The End of Big Thinking




For weeks now the Canadian Press has been doing a wonderful thing. They are compiling all of the promises of the main contenders for the job of prime minister and it is a great resource.  Because when you see all the promises in one place and you get the big picture.  Wow! Completely underwhelming.  If you strung all the promises together in the form of a Final Jeopardy question, the answer would be, “what is a lack of vision?” 

Now don't get me wrong, some of the promises are inspiring. I am pleased to see the Prime Minister promised to start protecting wild turkey habitat in 2017. Very happy. It made me want to get a lawn sign. But looking at that promise and so many similar ones I can’t help but think if Stephen Harper was prime minister back in the day, would he have championed something big like the creation of Medicare? Is he the kind of guy who would say let's build a national railway? Because he has been Prime Minister for ten years, I can't  picture him building the bridge to PEI. 

It’s like the notion of nation building is gone.  We are in the middle of an election campaign, there's no talk of making Canada better or fairer.  Instead we have a Prime Minister promising to stop anyone from wearing a niqab in the civil service, even though nobody has ever asked to do so ever, since confederation.  We are literally supposed to get together and get angry about a woman in a niqab who works at the Department of Fisheries who doesn't even exist.

Governing Canada has always meant creating a big tent. Suddenly we’re a small tent with a dress code. They call this boutique politics.  Perfect word. Boutiques are small and for certain people only. Nation building is for everyone and means thinking big.

Posted: 14/10/2015 9:32:25 AM | with 0 comments



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