So, Ontario is one week away from municipal elections. In the past two and a half years, or so, we have had, in the Western world, Brexit, the 2016 Presidential election, numerous elections in Western Europe, including Sweden, and a provincial election in Ontario and Quebec, all with populist/right leanings.
Change has been the motif, as has a swing to the right of the political spectrum. In Europe, fueled by the migrant crises, people are turning their backs on the post WWII world order, that marched progressively towards globalism and away from tribalism. Then came 2016. Much of that thinking was rejected. Sadly, somehow, intelligent, educated opinions of scientists and experienced policy makers, were branded as equal to the top echelon of business elite, who control and manage the vast majority of wealth in the western world, and increasingly, in the developing and emerging markets. The result, was a repudiation of the people who saved our economic world as we know it, in the debt crises, by associating them with the poor business management that landed us there.
Borders are closing, as walls are allegedly being built and tariffs only solidify a narrow minded, nationalistic view of the world. Those who have sold these changes, have shone brighter than gold, accompanied by simple answers, rude rhetoric and in many cases, plain old lies. However, we as an electorate have bought it, hook, line and sinker. It will of course, swing back, but at what cost?
Ontario is about to embark upon a municipal election. Answers that are given in municipal campaigns, with the exception perhaps of massive municipalities like the GTA, do not really affect the world so much, however, they affect local citizens. Will the pattern continue? Will the electorate turn to new voices who offer simple solutions and dazzle and glitter, over the old guard, who preach patience and speak in terms of long term visions, practical planning and realities of municipal governance? I guess we will know, at this time next week. If nothing else, do get out and vote.