Today, readers are responding to a column from John Ibbitson reflecting on the victory by the Green Party in Monday’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election. Mr. Ibbitson argues if the results are a harbinger of things to come, then the Liberals and NDP had better watch out
Actually, I don't think what is happening in Canada is totally offside what is happening in Europe. A bigger theme many are ignoring is traditional parties are losing support while non-traditional ones are gaining and the Greens clearly fit the pattern of non-traditional. No doubt a lot of Green support is more on the progressive side, but there are also a large number who are just sick of all the parties and are looking for something different. In the last Quebec election, CAQ and QS made big gains while Liberals and PQ had worst showing in over 50 years while in New Brunswick you saw not just rise of Green Party on the left but People's Alliance on the right. If anything, recent results should suggest a fair degree of unhappiness with the status quo and parties that fail to take note will pay.
The Nanaimo election and that in New Brunswick certainly indicate a more fractured vote coming this fall nationally. It might also indicate that majority national governments will be become a rarer occurrence going forward. Some who favour more proportional representation will take that as a positive. In the big picture it might also indicate an element of populism as many voters turn away from traditional parties and “politics as usual.” So in that sense it reflects a trend seen elsewhere in the Western world.
Is there a country anywhere in the world that doesn't believe they are the one and only one moving in the right direction while the rest of the world goes bad? Canadians are always self-deluded. Canada has already been pushed quite far to the right. A Conservative victory in October will push Canada into polarized populism. The gap between right and left is already bigger and more vitriolic than ever, So much so, people are afraid to talk politics.
HabFan410 in response:
Bernier has siphoned off the hard liners on the right. It will cost the Conservatives some votes and some seats, but it is helpful in distinguishing them from the wide brush you used in characterizing them as populists. Bernier is a populist. Scheer is not.
Nelson100 also in response
Trudeau gets the blame for polarized politics in Canada. The Liberals vote block politics has divided east from west, women from men, immigrants vs. non-immigrants, urban vs rural and young vs old. We need someone who unites, not divides.
The Green's Brand is environmentalism and that issue is becoming more and more dominant. If I am to use these pages as a measure, the electorate seems to either understand that their "house is on fire" or it doesn't. Not sure the Greens are the best party to answer that question but it is their primary agenda item.
To characterize Greens as "progressive" is a mistake. They are in fact "regressive" and would do much damage to our economy if they ever achieved power. The real danger here is if they actually held the balance of power in the House
CognitiveDisonnance in response:
The “real” danger is damage to our climate and environment. Damage to our “economy” is minuscule in comparison.
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