European-style right-wing extremism also exists in Canada

Supporters of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party raise flares as they celebrate polls results in Thessaloniki, …Parties of the extreme right have recently made stunning inroads into mainstream European politics.

Is a similar movement imminent in Canada?

In Greece, the Golden Dawn Party, which has adopted the Nazi salute and a version of the swastika as their party's emblem, won 19 seats in that country's 300 seat Parliament.

In France, the National Front, whose leader labelled Islamism "the totalitarianism of religion" claimed 17.9 per cent of votes in the first round of presidential voting two weeks ago.

These aren't your  'Harperites,' your Wildrose 'bozos' or even your Tea Party enthusiasts.

These are emerging parties fueled by deteriorating economic circumstances that espouse anti-immigrant, anti-multicultural, anti-global rhetoric.

Some of them are routinely labelled as "neo-Fascist."

Alan Dutton of the Canadian Anti-racism Education and Research Society warns that Canadians are fooling themselves if they think right-wing extremism doesn't exist on this side of the Atlantic.

Dutton monitors Canada's extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi organizations and has has advised governments on the hate groups who target Jews, Muslims, Roman Catholics, progressive Protestants and visible minorities.

In an interview with the Vancouver Sun last August, he said the strategy of Canada's extreme right wing groups is to keep a low public profile while recruiting angry, marginalized and disaffected youth online.

"Many groups have learned that it is important to 'run silent and run deep.'" he said.

"As a result, hate group activity is not as readily visible as it once was. This does not mean that hate groups don't exist, or aren't recruiting. Online recruiting is now, more than ever, part of the 'run silent, run deep' strategy."

Dutton worries that cuts to social services in Canada damage the capacity of community groups to counteract the recruitment of disaffected young people.

He argues that Canadian governments cannot afford to ignore the phenomenon" as Norway and many other [European] countries are fast discovering."