It has been too long, Issue 58

It has been too long! The last time I posted a newsletter was just before the Canadian general election. I told you that I had voted for the New Democratic Party (“NDP”). 

Well, the election has come and gone. The make-up of the House of Commons hasn’t really changed. The Liberal Party of Canada and Justin Trudeau have a minority government with about 160 seats, ten short of a majority. 

What did the election tell us about Canada?

  • I hate labels. However, results show that a significant majority of Canadians lean “left”. The LPC, NDP, Green, and Bloc Québecois  had an aggregate vote percentage of just over 60%. The “right leaning” Conservative Party of Canada and the Peoples’ Party of Canada captured just under 40% of the vote. 
  • Conservative Party strength resides in interior British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and western Manitoba. Rural areas tend to vote Tory.
  • Liberal strength is in Atlantic Canada; and, in and around Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, and, to some extent, Vancouver. Urban areas tend to vote Liberal or NDP. 
  • The divides: east + the coasts / west; and rural / urban 
  • The Tories may have to move left to capture more middle-ground voters. This will increase the danger of them losing more of its western base to the Peoples’ Party. 
  • The Liberals could lose more voters to the NDP. Get used to more minority governments.
  • Climate change and strong, government-run health care are important to Canadians. 

Leader’s next election?

Will Erin O’Toole survive? I think that Jason Kenney of Alberta was seen as he leader-in-waiting. Now he is badly damaged goods. His pandemic management has probably scarred his reputation permanently. This is good for O’Toole. Is there anyone else? 

I find it very difficult to take Maxime Bernier seriously. I probably should but he has a weird following and a strange history. Nicholas Pereira who ran for the PPC in New Brunswick claims expertise as a testicle breather. And I  remember the Julie Couillard relationship. The linked picture prompted George W. Bush to comment to Bernier: “Well well well, haven’t you been keeping good company”. Early signs of the sense of humour so enjoyed by Michele Obama?

Trudeau is an empty vessel? If this minority government survives beyond eighteen months, the Liberals will replace him. Chrystia Freeland or Melanie Joly anyone? Also, many in the party dream of a Mark Carney leadership bid. He is a committed Liberal. 

Jagmeet Singh is a thoroughly  decent human being but he is not Jack Layton or Tom Mulcair. Will we even have a Green Party? 

More Elections

Québec’s municipal elections take place this November.  Not enough people vote in these contests but should. These  elected officials have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives. Cars or people, garbage collection, sanitary sewers, safe drinking water, community planning, public transit, and hundreds of mundane issues get managed at  town and city halls. 

And then, there will be a Québec election. If it were held today, Barney Rubble (aka François Legault) would win in a landslide. He knows he is popular and it is leading to arrogance. The press is slowly exposing this arrogance and things could get very interesting over the next twelve months. 

Also, Legault lost a lot of brownie points for taking sides in the federal election. Ottawa’s Liberal government has money Legault wants and it will have opportunities to make him sweat. Nobody wants to go back to the dark Duplessis years. Dominique Anglade, the opposition leader, effectively skewered Legault by comparing him to a parish priest telling people how to vote during the Duplessis era. 

But enough politics

I don’t want to discuss politics for a while. I want to get back to writing about the things that interest me most. So this is my segue newsletter. It has been too long!

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