I recognize that I had said I would not be posting any further political rants on Facebook and that this is, in fact, me writing about our new political frontier we are facing. Just pretend I am a politician and you’ll be just fine. After reading some posts from my friend Jose and some others, I began to reflect on what the next few years hold for us. Believe it or not, there was a time when I was a Liberal. Apparently, according to these little online tests, I am still strongly Liberal in most of what I would like to see happen. You can imagine my surprise at that, and after I picked myself off of the floor, I promptly denied it. I believe these tools are skewed. However, as I read the Liberal platform there is quite a bit I agree with. (Hopefully, Trudeau doesn’t borrow from the McGuinty or Wynn playbook for “speaking with forked tongue” or anything the federal wing of the Liberals has produced for a platform will quickly be denied within the first two weeks). And so, I began to put my mind to the task of seeing what hope the future could hold and how this change can be good for Canada. This resulted in the following list that is incomplete but has given my mind fuel to ponder. (*DISCLAIMER: I have never claimed to be an expert in politics. I just watch, listen and read to see who actually does what they say they will. And, I try to apply my small amount of common sense…which is common to me…you get the picture.)
- Canadian Privacy Protected: While I agree with protecting Canada as our nation I did find Bill C-51 far too invasive for a free country. I believe the Liberals will do a review of it and because they do support a portion of it, they may provide a better balanced revision. That being said, I hope they follow proper protocol for insuring we are not letting terrorists into our country when they move to fulfill their pledge to let in 25,000 immigrants by the end of the year. Please keep in mind that Canada has been known to be a fairly safe place for those seeking to hide.
- Immediate investigation into the missing Aboriginal women in BC: I agree with Trudeau that this has gone on far too long and must be examined more closely in a timely manner. Like, now. I hope that the Liberal party will not become soft on crime and that this investigation will lead them to support the ground the Conservative party has gained in keeping criminals more accountable than ever before. Canada is known to be one of the biggest countries for human trafficking and I pray this investigation will not stop with Aboriginals only but will penetrate the issues surrounding human trafficking. (On a side note: I sure hope someone sends a proposal to Trudeau about once again opening up farms kept by inmates to provide food for the prison and reform for those incarcerated. Why these farms were closed remains a mystery of logic to me and I do believe their closure came from the Conservatives. Which is really counterproductive considering they were basically self-supporting institutions that provided food for the prison and were able to sell produce to the surrounding community thereby showing prisons could contribute positively. They also allowed inmates actually learn how to care for things and gain skills. Of course we all hope the amount of inmates will not increase once marijuana gets legalized and people start looting in order to have funds to buy it for recreational use. Then, most definitely, the farming will be needed. HEY! The government started their own weed farms completely operated by inmates! 😛 )
- Taking advantage of the lower interest rates for infrastructure improvements: We all have either done this, are doing this or would do this if we could, with our own homes. When we can replace leaking roofs on our homes, if the need is great and the interest rates are low, we usually are willing to go into debt in order to do it. The further we allow some of our country’s infrastructure maintenance/replacements to go unchecked the greater the cost will be in the future. This also provides employment and stabilizes our work forces with contracts. That being said, on the greater scale there aren’t a vast majority of people who will benefit from these contracts especially if they are doled out in some backroom or *cough* on the golf course. But, for a small mind like my own, this move does make a certain amount of logic.
- The support to the middle class: I admit, it has been a real puzzle to me why the Harper government didn’t do more for the middle class and why the elite seemed to benefit most from some of the Conservative’s moves. The middle class are the backbone of our country and Trudeau’s attempt to alleviate some of the financial pressure this sector is experiencing will be most welcomed. Canada’s middle-class are the ones who tend to have steady employment, buy homes, buy cars etc. so it makes the most sense to try to keep them earning and spending for our country’s financial infrastructure. Now, if taxes go up in other areas, this is not going to actually help but be a smoke screen that has sucked the people in. Furthermore, this will only help our country if the promises the Liberals make to everyone else doesn’t erase the benefits of this particular move.
- The uniting of the country: I must admit that the part of Trudeau’s speech that moved me was about Canada becoming the compassionate country we had been known to be. Perhaps this will be true. Only time will tell. Perhaps if it is modelled at the government level it will filter down to the people. I truly hope this will be the case…it certainly could be if the Liberal Federal Party will live up to their platform and actually do what they say they will without lies and deceit and the destruction of key documents to cover their illegal tracks (insert bitter Ontarioian comment here). In truth, I haven’t felt the country this united over a leader for a long, long time. In that sense, for the first day in, it certainly “feels good.”
