Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Big Shift by Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson

The Big Shift by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson has been on the bestseller lists for many weeks, and continues to be there.  This is remarkable for a work about Canadian political ideology, and its popularity is an indication of readability and an interesting thesis. 

The "big shift" that Bricker and Ibbitson speak of is demographic, ideological, and geographical.  They point out that for most of our history Canada has been governed by the political, media, and business elites of Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal; what they call the "Laurentian Consensus".  They maintain that power has shifted  and point to these indicators: Western Canada has increased in population, wealth and power;  suburbanites in eastern Canada are more concerned with economic than social issues and are aligning themselves with western conservatives; and immigrants from Asia, India and China are bringing with them conservative viewpoints and are also aligning themselves with the west.

Bricker and Ibbitson conclude that this big shift has resulted in Canada becoming polarized in ways that have never happened before.  Only those who understand this shift, whether political or economical, will be able to capitalize on the tremendous changes it will bring.

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