While the word “populist” is bandied about to describe plain-talkin’, right-wing politicians, that description tarnishes the reputation of real 19th-century populists in the U.S. (and Canada) who actually championed the interests of ordinary folk over the wealthy elite. Pressure from populist ranks helped put in place the U.S. income tax in 1913, as a way to tax the rich.
Doug Ford is no more a populist than my grandmother was a stage-coach. Like Donald Trump, Ford got his start by inheriting wealth, and his policies favour the rich, not the poor.
We’ve just come through several decades where politicians talked a lot (while doing little) about rising inequality. Now, in Ontario, we’re back to a full-frontal embrace of inequality.