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JONESIE: The united states of Canada

October 22, 2019 - 3:00 PM

 


OPINION


Look at that new political map.

We're suddenly united states of Canada. A left coast of orange, a bloc of Conservatives, a bloc of separatists, a scattering of Liberals, a dollop of Green and a very interesting independent.

It was funny watching Bloc Q leader Yves-Francois Blanchet making a speech about Quebec but sounding a lot like he was speaking for the Prairies.

He said his party cares not for Canada but its own place in it. The Conservatives are once again a party of Western Alienation (plus southern Ontario, lol) and so far Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers seem to feel about the same way. 

Canadian politics is suddenly so much more interesting. How do the Liberals play this? Court the NDP? What would the NDP demand for enough loyalty to keep the government in power?

Maybe they get nothing. I don’t think working with the NDP is a given. It risks sharing the limelight and that doesn’t sound like Trudeau or the Liberals, does it? The NDP are also their truest enemy right now, pulling progressive votes into a minority Parliament. Are the Liberals really going to shut down pipelines and oilsands for them? They could get more mileage working with the Conservatives. Or simply dare other parties to bring down the government, knowing the NDP literally can’t afford another election.

Then the question is, can Trudeau handle this?

We got a glimpse of the kind of stick-handling a leader would be required to do in B.C. when we watched the Liberals, NDP and Green play with the minority in the legislature. Remember how Christy Clark flaked out and reversed a number of policies they just campaigned on in a vain effort to court the Greens and retain government?

This kind of thing isn't Trudeau's strength and I can see him handling it about as well as Clark did. She was gone within a year. Will Trudeau see another election as leader?

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results personally. Trudeau got spanked and I personally hope the Liberals consider another leader. We don’t have a Conservative government, but they are a strong opposition which is the influence I want in Parliament. They also need a new leader — and another step to the centre would be interesting, too. The NDP won’t govern either, which is fine with me, but they too will have outsize power and influence on future initiatives.

I’m also pleased smaller players like the Greens and Independent Jody Wilson-Raybould are represented and can make life difficult for everyone.

It’s how it should be. Huzzah, Canada.

Locally, however, this was perhaps the most boring election in years. In four of five ridings, it wasn’t even close with the exception of NDP Richard Cannings in the South Okanagan who appears to be one of those rare MP candidates whose fortunes don’t depend on the strength or failings of its leader.

For the rest of the ridings, we’re blue once again.

But are we really? Conservatives got elected across the board, but when you look at all the votes scattered among Liberal, NDP and Greens, these are not true blue ridings at all — not like Alberta and Saskatchewan.

It would require someone to galvanize those votes to the left of Conservatives to bring it together. Lots of people thought Terry Lake would do that in Kamloops, but he didn't even come close. Kelowna-Lake Country candidate and incumbent Steve Fuhr did that four years ago but my theory that he — and the Liberals — caught former MP Ron Cannan and local Conservatives by surprise seems to carry more weight today.

It didn't happen that way again. 

— Marshall Jones is the editor of iNFOnews.ca

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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