The May 2011 federal election was a political watershed. In Inroads 30, some of Canada’s most knowledgeable observers reflect on what changed in Canadian politics as a result of the election. Reg Whitaker concludes that there is a centre-left majority in Canada that requires cooperation between the Liberals and the NDP for effective political expression. Garth Stevenson argues that the NDP’s imperative is not to cooperate with the Liberals but to displace them permanently as a viable alternative to the governing Conservatives. Dominic Cardy looks to the way Tony Blair transformed the British Labour Party for a model of how the NDP needs to change. Focusing on the Conservatives, Tom Flanagan suggests that Quebec will no longer drive the federal political agenda.
Under a Liberal-NDP temporary strategic coalition the parties would agree not to run candidates in constituencies in which the other party is incumbent and, should the parties form a government, they would implement PR.
In the immediate postwar period, Quebec enjoyed substantial advantages. It exploited them to meet short-term objectives as laid out by Fortin. The consequence was the dilapidation of human, social, cultural and economic capital.
Something very important has happened: the disintegration of the political centre. One need not have any loyalty or emotional attachment to the Liberal Party to conclude that this is not necessarily good news.
How Canadians felt about a handful of issues – Afghanistan, the long gun registry, Quebec’s place in the constitution and the role of the private sector in health care – had measurable effects on their 2011 vote choice.
The latest revision of Quebec’s electoral map should have taken less than a year, but took four. Efforts by the Commission de la Représentation Électorale to make boundaries reflect population were stymied by the PLQ and PQ.
The streetcar city may have been the best way human beings have found to build aspirational urban fabric. Adjusted for our times, the pre-Motordom city can serve as the model for the post-Motordom city.