By: John Ployer
Editor’s Note: John Ployer is the business manager of The Cadre and the Vice President Finance and Administration of the UPEISU. Ployer was invited by The Cadre to write this article, however, we wish to remind readers that the UPEISU does not and will not influence the content that is published by The Cadre. Only the Editorial Board will determine the content that is published in The Cadre.
On monday night the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), a party just 7 years old, won the Quebec provincial election by a landslide. François Legault’s CAQ overthrew the Liberal Premier Phillippe Couillard and annihilated Jean-Francois Lisee’s separatist Parti Quebecois.
This election was historic not only because both the Liberals and Parti Quebecois suffered their worst defeats to date, or the fact that the CAQ has never been the winning party before. Instead, it was because Quebec Solidaire, a radical left wing party, won 10 seats, 1 more than the venerable Parti Quebecois.
The fact that a bunch of fringe lefties from Montreal broke into the mainstream at the same time that Legault, the millionaire former CEO of Air Transat got elected Premier goes to show that Quebec wanted change and were willing to go with unconventional parties to get there.
At this point, Quebec isn’t the exception to politics in 2018. It’s the rule.
Here in Canada, records and traditions are getting broken all over the place. Just last week across the bridge in New Brunswick the Progressive Conservatives and Liberals both failed to win the majority of seats. This leaves the balance of power in the hands of the Green Party and the People’s Alliance. Both of these parties are pretty new to the scene, but the People’s Alliance (PA) took the spotlight by breaking the ultimate NB taboo; they questioned the laws around bilingualism in Canada’s only bilingual province. For their audacity, they were rewarded with 3 seats from Anglophone NB and the key to power in the legislature.
In June, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives won by a landslide in Ontario, despite a united front of Liberals and NDP to stop him. Loud, rough, and cosmopolitan, he’s not your traditional Canadian politician. He was the target of every piece of bad press that could be thrown at him, yet this platform was found attractive to the disgruntled suburbs of his native Toronto and this allowed the PCs to end 15 years of Liberal dominance.
It seems that everywhere you go old and traditional politicians are fighting for their lives and new and original ones are stepping up.
I watched the polls and the live coverage for all these elections, and what interested me is that it seems that no one quite predicted results this revolutionary.
And this isn’t just a Canadian affair.
This state of constant surprise all started when Donald Trump took the world by shock, securing the presidency despite all the polls contrary. As unpredictable as he is, it seems that the voters are as equally hard to read in 2018.
Now, in 2018 America there are dozens of primaries going on across the country. Republican candidates spend their time debating who worships Trump the most, and Democrats are debating who can be the most radical comrade. Everywhere you look the traditional politicians are being squeezed out. Even the biggest left-winger in the Senate, Diane Feinstein, is in for the fight of her life, having to fend off an even more radical opponent in the state of perpetual outrage: California.
Perhaps they deserve this. Perhaps some Parties have had it too good for too long. In an age of financial insecurity, mental health crises, and topics like immigration constantly dividing us to the point of civil war (slight exaggeration), perhaps it’s good that the public is more and more choosing those with new approaches to the problems of today.
Now might be a good time to remind you that within the next year we’ll be having midterm elections in the USA, a federal election in Canada, and a provincial election in our own PEI.
So in a world where it seems anyone can get elected and ideas that were once radical or off-limits are now being shouted from the rooftops, how should you handle elections in 2018?
I have just one simple tip: say whatever you want, vote however you like, but don’t let any result surprise you.
Photo by: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press