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Canada's probable next PM is courting the far right to win

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It is said that you can take the measure of a man by the company he keeps.

By that objective calculus, the toxic company that Canada's Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, stubbornly keeps ought to disabuse anyone of the silly notion that Canada is an antidote to the pestilence of white nationalism infecting other, Western "liberal" democracies.

Scheer has a long history of courting white nationalists by appealing unabashedly and overtly to their ugly, nativist, xenophobic and racist temperaments (to describe them as "ideas" is antithetical to the word).

Serious attention should be drawn to Scheer's relationship with Canada's extreme right wing since, if accurate, a recent spate of public opinion polls suggest that the Conservative chief may well become prime minister come the next federal election scheduled for October.

Of course, Scheer is a faithful disciple of former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper who besmirched himself and, perhaps more importantly, the country he served by championing racism-infused "policies" as a means to mine the support of Canadian bigots who would be attracted to such malevolent policies at election time.

Harper's sorry, signature gambit in this regard was the unveiling - stripped of its government-sanctioned rhetorical embroidery - of a "snitch" line, where Canadians were encouraged to report other Canadians guilty of culturally "barbaric practices" deemed "incompatible" with "old stock" Canadian values.

Harper's legion of apologists insisted that his snitch line and use of the benign "descriptor…old stock Canadians" weren't Exhibit A and B of how to practise sectarian wedge politics. So, stop hyperventilating you perennial politically correct types, the apologists cried.

Today, the same cavalier defence is being employed by the........

© Al Jazeera