The jumping of ship of 14 NPD candidates in New Brunswick I feel is telling of what may be upcoming for this next election. It appears from my perspective that many of the lessons for both the Liberals and the Conservatives have gone unheeded since the Liberals took over from the Conservatives in the last election.
Harperism still runs rampant in the Conservative Party (a.k.a the Reform Party hostile takeover of the Progressive Conservatives). Andrew Scheer appears on the surface to be nothing more than a puppet for Harper’s old agenda and the fact that he is playing hardball with regards to this “win at all costs and to hell with what is in the best interest of Canadians” isn’t sitting right with me at all.
The problem with Scheer can be summed up by the following: Are you even capable of considering an original thought on any subject that isn’t in Stephen Harper’s ideological playbook?
On the flip side, Trudeau has always struck me as someone who is missing the real ability to lead. He is a pretty face, fluent in both languages, with a good family name who speaks to the talking points provided to him by the back-room wheelers and dealers. There have been multiple opportunities to actually respond to issues with substance as compared to talking points and yet consistently what we get is someone who is unwilling to deviate from the script even when it is obvious that by doing so there is zero forward momentum on resolving valid issues and concerns. It doesn’t help when there are remnants of Chretien’s favoritism creeping back into the narratives that make it seem as if back-room deal-making never truly went away.
The problem with Trudeau can be summed up by the following: Why won’t you just give a straight answer to the question and stop just repeating the same talking points over and over and over again already?
The problem on all sides is that our politicians are more interested in winning political points as compared to negotiating compromises and solutions to real problems facing Canadians. Ideology at the expense of doing the right thing for the right reason is not a way of managing a country.
Sometimes the Conservative approach is the best way
Sometimes the Liberal approach is the best way
Sometimes the NDP approach is the best way
Sometimes the Green approach is the best way
You need to encompass all of these perspectives in order to truly move a country in the right direction and be willing to compromise your party ideology in the best interest of the long game for Canada as a country. Winning for the sake of winning isn’t a strategy. Its a recipe for destabilizing Canada’s long term independence and fracturing those social ideas that makes Canada’s federal approach as a nation work where other countries have failed.
So back to what is happening in New Brunswick. A mass exodus like this is never just a local phenomena. There just happens to be a critical mass in New Brunswick and PEI that has allowed for a political shift to be visible. That same shift is happening across the country. The interesting thing about the Green party is that, while they are predominately left leaning, they aren’t that far left that they can’t pick up the dissatisfaction, especially by educated young people new to politics but social media wise, that cuts across all political spectrums.
It would not surprise me if we saw in November a Liberal minority government backed by a Green Party that finally has managed to achieve party status at the expense of the Liberals, NPD, and Conservatives.
The world is going to hell. We can see it daily in the increase in extremist positions that the internet drives people towards. Its easy to win an election by convincing people to vote against something. What will pull the country together is convincing people to vote for something – our future legacy.
Right now – our children are going to look upon our generation and say “what the hell – how could you not see the damage you are causing?!?” Canada is unique in that we can help be a positive driving force in a way that the US, Russia, and China never can be. We can never fulfill our potential however so long as we put ideology above substance and keep looking to the rest of the world and modelling ourselves on their bad behaviour.
I would like to think this exodus is a wake up call to our political parties that the tides are shifting. However, the cynic in me believes that until our political parties are forced to change, they are just going to see what has happened this past week as being an opportunity to cause more division in advance of the upcoming election.