Canada’s 2019 federal election could be decided by Russia.
Speaking to the Canadian Press, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan warned voters over the weekend that Russia will deploy cyberattacks and fake news in its ongoing effort to dismantle Western democracy.
“We have taken this into account very seriously in our defence policy,” Harjit Sajjan said in the interview. “We need to further educate our citizens about the impact of fake news. No one wants to be duped by anybody.”
Sajjan believes Russia could be motivated to meddle in our affairs to retaliate against how great we are at human rights and democracy.
He stopped just short of saying the only way to defeat Russia is to vote Liberal. Which probably would have severely irked Conservatives. Which is exactly what Russia’s meddling is intended to do.
It’s unlikely Russia will find support for annexing Crimea in Canada’s red, blue, orange, or green circles. But the Kremlin – or any other foreign government looking to boost its rank in the global order – doesn’t really care who is elected in Canada. What’s important is that we’re divided, polarized to the point of absurdity, and generally unstable. The ‘ol divide and conquer.
If Vladimir Putin could pick a favourite, however, he’d likely put Maxime Bernier in Ottawa. The more populist, the better. As we’ve seen with the election of Trump, and subsequent populist shifts in Europe, the more countries regress from Liberal modernism to their traditional, Christian roots, the easier it is for Putin to impose his hardcore conservative ideology.
It’s all part of a pattern: fewer rights for minorities, tougher laws on immigration, etc. And as a country ramping up its immigration goals and which allows its citizens to choose ‘X’ as a gender on national ID, maybe we should be concerned about Russia’s digital Trojan horse.