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P.E.I. voters send (yet another) message to politicians everywhere

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24.04.2019

Maybe the prospect of all that outside attention being focused on their peaceful little community worried Prince Edward Islanders enough to hold off on electing the country’s first Green Party government.

Or maybe the pollsters got it wrong, again. Or maybe there was another reason voters defied indications they were about to break the cycle of Liberal and Conservative governments extending back to Confederation. Instead of making dentist Peter Bevan-Baker Canada’s first Green premier, islanders opted for Dennis King and his Progressive Conservatives, albeit in a minority situation that will give the Greens a chance to show whether they’re up to the challenges of power.

Talking about these things in the context of PEI is always a little misleading. The province has the population of a moderate-sized town anywhere else in the country. In one election district two candidates were named Matthew MacKay, but neither thought there’d be much confusion because there are only 4,000 people in the entire district and everyone knows who’s who. Expecting change to sweep across the land from P.E.I. might be just a touch ambitious.

Nevertheless, the election bears close inspection, as it reflects a microcosm of anxieties playing out not only in Canada, but across much of the Western world and beyond. Perhaps most of all, the parties, their leaders and their candidates appeared to agree that voters are fed up with the same-old same-old of professional politicians denouncing one another as the........

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