I wrote a blog a few months ago about Trump running for leadership of the GOP. Near the end of my rant I wrote my take on what differentiates Canadians from Americans:
“On a local note, I personally think this is where Alberta and Canada was/is heading but for our inherent tendency to be skeptical of the kind of tomfoolery and corruption that gives fodder to extreme thinking or behavior. We are a nation of moderates that can be roused from our political apathy when our moderation is threatened.”
To be honest with you, for a little while during #elxn42 I was worried that I had suffered from a delusional assessment of Canadian personality for my whole life. I feared I would be proven wrong about my fellow Canadians, and end up being betrayed by the only culture I have ever known.
My fear was unfounded. Enough of us are of sound mind to have seen the path the Harper Conservatives were leading us down was a scary road with no reason, no compassion and no future. Now, I personally supported the NDP because they suited me, but the Liberal and NDP parties ran platforms that were insignificantly different. In fact, all the other parties clustered together on the political spectrum, only the Harper Cons were outside the Canadian comfort zone. I take that as fair reinforcement of my opinion that Canada under Harper was heading away from the true Canadian character.
I am pleased that Justin Trudeau is our new Prime Minister.
I see hope already in Trudeau’s decisions in his first few days in office:
- He did a bang up job naming a cabinet, with gender parity and cabinet ministers who are actually qualified to oversee the departments they will lead, and some changing ministry names to demonstrate a better understanding of reality.
- He restored the long-form census for 2016.
- He unmuzzled scientists and made it clear that he respected the public service.
- He brought compassion and decency back to the way we treat our fellow huamn beings in need.
- He made a commitment to return Canada’s foreign policy to that of internationally respected peace broker.
Each of these changes sends a message, and each of them brings reassurance and hope to progressive Canadians.
Parliament sits on December 3rd. I am eager to see what Trudeau’s new government will use this sitting to accomplish. There are tax changes to be discussed, but the one item I am most eager to see brought forward is electoral reform. I encourage Trudeau to, as soon as possible, begin to look the kind of electoral reform that will prevent future right wing outliers like the Harper Cons from stealing power and wielding it in a way that the majority of Canadians are uncomfortable with.
The sooner that goes before parliament, the sooner all Canadians can feel that the Harper era is truly behind them.