- The supporting of young leaders: In the case of young leaders, I have tried my best to help them whenever I can. If there is opportunity for new ideas I have sought to open the doors for them so they could fly. If there are leadership positions of responsibility I have sought to help them buy enough currency with people so that they are able to sit at the table to help shape our future. To that end, I believe that Trudeau deserves to have some space to test out his wings. I hope his party will keep him not only well-informed but also mentored so that he doesn’t become the world’s “frat boy from Canada with the great hair.” If nothing else, he has stirred our youth to vote. Here’s hoping that voting effort was not only for legalization of pot for recreational use. I would like to think our youth are better than that. Thank you, Justin Trudeau, for stirring our youth into action instead of sitting back being apathetic! It is exciting to see our youth now mobilizing themselves to help shape our future and also taking responsibility for victories and fallouts.
- Canadian politics seems to demand a majority house in order to actually follow through on the party plans: A person once told me that any diet will work if you follow their program faithfully. I am not sure that is true. However, I can see how being a political party in power with a minority government can be quite frustrating. Your party could put together a radical plan but get stymied at every turn but the uniting of the other parties to block your efforts for reform. Or, you get moving in one direction only to have a shift only to see your time and efforts wasted…one step forward, two steps back. To the public’s eye it looks like the party in power is ineffective when in reality they simply are bricked from moving anything forward. I pray that the new majority government will use their amount of seats with wisdom. I pray they will try to do what their platform said and unite Canada to move us forward in change today for the betterment of our country. I hope to see Trudeau lead with the new leadership mentality of positive teamwork instead of the CEO heavy-handed-power-plays. Which leads me to my next point…
- Trudeau’s positive platform can shape and show the youth today that mudslinging gets negative results: I heartily applaud the Liberal’s positive platform. Perhaps the part of the Conservatives that I hate the most when it comes to elections is the dirty playing. Why do that? Just tell us how you are going to make things better and show us the plan. While the Liberals do tend to promise far too much without showing how their wand will work its magic to fulfill it all, I do believe Justin’s positive attitude shows the right way to have Canada leadership and Canadians how to work together. Now, this part may seem ironic for some of you that have read some of the things I have posted. I must admit a fairly jaded bend regarding the Liberal party due to what has been happening in Ontario. This is unfair to apply that paint brush at the Federal level (though Trudeau’s remark about hailing Wynn as someone who is fiscally responsible is perhaps one of his most humorous moments next to how budgets just take care of themselves). But I digress. Justin Trudeau, show us how to lead a divided house and shape them into a ship moving forward not because you have the strongest seat numbers but through your willingness to work with all parties. All of our parties have some great things in their platforms! Will you try to incorporate all the best ideas to have the strongest country?
- Shaking the status quo: Parties often get comfortable in their modus operandi and cease to think outside the box for solutions. Perhaps the strength of our democracy is that when things begin to over-correct there are others parties who can “right” the ship and highlight that there are other aspects that are important but have gotten lost in the previous party’s plan. There is no doubt that the Conservatives and Liberals are opposed in many of their platforms. I am praying that where there is common ground and common sense, those areas of agreement will continue to be supported and moved forward instead of being scrapped simply because it was a “Conservative” initiative. Hopefully, the baby won’t get thrown out with the bathwater and we can still maintain some stability as we move through these waters of change. And lastly…
- This will be an incredibly public lesson in political accountability: Change for change sake is always a dicy way to vote. Grass can always seem greener on the other side until you wake up one day and realize you have made a tragic error. That being said, political parties can get far too comfortable in their ways and begin to believe they are untouchable. I truly believe the landslide victory away from the Conservative party to the Liberals was because the public perceived the Conservatives to feel a sense of entitlement and “untouchability.” This complete upset has woken up our politicians to realize that no one is untouchable. Just see the last election’s results and how the Liberal federal party shrank to incredibly small proportions only to rise in this election to a majority house! The fate of the next election for the Liberal party really does rest on their ability and willingness to follow through on platform promises. While it seems like Canadians are strongly in favour of the Liberals being in power today, the public are fickle and tides can change quickly if they feel like they have been lied to. The best thing Trudeau can do is actually follow through on what he said he would do. Historically, the thing most upsetting to Canadians has been to have a politician do what they say they are going to do it, when they said they’d do it and how they said they would. When politicians actually are truthful and reliable it throws off our Canadian sensibilities. In this case, hopefully our sensibilities have matured and we will closely watch and see a leader follow through with integrity, accountability and transparency. Are you listening Ontario?!
Well, those are my 10 positives for the future. I usually try to stay away from politics (especially as a pastor) but like everyone else, I got caught up in this election sensing it was very important. Let’s pray for our new government and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Let’s pray he will continue to build in the respect among the other nations that Harper has garnered in his tenure as PM. Let’s pray for our dollar that it may remain strong in the midst of this radical political shift. Let’s pray that our new government will be ethical and moral as they lead us into the future. Amen.