Canadian history and politics #5: The Big Shift: The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics, Business, And Culture And What It Means For Our Future by Darell Bricker and John Ibbitson – 2013

The Big Shift is both an excellent and OK book. As a branded product you would create to get lots of people reading about Canadian politics, its excellent. As a source of genuine insight, with the benefit of seven years hindsight, it’s just OK.

The authors say the “Laurentian Elite” of Ontario and Quebec (think professors and journalists) is being supplanted by striving immigrants in the suburbs of Toronto, the key swing seats in federal elections. These immigrants (most of them Asian) are portrayed as austere, rule abiding and culturally conservative.

That overwrought description certainly fits those New Canadians with heavy bias to the Conservatives. But as 2015 showed, Justin Trudeau’s message of economic redistribution was a tempting vehicle for those unafflicted with P.C. loyalty. It turns out when you’re striving and fear falling you’ll step out of line and take whatever you can get.

The authors largely elide the two most unforgiving divides in Canada and in particular the GTA; your place in the job market and whether or not you own prestige real estate. But then the book wouldn’t be so digestible, so I honestly understand.

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