Our self-declared social and political elite is like the air we breathe or the proverbial water around fish; it seems so natural as to be unnoticeable
National institutions and dominant elites can fail when they don’t accommodate change, or become severely detached from the lives of average citizens. In Canada, this has been the rule rather than the exception for the past 50 years, and the Laurentian Elite is largely to blame.
But what is, and who are, the Laurentian Elite? How can they be so important if they don’t even have a Wikipedia page? Our self-declared, dominant Canadian social and political elite is like the air we breathe or the proverbial water around fish; it seems so natural as to be unnoticeable.
Journalist and author John Ibbitson coined the term in a seminal 2011 article, later expanded into a book, The Big Shift. He defined the “Laurentians” as “the political, academic, cultural, media and business elites” of central Canada.
Ibbitson and co-author Darrell Bricker argued that the 2011 federal Conservative majority, achieved via the alignment of Western Canada and ex-urban Ontario, represented a major rearrangement of our electoral landscape. Subsequent events however, suggest that, if a shift is happening, it may be long and painful.
Ibbitson cites and credits the historical accomplishments of central Canada’s elites, from the National Policy and the St. Lawrence Seaway to what he terms the “national social security system.” He is unduly kind.
For the rest of this column: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/1206-ed-weissenberger?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1575569212