A Plan for the People - A critical discourse analysis of the campaign platform and victory speech of Premier Doug Ford (2018-2019)
thesisposted on 2022-10-05, 17:38 authored by Giustino Zambito
The recent success of populist politicians in liberal democracies has influenced scholars in the field of political communications to define and categorize populism. The term “populism” has become recognized as a matter of concern when debating the future stability of democracy. It has been used to explain unprecedented wins in recent politics, such as Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 United States Presidential Election. (Lahiti, 2018) It has also been associated with various socio-political and cultural changes over the past decades, more recently, the 2015 Syrian Refugee Crisis. (Abdalla, 2017) Populism is recognized as elusive, episodic, and relatively versatile in liberal democracies. (Mudde, 2004) This proposes the question of how has populist rhetoric become so effective in contemporary politics? According to Mudde (2004), populism is a thin-centered ideology that, "considers society to be ultimately separated into two homogeneous and antagonistic groups, ‘the pure people' versus ‘the corrupt elite,' and which argues that politics should be an expression of the volonté générale (general will) of the people.” (p.543) This definition is interpreted that within society, there are two distinct groups that coexist, ‘the people' and ‘the elite.' Mudde’s definition of populism will be used in this research, as the division of two homogeneous and antagonistic groups is prevalent in the case of Ontario. Moreover, as it will be discussed further in this research, the process of identifying who ‘the people' and ‘the elite’ are is central to creating divisive groups in Ontario.