Saturday, October 14, 2017

Justin, Jagmeet, and the Triumph of the Millennial Voter

It's that time of the year. The leaves are finally turning red, the nights are suddenly cool. After one of my the wildest summers ever, it's time to put away the boat.

And prepare for winter in the Great White North.


But the changing of the seasons can be beautiful where I live.

And this year I also get to celebrate the changing of the generations.

Or as Edward Greenspon and Paul Adams write, celebrate the triumph of the millennial voter. 

With his victory as the eighth leader of the federal New Democratic Party, Singh makes official what Justin Trudeau’s October 2015 election first heralded: a rare and profound generational change in Canada’s political life. So rare, in fact, that Pierre Trudeau’s victory in 1968 marked the last time this happened. Everything that happened in federal politics for the next 47 years was either derivative of his views — or a reaction against them.

For while I don't believe Jasmeet Singh is the New Messiah, he's a welcome addition to the Canadian political scene, I like him.

And at the very least he might be able to drag the NDP kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

For example, I noticed that during his acceptance speech he didn't attack Justin Trudeau once, or even mention his name.

Unlike this old loser... 

Who attacked Trudeau like a rabid hyena or a Con, and all but drowned the idealism of the NDP in his angry bile. 

But Singh won't make that mistake, for he is part of a new generation who reject that kind of approach, and he will change the way politics is practiced in this country. 

Generational change means the emergence of a new worldview — a zeitgeist, if you like — that changes not only who holds power but how they govern. In his 1923 essay, The Problem of Generations, sociologist Karl Mannheim argued that generational change is borne out of major social and historical developments shared by an emerging group that creates an original and distinctive consciousness.

He's part of the generation most responsible for defeating the Cons in the last election, and handing Justin his majority...

According to an analysis by Abacus, had the electorate been limited to boomers only, the Liberals and Conservatives would have ended up in a dead heat. But among millennials, the Liberals’ margin of victory came from shellacking the Conservatives 44 per cent to 21 per cent (with the NDP at 25 percent).

The generation that will shape our future more than any other.

Here is a hugely potent political fact about millennials: In the 2019 federal election, they will be the largest cohort of eligible voters, finally displacing the boomers who have held the title since 1979 — a period of 40 years. And their dominance will grow for many elections to come.

And the one that will hopefully finish off Andrew Scheer's creepy Cons... 

In 2016, Abacus asked millennials about their voting intentions; sixty-seven per cent said they would not consider supporting the Conservatives.

The Conservatives find themselves offside with millennials in the run-up to a 2019 generation election in which this rising generation will eclipse the boomers as the largest voting bloc in Canada. Should millennials also retain their recent propensity to actually turn out at the polls, the cost of being offside with them could be extremely high.

For not only do most millennials hate bigots, sexist pigs, and religious fanatics.They have no time for the angry old Cons, or some of the grim progressives who infest this country...

And would turn it into a place where hope goes to die.

For no matter how dire their situation, or how desperate the state of the planet they have inherited, millennials know that only hope can fuel the struggle for the future.

Paradoxically, although they expressed the fear during the last election that weak economic growth, student debt and precarious employment were condemning them to an economic status inferior to that of their parents’ generation, they also have demonstrated have an unshakeable confidence in their long-term prospects.

And they will help create a better world for people of all ages.

And the best thing is, there is NOTHING anybody can do about it.

The sun is setting on one political generation...

And rising on another.

Five years ago during the Quebec Student Strike, I first saw what the millennial generation was capable of doing when united in pursuit of a political goal.

The forces of repression were able to put down their revolt, with tear gas and clubs. But not any longer.

Now they are stronger than ever. 

They will storm the barricades.

And they will change the world...


  1. Anonymous2:41 AM

    Singh just better not siphon votes from Justin and the Liberals like the Sanders cult spoiled the vote for Hillary, or Scheer will waltz right through the split -- and everyone but the crotchety old cons and their frat-boy acolytes will be not only crying over sour milk but getting sick on it. The ideal outcome would be the Liberals in majority and NDP in opposition as a social-democratic counterweight, with the Crappers a distant third sitting in dunce caps in permanent time-out. Scheer is 38 going on 83, and the more he keeps bringing hipster Nazi douchebros like Gavin McInnes and Dane Lloyd into his circus-tent-revival cult, the uglier he and the GOP North really do look. The cons need to be put out of commission once and for all, so that sunny ways can reign in Canada at the same time Trump (who is showing evident signs of dementia) begins to "sundown" just like the decaying USA.

