Davos becoming a liability in the populist world

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
What do Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Narendra Modi and Theresa May have in common? Besides leading the United States, Canada, France, India and United Kingdom, not much – except that all of them are skipping the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. Each of the leaders came to the Swiss Alps last year to deliver their takes on globalisation - or at least flog their nations as the world’s optimal destinations for capital.

Since then, it seems, Davos has become a political liability. Unfair as it may be, the worry is that domestic woes will only be exacerbated by rubbing shoulders with elites in the Alps under the auspices of solving big problems.

t’s hard to see how some of last year’s leaders could have credibly lectured others from the podium. Though Trump gave a lucid articulation of his “America First” policies as the forum’s finale last year, his government is entering a historic fifth week of a shutdown over his insistence on obtaining funding for a wall on the border of Mexico. Setting aside the WEF’s desire to build bridges, not barriers, the dysfunctional state of American governance hardly endears itself to the organisation’s mission.

Though Trump and Trudeau are chalk and cheese politically, they share a similar optical conundrum. Last year the youthful Canadian premier, delivering his second Davos address since his 2015 electoral victory, took heat at home for the sojourn, which cost at least 678,000 Canadian dollars. “Davos is such a symbol of the super powerful hanging with the super powerful, to no discernible benefit to ordinary people,” an opposition politician told The Globe and Mail last April. Criticism of that sort would not be particularly helpful as Trudeau’s ruling Liberal party prepares to face the electorate later this year.

Breakingviews - Cox: Davos becomes a liability in the populist era | Reuters
Likes: MaryAnne


Former Staff
Jun 2007
I agree with the OP that it's rather bizarre to have the wealthiest people on the planet deciding how our lives will be led in the future. Who can help but find it a bit scary?
Likes: bajisima

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