We have a history of political complacency in this province. Until the last election, every government since the Confederation had served at least two terms. Our complacency came to an end in 2010, when Shawn Graham’s Liberal government was soundly defeated after one term because of his many unpopular policies including the proposed sale of NB Power, the self-sufficiency agenda, and the elimination of early French immersion. We are now on the verge of another provincial election and it looks like the current Conservative government will also be defeated after one term, primarily for its blind path towards risky shale gas development and other unpopular natural resource development policies.
In a post-complacency New Brunswick, what’s next?
The traditional back-and-forth between red and blue parties has not served us well. New Brunswick has the worst economic performance of all the provinces. Our young people are moving out West at an alarming rate. Health care costs are spiralling out of control because our population is aging and, on average, we weigh more, smoke more, and drink more than the national average. Over half of New Brunswick adults don’t have the literacy levels or workplace skills they need to find jobs.
Previous and current governments have tried to fix this dire predicament using conventional thinking. The problem is that it’s conventional thinking that got us here in the first place.
We need to change the way we think about our province and our untapped potential. We need to be able to see the forest and its trees. We, the voters, need to have the courage to vote differently.
Why? Because if we change, everything changes.