The last few months have seen an unusual concentration of elections--in Canada, the United States and elsewhere. Some have brought change while others have reinforced trends in place for some time. Much of this issue of Inroads is devoted to assessing the significance of these election results.
Quebec and Ontario both elected new and more conservative governments. Sweden and New Brunswick struggled to form governments as their elections ended in deadlock. Hungary and Turkey reelected their "electoral authoritarian" leaders. Brazil elected a new far-right president. Italy's election resulted in a coalition of two populist parties. And Americans elected a Democratic House of Representatives while Republicans retained the Senate.
Eric Montigny suggests that Quebec's October 1 vote may turn out to be a "realignment election." With the Coalition Avenir Quebec's victory and the rise of Quebec Solidaire, Quebec now has a multiparty system--one no longer defined by the division between sovereigntists and federalists. Eric's election analysis is accompanied by two articles on major issues the new government will face. Geoffrey Kelley, who served as minister responsible for Indigenous affairs in the former Liberal government, outlines some of the challenges for the new minister. Following up on her article on Quebec's Action Plan on poverty in the last issue, Ruth Rose looks at the pros and cons of a guaranteed minimum income.
In Ontario, Zack Taylor focuses on the influence of geography on the results. The victorious Conservatives swept southern Ontario's rural areas while the NDP was dominant in the cities. Zack highlights the dangers inherent in this polarization, which reflects trends throughout the Western world as noted in our reports from Europe and the United States elsewhere in this issue.
A major section looks at Europe from the U.K. to Turkey, where such polarization is much in evidence. While the U.K. did not have an election in 2018, it faces a growing political crisis over Brexit. Eric Shaw explains how Brexit is tearing both major parties apart. In his column, Reg Whitaker also takes on Brexit, suggesting a second referendum as a possible way out.
Olof Kleberg and Richard Murray identify the obstacles facing Sweden in its quest to form a government following its deadlocked election. Giorgio Malet explains how Italy ended up with an unlikely coalition of the Five Star Movement and the League. Zsuzsanna B. Magyar examines the populist...