I am finding more and more as we get closer and closer to the drop of the writ for the Sept 27,2010 election here that there is an interesting trend occurring. This trend is the increasing amount of discussion over language rights and sign language laws in this province.
I am not certain exactly certain what the point is of this being an issue for one side the other i understand why they want it to be an issue however i do not feel that even they would be best served by making it an issue either.
On one hand we have the Anglo Society which wants nothing less then the complete elimination of bilingualism in this province. This has less than no chance of succeeding as the Human Rights act has been written in such a way as to include NB bilingualism meaning that only a court order or a change at the federal level could eliminate this from our lives. So while i see why they would love to have this as a feature in this election and they feel that a position in their favour by any party could sway significant votes to that party, no party will touch it because they have no hope of changing it and outside of a extremely vocal minority there is very little support for it. Any party grasping on to this position could probably gain a seat or two maybe even up to four in the south east portion of the province however they would lose major support in other areas. It is a position that could change the face of an election but for the party that took their position not likely for the better.
On the other hand we have the group from Quebec that is pushing bilingual sign laws. This group will find little to no benefit in any way from this becoming an election issue. Unless they are being paid by a local party to stir up trouble in the approach to an election there is nothing to be gained by forcing this issue into an election issue. Any party that supports them will gain seats in francophone regions of the province while any party that does not support them yet is careful in choosing their position will see almost zero impact on their vote share. That said a poorly chosen position will that does not support them will cause a negative effect in francophone regions of the province.
There is very little to be gained by either group in pushing this issue into an election issue however one may not recognize that fact.
What would better serve anglophone New Brunswicker’s would be for a group to appear that was not against bilingualism but still promoted anglo culture and heritage to the extent that the acadian groups do. If a group of that sort were to arrive on the scene it could potentially influence a large number of anglo NBer’s in a very positive way while doing nothing to diminish the value and heritage of the francophone NBer’s and their culture which would by far be the best situation for the entire province.