Andrew Coyne ends the year with a surprising -- for him -- admission. When it comes to a contest of ideas, he writes, the Left is winning:
It wasn’t until late in the year that it dawned on me: the left is winning. I don’t mean this in a partisan sense. If the NDP represents the left, it had a terrible year, fading in the polls federally, turning in a miserable showing in the Ontario election and losing two mayoral races, in Winnipeg and Toronto, it had earlier been favoured to win.
But in the contest of ideas, the left is very much on the march. Kathleen Wynne won the Ontario election on an aggressively left-wing budget/platform that not only increased spending, taxing and borrowing, but proposed the first major addition to the social safety net in decades: the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.
Elsewhere there are serious proposals on the table for a national daycare plan, a national pharmacare plan, a surge in spending on urban transit and other infrastructure. The left is doing all the running on the environment, where it is no longer taboo to talk about carbon pricing. Identity politics, with its obsessive focus on race, sex and class, dominates public discourse.
He does not come to this admission happily. But he does admit that the Right in Canada -- like their Republican brethren south of the border -- have become the Party of No:
The most the right will allow itself is to oppose this or that proposal to expand the state (when it is not proposing them itself: see “cross-border pricing,” inter alia), once it has assured itself it is on safe ground politically to do so. Occasionally it will even go so far as to roll back a policy that has already been enacted.
However true Coyne's observation might be, it does not mean the Left will win the next election. The Right does not deal in ideas. It deals in fear and smear.
Something to think about in the New Year. May everyone have a happy and healthy one.