Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls them the “anti-politicians.”
People like Rob Ford and Donald Trump may try to come across as completely different than your typical, politically correct holder of public office, Trudeau told a BBC program on Wednesday night, but they are sowing the seeds of division in society.
“I think that has, to a certain extent, run its course,” Trudeau said. “People don’t want the usual kinds of politicians, fine, but they’re also looking for people who are actually going to be serious about bringing people together and serving, and being upfront about the tough decisions we have to make.”
Evan Davis, presenter on the BBC’s popular current affairs program NewsNight, pointed out to Trudeau that divisive politics like Trump’s seem to be winning the Republican candidate more support than originally anticipated. Among other things, Trump has said he would not oppose a registry of Muslims in the United States and would deport the Syrian refugees who have sought safety and new lives in America.
Trudeau says he doesn’t believe that such policies are how you win elections.
“When you get right down to it, when citizens take a long hard look in the ballot box at actually voting against your neighbours, against someone who’s different from you – in pluralistic societies like we have it becomes very difficult to sustain the hatred or the fear of the shopkeeper down the street or your colleague two cubicles over,” he said.