    1. Anonymous10:09 AM

      Yankee, I really like Simon but he is dead wrong on Singh and even more dead wrong on the ndp. They were the hogs that kept Stephen Harper in power for nearly a decade, and in the final weeks of 2015 made a valiant effort to give him another few years when they saw that the evil Trudeau beast would win.
      In 2005 Paul Martin passed the most progressive budget in Canadian history, it included universal daycare. Ken Dryden had signed deals with every province (no small feat) and they were already rolling out spaces by the time that Layton got with Harper to pull down Martin. Layton then spent the entire campaign attacking Martin, he got an extra 10 seats, the country got Harper, who promptly tore up the deal for universal daycare and the Kelowna Accord. Layton continued this strategy in 2008 vs Dion, and in 2011 he held off from attacking Harper on contempt of parliament for fear that he would push voters over to Michael Ignatieff. He also lied about the fact that he was dying of cancer, giving Canada Thomas Mulcair as leader of the opposition less than a year later. In 2015 his wife ran to knock off progressive Liberal Adam Vaughan in Spadina-Fort York saying that she was doing it so could finally bring us universal daycare. Jaws dropped across Canada, knowing that she as an MP voted to tear down Martin in 2005 on her husband's directive.
      I don't care much for Singh, he has made his religion central to his campaign and then his surrogates get butthurt when asked about it. People were trying to drag Terry Milewski and call him racist for asking Singh to condemn people who saw the Air India mastermind as a martyr and he just could not do it, he actually floated an insane conspiracy theory instead. He's playing nice now, but he will be getting with Scheer soon to attack the Liberals, no doubt in my mind there. Simon is a good and honest blogger, so when it happens he will call it out, no doubt.

    2. Hi anon 2:41....there is a danger that Jagmeet Singh could split the vote and allow the Cons to win some seats, but at this point at least I don't think it's a major threat. For while he could take some seats from the Liberals in places like Toronto and Vancouver, he could also take votes from the Cons, and in Quebec the NDP could lose a lot of seats to the Liberals, so it coul all balance out in the end. Singh is also untested, and is vulnerable on a number of issues, and Justin Trudeau is still very popular and has the weight of history behind him. Few incumbent prime ministers are thrown out after one mandate...

    3. Hi anon 10:09... The facts you reel off are all true. But I try to save all my criticisms for the Cons. What I like about Singh is that he isn't a pit bull like Mulcair, so I believe he will challenge Justin on a higher plane and that could be good for both of them. Having said that I am very happy with the Trudeau government's first two years in power. I believe the Con media and some on the left have been very unfair to him. He may not be perfect, but who is? And he has done a good job of demolishing the dark legacy of Harper, and has magically transformed Canada's image in the eyes of the world, which means a lot to me. And as long as he embodies my Canadian values, and is the candidate best able to defeat the Cons, I will both encourage and support him...

    4. Anonymous10:47 PM

      Simon, we need to hit back sometimes at the ndp for the con helpers that they are. In my opinion, anyone who helps Andrew Scheer cannot call themselves progressive. It is the bobblehead Cullen now smearing Bill Morneau. I told you, man. They just want things to be as shit as possible so they can assume their revolutionary posture.
      Notley is great though, I will give you that.

  2. Well Simon, its an interesting outlook for sure. But a few points to consider.. For one - how did Singh 'win' the federal NDP leadership? He emulated Patrick Brown via signing up more party memberships that would vote for him, than his competitors. Is that a sign of a healthy Party? I don'r recall how the Liberals elected a leader, internally, but will inform myself.

    As your commentor points out correctly, Singh could split the vote, allowing a complete feeb like Scheer to creep into power. And just look at the 'senior election advisor' crew Patrick Brown has been 'gifted' with to take Ontario.. Alykhan Velshi, Hamish Marshall.. and say what? Dimitri Soudas? All the Harper rump weiners gsthering to capture Ontario ! Goodness gracious eh?

    And out west that 'great albertan' cowpoke Jason the Kenney is poised to capture Alberttawa, & the golden fleece tar sands.. and be the queen of the frackers.. To Tidewater We Must Go !

    Meanwhile, in beautiful BC a concerto of NDP & Greens are trying to figure out how badly a LIBERAL government aka Christy Clark aka a subset of the old Harper REFORMATORY pastiche managed to sell out their province.. (well of course Gordon Campbell had opened the fortress doors to Harper) So its like political parties can just rebrand, change their sweaters & make a lot of fantasy unicorn election promises.. and hire a lot of pollsters on a daily basis.

    I'm a little short on the dirt from the Maritimes or Quebec or the Territories.. but eager to learn 'how its done' and yes I have had a whiff of Bad Brad Wall & that Palliser guy who's offshored prairie politics & 'governing' to Mexico or the Florida Keys - supervised on site.. by himself !

    Let me know when young middle aged Justin gets around to repairing the environmental protection legislation Harper trashed, or electoral change.. or actually enhancing or even enforcing SARA.. Yes, that government mandate to actually 'act' regarding species identified as targeted for extinction.. especially those rare ones that live in the water, on the land or in the air.. which might some day soon include all of us. All it takes is the Minister to say its so.. which we can assume the PM can just tell the Minister to say its so.. So what is the problem here Mr Justin Trudeau eh ? ?

