On again, off again, single issue UKIP leader Nigel Farage says …
… and one has to ask, Is that all it was?
Did it all ~ Brexit, Donal Trump, the rise of populism and nativism in Europe and America ~ actually start in Canada in 2015? We had in 2015 about as close to a fiscally responsible, socially progressive and economically and politically conservative government as anyone in the West could imagine. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was, pretty much along with German Chancellor Merkel, smack dab in the middle of e.g. Obama to Cameron political spectrum. Did Canadians really want to move towards a free spending leftish government or did they simply want change? Had Prime Minister Harper (like opposition leader Mulcair) simply outlived his welcome? Were Canadians just tired of a Conservative government and ready and willing to change just for the sake of change? Is that really what is happening in Germany as Chancellor Merkel fights for a fourth term? Is she not, as Vice President Joe Biden said, all that remain of the “international liberal order,” but instead just an old politician with whom the public has grown too familiar and, indeed, bored?
Just a few years ago the US led West was, pretty reliably, progressive, open and, Canada (and a few others) excepted, free spending. Suddenly we have President elect Trump, nativism and neoisolationism and Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Trudeau are the “odd couple” and the “odd man (and woman) out.”
I’m guessing that Chancellor Merkel will be replaced in the fall of 2017, possibly by a populist, nativist, nationalist, equally possibly by a fiscal and social moderate: not because Germans disapprove of all or even most of her policies ~ although there is considerable angst over refugees, as there should be and as there should be here in Canada, too ~ but, rather, because Germans just want change.
We, Canadians, didn’t get REAL change, but we did get a new face on good, sound, old Conservative policies. Policies do matter: the voters in Saskatchewan could have had change, but they stuck with Premier Brad Wall; the voters in Manitoba did want REAL change and they elected Brian Pallister. I do not believe Canadians voted for Justin Trudeau for his promises but, in the main, because he was the bright, shiny, new kid on the block. They were tired of good, solid, even stolid government. They voted for change, all right, but a change of face more than a change of policy. Americans did vote for a change in direction; ditto the Brits in 2015. In the latter case it was an “informed” vote based on a growing sense that Britain had made a wrong choice decades before. In America’s case it was, I think, just a natural evolution away from an excess of progressivism and back towards a more familiar, traditional and comfortable model … which may have never really existed at all, expect in millions and millions of imaginations.
It is my
belief considered opinion that Canadians hold to generally moderate social, economic and political views. They want periodic changes in emphasis, not, necessarily, in direction. The key to electoral success for both the Conservative and Liberal parties is to understand that moderation has a range: it is possible to be a moderate and to want to see reduced spending and lower taxes; it is possible to be a moderate and to want to preserve and enhance traditional Canadian social values; it is possible to be a moderate and to want to see a principled foreign policy that is given weight by an effective military; and it is possible to be a moderate and to question the cult of multiculturalism.