly under climate change.

La Conversation Canada

Un coucher de soleil sur la côte de Terre-Neuve. Michel Rathwell/flickr

Le réchauffement des eaux modifie la relation que les communautés côtières entretiennent avec l'océan

Eric Oliver, Dalhousie University

Les collectivités côtières aident les scientifiques à comprendre les impacts des vagues de chaleur marines et à trouver des solutions.


  • Mugabe is dead, but old men still run southern Africa

    Henning Melber, University of Pretoria

    It remains to be seen how much longer the 'old men syndrome' will persist in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, despite growing frustration among the politically powerless.

Culture + Society

  • Why Bill Maher is wrong about fat-shaming

    Bill Sullivan, Indiana University

    Fat-shaming is as ineffective as it is cruel. The bullying tactic also ignores the biological factors underlying obesity, which are not always under a person's control.

Environment + Energy