MORRISBURG — For over a century, Canada has had two main choices at the ballot box, Liberal or Conservative, red team or blue team. Those choices fragmented in the 1990’s with the blue team splitting into Reform and Progressive Conservatives. It did not take long after the blue team reunited for them to ascend to power. What looked like just a fragmentation of the red team after the feckless leadership of Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, and Michael Ignatieff, appears to have become a full on split of the progressives in Canada.
The NDP have finally become a viable alternative to the Liberals. The way things have been going, they are becoming an alternative to the Conservatives. It appears, to this observer, that voters may vote for change with that change being neither of the traditional parties.
Change, for the sake of change, is never a good thing. We’ve seen how that worked in Ontario with the turfing out of David Peterson by Bob Rae in 1990. This is not 1990 though. There are factors now at play that make an NDP victory much more possible, and they had nothing to do with it, directly.
For over 25 years we have seen a change in education. Schools focus now less on the basics, and more on things like indoctrination. Education now includes teaching about climate change, the rights of special interest groups, and many more social engineering programs under the modernization of the curriculum. Voters in the 18-35 age range are considered more progressive than their parents generation for the most part. That is if they vote. This is where the NDP fit in with their policies. If you look at the polices of the NDP, they dovetail nicely to the social engineering received in school.
This may sound a bit conspiracy theorist, but for it to be a conspiracy, the NDP would have had to have been involved with crafting education policies nationally for 25 years, they were not. What this does mean is that the NDP have been, since Jack Layton was leader, carefully listening to the youth in high school, college and university, and seeing what that group is interested in. The party has changed for the demographic, and it is paying off. Retail politics at its best. Couple that with the general feeling that people are fed-up with politics as usual. A pox on both parties so to speak.
Bruce Anderson and David Coletto from Abacus Data released a new trend line poll showing a consistent trend upward for the NDP, and a trend down for the Conservatives and Liberals. Even with stability (Conservatives) and a fresh faced leader (Liberals), they are still going down in the polls. This leads this pundit to believe that orange has become the new alternative, and a more permanent alternative to politics as usual.
More interviews, more stories, all about Cornwall City Councillor Brock Frost. First he was going to resign, then he wasn’t. One story to one outlet, a different one to another. It is clear from this observer that the longer Frost remains a councillor, the more churn will occur at city council, and the more distraction there is to the business of governance of the city. There is no legislation for removal of councillors unless they have been convicted of a crime and have to go to jail. We learned this with the possibility of then Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his run-ins with the law. There is the adage that says that you elect the government you deserve. I know a circus is fun to watch for a while, but four years may be a tad bit long in the tooth.
The missing announcement: Glengarry Cairn
The Conservative Member of Parliament from Leeds-Grenville, Gord Brown, made an announcement for funding to many historical sites in Eastern Ontario last week. These included 1000 Islands National Park, the Battle of the Windmill near Prescott, and Inverarden House in Cornwall, plus many other projects. One missing item, Glengarry Cairn. For those who do not know about the Glengarry Cairn, it is a large monument of stone that was erected on Cairn Island, off of the shore of Lancaster. This national historical site pays tribute to Sir John Colborne, who was Lt. Governor of Upper Canada, followed by Governor General of the Canada during the 1837-38 rebellion. This monument was built by the Glengarry Highlanders, precursor regiment to the SD&G Highlanders.
The island has been shuttered since a land claims dispute occurred in the late 2000’s. A national historical site with an unresolved treaty dispute. Had this been in Ottawa, or Montreal, or Toronto, this would not be an issue. In Eastern Ontario, the attitude is more, “who cares”. It is a part of the history of this area, where Upper Canada began, and it remains unresolved. Even without the treaty claim being resolved, there is no reason for this site to be closed. It remains a missed opportunity.