Was Robert Borden Canada’s Hillary Clinton or was he its Donald Trump?At Active History, Elsbeth Heaman poses a question not much heard during this American election cycle.
She leads into the question with an equally provocative analogy: Laurier was Canada's Obama. Like the Obama presidency, Laurier's election and long tenure in office seemed to suggest progressiveness and tolerance and diversity in Canadian politics, she observes, but opened the door for racism and nativism as the chosen electoral vehicles of his opponents, leading to a powerful strain of anti-French and anti-immigrant bigotry in the Borden years.
So, Canada's Trump? The piece is worth reading. And makes me think someone could do well to reassess Carl Berger's dictum that in Canada imperialism was a form of nationalism. More likely, it was a form of nativism. Or colonialism. Or racism.