Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Canadian Election Could Doom NAFTA

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Canadian Election Could Doom NAFTA

Article excerpt

We know now angry Americans are - joblessness, lawlessness and more. It's a global phenomenon. John Major is the most unpopular prime minister in modern British history. Likewise for President Francois Mitterrand in France. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is in a slump. Maybe Italy is in the best political shape in Europe because it has next to no national government at all. Japan recently experienced a revolution of its own, where voters expressed their revulsion with the entrenched power structure.

Canada, our kindred spirit and great trading partner to the north, joins the list of the intensely disaffected. The ruling Conservatives had 153 seats in the old Parliament and dropped to a paltry two - just a couple of heartbeats from extinction. In no established democracy has a governing party ever taken such an incredible shellacking. The Liberals shot up to 178 from 79 and will assume office.

The opposition role will be played by two parties that appeal only to regional constituencies. The Bloc Quebecois, with 54 seats (up from eight), becomes the not-so-loyal opposition since it wants Quebec to secede. The Reform Party, which operates exclusively in Canada's western provinces, grew from one vote in the old Parliament to 52. The Reformers don't want to break away from the national government; they simply want the national Canadian government to go away entirely, in Perot-like style.

According to the financial press, business groups that were the exclusive preserve of the Conservatives now back the newly elected Liberals, the party of national health care and governmental activism. Indeed, the Canadian stock market reacted favorably to the annihilation of the party of business.

With so many philosophical cross currents at play, it's hard to analyze the election results in strictly rational political terms. The overwhelming sentiment was to knock out anyone who was in. For those who argue that term limitations are the only way to unseat powerful incumbents, the Canadian results constitute a stunning rebuttal. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.