“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
-Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5
Would Macbeth have said the same about the Canadian federal election of 2021? While the campaign was certainly full of sound and fury, in the end, did it all signify nothing? Listen to what 3 members of our politics panel — businesswoman Jenny Lanciault, former mayor Sylvia Sutherland, and editor Donald Fraser — conclude as they weigh the timing, the campaign events, and the outcome. On the national level, perhaps Macbeth was right. We have wound up with almost the same seat count per party as at dissolution back in August.
But in our Peterborough-Kawartha riding, we have lost our bellwether status as Conservative Michelle Ferreri ousted Liberal Maryam Monsef. Our panel looks at the dynamics of the local race: the high points, the disappointments, the discoveries, the gaffes and the anger. How much did Trudeau’s decision to hold this election hurt the Liberal vote? What is to be made of the People’s Party of Canada surge in votes, both nationally and in our own riding? Why wasn’t justice for Indigenous people more of a campaign issue? In this election, 2,618 fewer voters cast their ballots for Maryam Monsef as compared to the 2019 election. Why? Where did all those voters go? Who did they vote for? Or did they just stay home? Did Monsef’s ministerial duties take her too far away from the needs of her own constituents? What will happen when Michelle Ferreri reveals her Red-Tory opinions to her Conservative caucus colleagues in Ottawa?
While a largely unchanged parliament will resume sitting on October 18th and continue to plod through the nation’s business, federal politics in our riding will look very different. We will have a new member of parliament sitting with the opposition instead of a seasoned cabinet minister representing us. How will this change influence federal decisions that affect our riding? How will this change affect the issues of housing, poverty, economic development and infrastructure development or the meta-issues of reconciliation and climate change? This panel discussion was recorded online on September 23rd.