Pay attention to EU elections

There are important elections coming up outside of the upcoming BC elections and the recently announced federal by-elections

There are important elections coming up outside of the upcoming BC elections and the recently announced federal by-elections. Whatever your opinions may be on the provincial Liberals, NDP or Greens, the differences are fairly nuanced compared to the political divide in the U.S. and other countries around the globe.

Rapidly approaching is an election in the Netherlands on March 15, followed by the French federal election on April 23.

Following the U.K. exit (or Brexit) from the European Union (EU), the elections in these core countries could mark the end of the European project.

The frontrunner in the Netherlands, possibly the only man with worse hair than Trump and who, unlike Trump, was once banned from the U.K., is a staunch Eurosceptic as is the French frontrunner.

Despite both leading the polls, chances of leading their respective countries are smaller because in the Netherlands, generally a coalition is required to form government and the other parties have largely announced they’re not willing to work with the leading party and in France two rounds of voting will likely similarly see other voters/parties unite.

However, if either or both were to form government, the end of the EU in its current form seems imminent.

While here in the Cariboo, we’re certainly a long way away from Europe, this would also significantly impact Canada and by extension BC.

As Trudeau is coming back proudly from Europe with the (almost) approved Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) that would eliminate approximately 98 per cent of tariffs between the EU and Canada, it should be asked: How long will it last?

A more distant concern would be worldwide stability. The current Pax Europaea (the relative peace experienced in Europe since World War II) is often associated with the creation of the EU.

Even beyond military conflicts, the EU appears to have had stabilizing factor on political instability: EU membership appeared to be a factor in Scotland voting to remain part of the U.K. in 2015 and would likely have a similar effect on separation attempts in the Spanish region of Catalonia.

Successful separation attempts in Europe, whether in the U.K., Spain or elsewhere, would likely embolden separatist calls in Quebec.

Regardless of your respective side on CETA, countries separating or other Canada – EU issues, upcoming elections in Europe are well worth watching. They could have a much bigger impact on Canada and BC than one might think sitting on the West Coast of North America.