Thursday, March 25, 2010

Canada's Political Grand Canyon

Canadians are becoming increasingly polarized about their political leanings. Those who lean to the right, are leaning further to the right and those who lean to the left may be heading toward the centre but the divide between the two sides is becoming wider. It has become a "take no hostages" landscape; there is no love lost between the two sides. Just read the comments section on any Canadian media website. There is no room for compromise and the concept of a "win-win" agreement on any issue has completely vanished.

Politicians in Canada today do not debate. They harass, mock, belittle and disrespect their opponents. To show any sign of compromise with a political opponent could be interpreted as weakness rather than strength of character. Instead of having the best interests of Canadians at heart, they have only their own personal or party interests at heart. They use political rhetoric to distract Canadians of all political persuasions from the issues that they have been elected to resolve. This is Canada's loss and most importantly, our loss as well-intentioned Canadian individuals.

I remember when Canada had politicians that were gentlemen first and politicians second. Think of Lester B. Pearson, Robert Stanfield, John Turner and Joe Clark. I doubt that any of them would survive in Canada's political system today but they were exemplary statesmen in their time. I rather doubt that we'll be able to say the same about today's crop of politicians. In 40 years, they will be insignificant blips on the overall political history of Canada.

Canada is incubating the same political atmosphere that has existed in the United States since George the Second took office in 2000. His ascent to the throne was guaranteed by the Christian right (leaning hard to the right), a group that held marginal power until the very late 1990s. The political polarity in the United States has become very evident under the Obama administration with the formation of the Tea Party movement, another hard right-leaning populist movement with figures like Sarah Palin as high profile adherents. It is this right - left polarity that created great discord when Obama presented his healthcare agenda. His opponents argued against all aspects of the agenda based on polarity of political principle rather than on the basis of what was really right for Americans. I admire President Obama for meeting with Republican Members of Congress in an attempt to reach a compromise. I doubt that such a meeting would happen in Canada.

I wish that Canada's political leaders would show strength of character and act in the best interests of the Canadian electorate. We must not allow our politicians to brainwash us with their partisan rhetoric and drag us into their pointless debates with the sole purpose of dividing and conquering Canadians. We must not let them drag us down to their level. We must be discerning consumers of all brands of political propaganda.


  1. Or, we could get smart and vote these trend-setting neo-cons out of office at the earliest opportunity. Copying the stupidities of the Bush era is no way to run a donut shop, let alone a country.

  2. So you've noticed that the level of what passes for political discourse has declined since the arrival of the Harperites? I thought perhaps it was just my imagination.

    I'm anxiously awaiting my next "10 percenter" so I know how to think!


  3. It is so lame to keep framing your blame game on Dubya. The lazy Neo-con Rovian religious fundamentallist sponges meme is to be mocked. It is tired. If you were honest you would see that Dubya is gone but Obama oddly has re-affirmed four of the five big policy initiatives exactly as Dubya had put in place. Guess it ain´t easy being President.

    The nice leaders putting in nice policies for we nice people would be quite a more difficult task today what with our 24-7 multi media availability. Instant communications such as we have used all weekend to connect to Montreal is proof of this. Quit the name calling and blame game and join the debate.

    Oh and by the way, Obama had to meet with Republicans if he ever hoped to get healthcare past, because enough of his own Dems were not going to support it as it stood. And in Canada, Ignatieff and several others indeed do meet with the Conservative PM, because he is actually a member of the PCO too.