    1. Anonymous9:57 AM

      The Liberals changed their rules and allowed for someone to sign up as a supporter free of charge to vote in their leadership. It was the first time in my life I ever signed up for anything political and I did it to vote for Trudeau whom I saw as high risk, high reward and the perfect person to take down Harper. My siblings and several friends and colleagues did the exact same thing, we were all involved in one way or another in 2015. The fact the the Liberals did not have to pay canvassers and phone canvassers early days like the ndp did suggests that this was a pretty widespread thing. It looks like all us will be back in 2019 so I would say the 2012-13 leadership exercise was a good one.

    2. Hi salamander....I don't want you or others to get the idea that I'm sitting happily on a cloud and thinking that everything is great. I'm not, I might be perched on my usual cloud, but when I look down I see some very bad things happening, or about to happen. I find the country convulsed by greed and a cynical bitterness, just as a new and monstrous strain of right-wingitis spreads and infects our country. So while I am concerned that Jagmeet Singh's excellent adventure could end up badly, and I am horrified by the way some people attack Justin Trudeau, and even claim he's worse than Harper. I hope that the arrival of a new generation will boost our collective strength to defend our precious Canadian values...

    3. Hi anon...I had almost forgotten how the Liberals changed the rules, and what a brilliant move it turned out to be. But then I voted for the NDP AAAAAARGh!!! ;) Still I was very happy with the way Justin took the wheel of this country, and started steering us in a much better and brighter direction. And barring some unexpected development I'm planning to vote for him next time...

    4. Anonymous10:49 PM

      I forgive you your dipper spoiler vote now that you have seen the light. Trudeau is a great Prime Minister.

  3. Anonymous10:45 AM

    As a baby boomer I'm proud that I was able to avoid becoming an old angry white person who blames their lot in life on everything but themselves. I've struggled, I've thrived, I've survived. I've adapted to a changing world and watched once good friends regress along with the once respectable Conservative party into the ugliness it has become today.
    Knowing that the majority of millenials are not mired in the Cons hateful, divisive agenda is a beautiful thing. It ensures that these so called Conservatives have no place in determining ours and our childrens future. They were brought up well and will determine their own.

    1. Anonymous1:45 PM

      The only problem is if the Millennials have an ADHD flare-up, can't make up their mind and don't appreciate the importance of strategic voting. Canada will end up with 2016 redux, with Jagmeet Sanders sucking up enough oxygen to spoil it for "unlikable disappointment" Justin Rodham-Clinton.

      The alt-right descriptions of him are even worse, in that there's a not-so-subtle homophobia attached to them. But they eerily mirror the party-before-country fauxgressives' portrayal of him, albeit for different reasons. What do they both call him? "Hillary in a dress."

      It's that subset of the millennials that I greatly fear. The alt-right extremists who think fascism is "for the lulz," and the unstable, fair-weather and fickle insurgent left who falls prey to their traps because they're spoiling for a fight and always end up letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. The 4chan types admire Putin even more than they do Trump, and want Trudeau thrown in a Chechen concentration camp along with every refugee he's ever let in. They will stop at nothing to see their goal realized, even if it means posing as fauxgressives to persuade fence-sitters who voted Liberal in 2015 to throw away their vote on the NDP or simply stay home. There is no telling how many Trump supporters infiltrated the Sanders cult, which was already a gaggle of swirly-eyed, emotion-driven, first-time-voting college kids. There's no telling how many Rebel Media fanatics and Russian trolls are going to try and tip the election the same way this time around too.

    2. Hi JD...I hope I didn't make this post sound like a criticism of the boomer generation, because that was certainly not my intention. I can honestly say that the boomers have shaped me more than any other generation, and I adore them --and their music!!
      Unfortunately some of them have become angry and bitter, which is why I'm glad the millennials are arriving to give us all a boost, and better prepare us to face the invasion of the Trumpkins and other right-wing scum. The battle ahead will be a brutal one, but we will defeat those fascists, and young and old will celebrate together, to the sound of mostly boomer music... ;)

    3. Hi anon 1:45 pm...some millennials will have to be educated about the hard realities of politics, and the danger of splitting the vote. And since I herded about half a dozen of my most politically apathetic friends to the polls during the last election, I know that can be a bit like herding cats. But they did vote, and so did a lot of others, so I am confident that they will do so again, especially since the right-wing menace has never been greater. And yes, although I'm pretty quiet, and a bit of a dreamer, when it comes to fighting the fascist bastards, I believe in fighting fire with fire, and taking no prisoners...

    4. Anonymous11:04 PM

      Simon 8:24PM,
      In no way did I think you were criticizing boomers but feel free to have at the ones that fall into the cranky old bastards catagory, I know I do, everyday.
      And you are bang on about the music. In 20 years it will still be as relevant as it is today.
      Rock on my friend.

    5. hi JD...well I do know a couple of cranky boomers who try to annoy me as much as possible. But that's OK because I go out of my way to annoy them. But I do try to disarm them, by offering them a chance to hear selections from my amazing collection of boomer music. Like a never before heard song from The Dave Clark Five... ;)