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May 2011 - Nr. 5
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, Editor-in-chief

Dear Reader

As I am writing this I am weighing what we will put into this month paper. We certainly will follow our model of bringing you reports on community events, yet the elections are important to all of us and therefore I have kept my ear to the ground. I find in this case it is more important to listen to individuals than to the rhetoric of big media or even the politicians themselves. Polls are pretty useless, as we know from the past. From the past we also know that people are disillusioned, even cynical about politics and politicians. I cannot remember one year, not even one month when I did not hear major complaints about current Prime Minister Harper and his Conservatives and how extremely to the right they have swung, how there is nothing conservative about them, that this form of government run on the country is more like a dictatorship than a democracy, and, and , and, and…still, this coalition has survived a few years and looks as though the changes might be even more undesirable than the insisted upon election wanted to remedy…or so the commentary ran.

We had a Conservative Government with Mr. Harper on the helm. His party started early in the year to run black propaganda campaigns against Mr. Ignatieff long before an election became a reality. Then we had the Liberal Party lead by Mr. Ignatieff who, granted, has grown a little in experience over the last 2 years and proofed to be an engaging speaker and proponent of democracy, something people take for granted, yet should not. Like it or not, the negative attack ads worked. We know that anything presented often enough and loud enough and not addressed and corrected will then hick up later, and even lies can be sold as truth that way.

Thus it is surprising that on the one hand people dislike the Conservatives for playing with such dirty tricks and on the other hand considered them to be the lesser of all evils, to be trusted with the stability they crave. Wasn’t it US president Thomas Jefferson who said that if people want security they forfeit their freedom? Just a thought.

Mr. Ignatieff is thought of kindly but inexperienced. He comes across as a philosophical intellectual, a teacher, which is probably what the country needs, but not necessarily at the helm of a government, people think; but it also explains why Justin Trudeau likes him so much; after all, he is a teacher too and his father certainly was intellectual. People lean towards the familiar.

Mr. Layton is the recipient of the protest vote of those Canadians, especially in Quebec, who want change, not rhetoric, but it will be hard to deliver with the now certain majority of the Conservative Party. The leading parties are at totally opposite ends of the spectrum and it will be interesting to see how they will overcome the vast territory that divides them.

So much for the people’s opinions. More involved it got in emails we received from political observers/players of the professional ilk. They even suggested that revolution is in order to save the country from a Harper style dictatorship, and some of them feel that Donald Trump would make a good president in the US of A and save the bacon of the western world. Others yet feel that no one can save us from what lies ahead and only war will pull the world out of the dire straits it finds itself in.

So, we waited for what the people have divined to be the best thing for our nation. They decided that a majority government is in order. The Conservatives won with a comfortable margin and the NDP and Jack Layton are now the official opposition, while the Liberals have lost their presence and any importance in the country. Perhaps they too have to reform themselves, like the Conservatives did through the actions of the Reform Party.

In the meantime I shall recall the pleasant festivities in our community that are still to be had in our institutions.

I also encourage you to plan on a celebratory Mothers Day and wish all a wonderful experience.
Mothers and their children
Sybille Forster-Rentmeister

P.S.: Our front page was photographed at a Kinder Fest in Brampton’s Hansa Haus. Many proud mothers were there to cheer on their awesome kids.

As the editor of Echo Germanica Sybille reflects on cultural, artistic, political and daily events within the German-Canadian landscape.

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Sybille Forster-Rentmeister, election Canada, election results, editor, editor-in-chief of Echo Germanica, comments, cultural, artistic, political, daily events, German-Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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