Friday, October 23, 2015

Youthquake

Link

2015 represents a generational shift in Canadian politics. Voters woke up on Tuesday morning to find that the most powerful people in their government were all under 45. Voter turnout surged seven percent this election, which is shocking for an election not contested on a central national issue like the conduct of a war or the implementation of a major economic policy.

The source of those votes is even more shocking. In one advance poll project, 70,000 students turned out. It is perhaps perfectly Canadian that nobody noticed its "youthquake" until it was over. Nonetheless, that is what happened. The boomers no longer control Canada. That fact is, in and of itself, a transformation to the underlying structure of Canadian political life.

Youth wanted the old Canada back, it turns out. Political strategy led the Conservative party into dark corners this election [..] Whether or not he intended it, Stephen Harper turned the 2015 election into a referendum on Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is the 1982 Canadian Constitution brought into effect by Justin Trudeau's father, Pierre. Justin's election was not just a matter of using his father's name recognition. It's not the same as a Clinton or a Bush running for President. It would be closer to a Washington or a Jefferson. The name Trudeau is synonymous with the founding document of the new Canada, and now it is synonymous with its enduring power.

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I love it. Harper tried very hard to "pull a Netanyahu" for this election, but it didn't work. Lovely.