The middle class. A large number of Canadians either consider themselves to be a part of it, or aspire to be a member of the middle class club. According to an EKOS poll conducted two years ago, 47% of Canadians said they considered themselves to be part of the middle class.
It seems to be in our politicians’ best interest to have Canadians believe they fit under this rather large, vaguely described, supposedly struggling middle class umbrella. We’ve been hearing this term more and more as politicians gear up for the federal election, composing their platforms. Trudeau’s recent policy release features the idea of the middle class prominently; the theme being “fairness for the middle class and people who are working hard to join it.” U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken frequently about “middle class economics.”
But is this a real problem, or mere political verbiage? How does one define the middle class, and where did the term come from? What is the state of social mobility in this country today? Michael Den Tandt explains.
Michael Den Tandt is a Canadian writer and political journalist whose commentary appears in some of the country’s largest circulation daily newspapers including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, and Edmonton Journal. Den Tandt also appears regularly as a guest commentator on CBC Radio and Sirius XM Channel 167: Canada Talks. He is a past winner of the National Newspaper Award for enterprise reporting and a winner of numerous Ontario newspaper awards. He has spent the past 25 years primarily reporting on Canadian news and current affairs, with stints overseas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, and Japan. Among his principal areas of interest has been the rise of political debate over the state of the Canadian middle class.