Jeremy Corbyn makes big gains in U.K. election by promising a country for the many, not the few

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      In November 2015, I wrote a column offering advice to Canada's left-leaning federal New Democratic Party.

      I suggested that the caucus read a book by economist Robert Reich called Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few.

      This was a couple of months before Bernie Sanders's campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party's presidential nomination caught fire.

      It was also long before the recent British election campaign.

      "In Reich's view, increasing income disparities are a result of the powerful rigging the game in their favour with a long list of legislative changes," I wrote at the time. "The market is not free, according to Reich: it operates according to a series of rules created by politicians under the spell of the billionaires."

      The opportunity for the federal New Democrats was to "revive themselves by seizing on the political schism being created by growing inequality".

      "The way to do this is outlined in Reich's book: become the voice of the anti-establishment," I noted in 2015. "In the process, this can expand the party's appeal to small business people feeling under siege from corporate monopolists."

      Sanders did that in 2016 and nearly knocked off the heavily favoured frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, for his party's nomination.

      In his own twisted way, Donald Trump morphed into an anti-establishment voice, walloping supposed frontrunners for the Republican nomination and defeating Clinton in the general election.

      And today, British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has defied expectations and is poised to achieve major gains in the election.

      Labour was supposed to get slaughtered by the Conservatives under Theresa May.

      However, exit polls suggest Corbyn's party will take many seats from the Scottish National Party and the Conservatives.

      If this in fact materializes, Corbyn will have accomplished this with a populist message targeted against the robber barons.

      "I’d like to thank all our members and supporters who have worked so hard on this campaign, from door knocking to social media, and to everyone who voted for a manifesto which offers real change for our country," Corbyn is quoted as saying on the Guardian website. "Whatever the final result, we have already changed the face of British politics."

      Corbyn's slogan and 2017 manifesto matched part of the title of Reich's book: "For the many not the few".

      Below, you can see how the Labour Party has reached for the heart strings in one of its most popular pitches to voters.

      There's still plenty of time for federal New Democrats to try a similar anti-establishment approach in the next Canadian national election in 2019.

      They probably noticed that even the provincial New Democrats made sizeable gains recently in B.C. by veering slightly leftward.

      It will be intriguing to see if the next federal NDP leader ramps it up after seeing the impact of Corbyn's campaign.

      The votes are still being counted, but as this is written, there's a chance that the Conservative prime minister, Theresa May, might have lost her majority.

      None of the mainstream pundits expected that at the start of the campaign.