OPINION: We are about to enter an era of elections

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
OPINION: We are about to enter an era of elections

They talk about “election season” but what we are about to enter will truly be an era or an age of elections in our region.

Elections are more than just the day you cast your ballot. Any election will consist of a (sometimes lengthy) campaign season, and of course the gamesmanship that comes before the campaign where parties or candidates begin spending or signaling their stances on particular issues.

Buzz has been growing for months that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will call a late summer/ early autumn election.

If a federal election does indeed come to pass, then I think shortly after that we’ll be gearing up for a provincial election. The last provincial election was on June 7, 2018 which brought Doug Ford to power, so whether he wants it or not, Ford will have to call an election within nine months of the federal election.

Just months after a prospective provincial election, we will have a municipal election. The last municipal elections were at the end of October 2018.

Seeing as we are on the cusp of a full year of election season, after election season, after election season, now seems like a good time to take a look at the lay of the land.

Starting at the federal level, I’d say that locally, MP Eric Duncan is probably pretty secure. He has the incumbent’s advantage and throughout his first term he has been engaged locally and visible even in the age of social distancing.

Furthermore, Duncan has found an issue at the federal level that he has been able to bring national attention to, the gay blood ban. Duncan has been critical of the Liberal government’s failure to lift this discriminatory ban for more than a year now and I think that Duncan’s advocacy on this issue has been one of the bright spots of the Conservatives current term in Opposition.

All that being said, I think Trudeau’s position is relatively secure. Erin O’Toole has failed to rally support amongst his own party let alone the nation. I think we’ll either see another minority Liberal government or even another Liberal majority.

Provincially, the COVID-19 pandemic has done a lot to take much of the shine off of Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives who surged to a majority government last election after over a decade in the political wilderness.

This is one where everything will be decided on the campaign trail and it will be up for grabs for any of the three major parties, I think.

The political landscape is most uncertain at the local level. When former Mayor Bernadette Clement was appointed to the Canadian Senate, local politics in Cornwall was upended.

When Clement was elected to the Mayor’s seat in 2018 she won more votes than the next two candidates combined. I think that if she wanted to run for another term she would have one again handily and rightly so, she did a great job as our mayor with strong leadership and effective communication.

Long-time Cornwall Councillor Glen Grant was elevated to Mayor last month but has said that he won’t be seeking re-election. He won’t be the only familiar face who won’t be returning. Nearly half of Council have indicated publicly that they won’t be seeking re-election.

With this many expected departures, this leaves open the chance for new personalities with new ideas to come forward to fill the void, nature after all abhors a vacuum.

It is still a long way off, but those thinking of getting in the race should start thinking about it now.

How do you feel about the upcoming elections? Email me a Letter to the Editor at nseebruch@seawaynews.media

Share this article