Monday, 7 September 2009

Renewal for Canada?

We end the summer refreshed from a Labour Day weekend and energized for the Fall. Canada has survived a world wide recession and seems to be on track for recovery. The question we are now asked is: "is that good enough?" Do Canadians "deserve better"? This is the challenge from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff as he threatens to upset the apple cart of the Harper Government. We have had dull, practical, stable government for the duration of the Harper Minority. Now it is suggested that "we can do better".
Certainly we can do better and we have done better in the past, but are Canadians up for the challenge now? Does Michael Ignatieff inspire us to go further and achieve more and to reclaim Canada's lost place as a role model on the international stage? Michael has not inspired many Canadians yet but he will have a chance to try, if he is able to force an election. Canadians have had too many elections, but will keep getting them until they can entrust someone to lead. Stephen Harper was never given more than a caretaker's mandate and seems to not inspire trust for more than that. He has shown how much he will twist his principles to stay in power by the concessions he made to prevent an opposition coalition take-over. Now the big spending Harper Conservatives offer us comfort without ideology, and that appeals to a degree, but we still lack the trust. What will Harper do if he is given a Majority and what, if anything, would he have done about the recession if he had a majority and not been forced to take action?
NDP Leader Jack Layton seems to be testing the waters, uncertain if the time is right and the same applies to Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe. Neither will be able to work with Stephen Harper but either or both may choose to drag out the current generally unworkable Parliament a little longer, but for what purpose? An election is inevitable and Canadians may be tired enough of Minority Government to give somebody a Majority Government. If that happens the NDP and the Bloc will lose influence and probably seats. Michael Ignatieff has seized the agenda and is going to take us to the Polls once again whether it be this Fall or at latest next Spring.
Where will it end up? As you can see I have more questions than answers. Whatever the mood of the country is now, in early September, it will change as events unfold and we leave our summer vacations behind. Does Canada deserve better? Of course we do, but are now we too cynical to see that? I hope not.

No comments: