It was 25 years ago that Brian Mulroney swept to victory with the greatest majority in Canadian history, winning over 50 seats in Quebec along the way. And while not being a Conservative and thus unable to feel some partisan pride, one can draw something from this event. Mulroney's sweep was truly national, representing constituencies from all over the country.
Joe Clark noted this at the anniversary, speaking with reporters. He said that it shows we need a government that unites Canadians instead of pitting them against each other.
It's certainly not going to come from the descendant of Clark's party, though. Stephen Harper has shown an innate ability to antagonize various regions of the country. It is no surprise as much of his politics is based on "the West getting in" This was a theme of his first election victory, when he toppled Paul Martin's government on the sponsorship scandal.
With a leader that plays this western card so well, who so clearly has a regional bias (who else sweeps a province) and is partisan in general, it's no wonder we have a more deeply divided country. And these characteristics are the reason we are in no sight of a majority government.
Neither does directing anger against Quebec for their coalition forming "separatists" provide any hope.
Although these events have effectively precluded a truly national government under Harper, Michael Ignatieff does not yet have this problem. In the next election campaign, Ignatieff needs to show that he cares about regions with traditionally lower Liberal support, such as BC. Or maybe Alberta.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009
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- ▼ September (18)