Lots of folks are watching the recent gains of the Green Party at the provincial level in New Brunswick and PEI and the recent bye-election win in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. They are asking themselves if we are seeing the early beginning of a change in the political landscape.
There is no doubt that voters are disenchanted with the three old parties. You hear the same comments all the time from nonpartisans. No one except a few political partisans enjoys the nastiness we see coming from the House of Commons day after day after day.
The old parties are just that old and tired. Trudeau was elected as the new way of doing things. To say he has been a total failure would be too kind. There is nothing new in the way the Liberals under Trudeau play politics. From smearing the opposition with name calling to ignoring ethics guide lines and trying to manipulate the judicial process- same old stuff. Calling the opposition racist is just another day in politics for the Liberals dating all the way back to at least the 1990’s.
The Conservatives haven’t really offered a fresh, modern take on today’s Canada. They have yet to present an exciting vision of the future. They are still fighting the oil war that goes all the way back to Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Policy of 1980. Where are they on the key issues of the environment and climate change?
They need to take a page from Mulroney’s book and raise their profile on these two issues. While voters are promised a climate action plan, it is just that a promise of something to come.
New generations are coming up with new priorities. They haven’t offered much to millennials and they can be a key voting group. Maybe we will see something exciting in the next few months. It can’t just be about oil pipelines and taxes- they need to articulate a new vision for the Canada of the future.
The NDP should change their name to the Old Democratic Party. Same old party, same old stuff and policies. These policies haven’t put them in government federally since 1961. But they keep preaching the same stuff over and over. Without an inspiring leader like Jack Layton, the question becomes where do their voters go?
The Greens have a long way to go to convince voters that they are a viable federal party worthy of Official Opposition status or government. They have to attract some outstanding candidates (I can think of two former ministers that fit that billing).
They have to be pretty tough on who they let represent them and above all they have to convince Canadians that they stand for more than stopping pipelines and climate change.
Can they do it? The next six months will tell us if they are for real or if this is just a passing fantasy.