Tale of two elections

By Sumantra Maitra
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 31, 2015
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Two American allies and important members of NATO and strong performing global economy, had elections in the last week and the results are startling.

In Canada, the conservative government of Stephen Harper, a bedrock of Western neo-conservatism, fell to the sharp looking, tattooed Bhangra dancing Liberal Justine Trudeau. Once described by the Conservatives as a washed up playboy, who can't play on anything else than looks, the son of Canada's most celebrated and tragic political dynasty brought the Liberals back into power in the heaviest margin, a decade after their decimation. Trudeau ran a solid liberal campaign, including platforms such as legalizing marijuana, and pro-choice and pro-abortion, and won.

His immediate first act was to stop Canadian military and air force from coordinated anti-ISIS coalition operations, and he notified U.S. President Barack Obama about it. He also said Canada is going to take a lot more refugees than Europe and the Canadian neighbors to the south, and help people fleeing persecution from Middle East as well as provide them with free medical supplies. One can see the difference with former Canadian PM Harper on almost every perceivable aspect from foreign policy interventionism to human rights to handling of the Middle Eastern cauldron and domestic policy.

On the other side, in Poland, for the first time in history, since 1991, there is no left wing party in the Parliament. The Law and Justice Party, running on a platform of Euro-scepticism and anti-migration, won heavily in the Polish parliament. For the first time, again since the end of cold war, a right wing party has won a single majority to form government and run the country. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the brother of Lech Kaczynski who died in a suspicious plane crash, declared victory, while Ewa Kopacz of the centrist Civic Platform declared defeat.

Both these elections defy logic. Stephen Harper led Canada successfully through a time of worldwide economic depression, with a dose of heavy handed austerity and fiscal discipline. Harper started off on a platform to give Canada stability from his liberal opponents who were having a civil war and infighting, which was only officially stopped by Trudeau in 2013. Harper took the country extremely right, and ultimately lost his active image to a left-bashing paranoid cynical conservative outlook, much like Tony Abbott in Australia and John Key in New Zealand. With the fall of Harper, one in the big four Conservative Anglophone government is down. That still leaves U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

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