It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Monday, May 2, 2011

An Iconic Shape in Orange

Most of you won't recognize this shape instantly, but to those of us who do, the color scheme is nothing short of astonishing.

It is a shame about the polarization of Canada, but the reunification of Montreal is something to celebrate just the same.

I hope Mr. Harper doesn't turn out to be the Canadian equivalent of Scott Walker now that he has pretty much unchecked power. I am not confident of this, though.

While waiting for the axe to drop, you can still have some fun with Canada via the CBC here.


crf said...

Unfortunately, the kind of Canada Montrealers and other Quebecers showed allegiance to today does not exist anymore, as this election proves. The province's political alienation has not decreased, and Harper, with confirmation that Conservative majorities can be had without any Quebec support, has nothing to lose by alienating it further.

The alternative is separation, and I think you'll see it happen within a decade. The anti-federalist blowback from this election will be enormous in Quebec.

Michael Tobis said...

Moi, je crois que non.

All it takes is one election in which the NDP and libs cooperate, at this point, and both the Cons and first-past-the-post are dead. Harper is sure to overreach; he has shown every sign of being a Canadian Scott Walker or Rick Perry, except for the constraints of minority government.

Unlike most of North America, Montreal is an ancient city with a real sense of history. For it to find unity again is a real silver lining to the disaster. I think and hope Montreal will bide its time and stick together.

Montreal, far from wanting to secede, really wants to be re-established as the cultural and spiritual capital of Canada. Maybe the rest of Canada, the 60% who voted against this fiasco in any case, is starting to see that Toronto is a city you can build an economy on, but Montreal is a unique gem you can build a culture on.

There is much pain to be suffered in the meanwhile, but it will be a beautiful day when the Conservatives get the boot and Canada is about something other than Bay Street bankers again.

Chris Pella said...

As much as I enjoyed reading Ignatieff's books over the years he was no politician. A John Manley or a Frank Mckenna could have taken on Harper nationally, but Ignatieff was unconvincing.In Quebec, they have still not forgotten the scandals of the Chretien era, which painted all of Quebec as corrupt and made people ashamed of the political elite there. I found Ignatieff's refusal to consider a coalition just silly, although it might have been political theatre arts.
I heard several avowed separatists on CBC say that they realize there wasn't going to be another referendum soon, the BQ had lost it's raison d'etre, and they would prefer to have a social democratic voice in Ottawa, so they would vote NDP. The NDP's success had nothing to do with a retreat from separatism. I think people in Quebec are just more pragmatic then Western Canadians stereotype of them.
The centre-left received 60% of the popular vote, so if there is a realignment on that side over the next four years, things will change, especially if Harper stays in character.

Kooiti Masuda said...

Area-filled maps have impression that the quantities are proportional to area even when they are actually proportional to population. Parties which are based on rural constituencies look dominant.

Michael Tobis said...

Kooiti, yes, it is an especially severe problem in Canadian electoral maps. One should remember that the vast majority of the seats are in the ten largest cities.

However, more or less coincidentally, the urban/rural differential was small in this election, and the largest scale map which is dominated by regions which are almost uninhabited, is remarkably representative of the whole.

The centrist Liberal party, dominant in the 20th century, has been humiliated and decimated. The separatist nationalist party of French-speaking Quebec has been all but obliterated. And the social democratic NDP has arisen to form the opposition.

The notable fact about Montreal (map shown, representing perhaps 70 km in width) is that the split between English-speaking and French-speaking districts, which has for decades split the main island into an eastern and a western section, is absent.

These outcomes were not expected a few weeks ago.

Lars said...

Michael, the results of this election have serious implications for science in Canada.
Forget getting any funding for research that may present results distasteful to the Tories or their corporate allies.