Volume 94, Issue 87
Wednesday, March 7, 2001
Is Canada in the political doldrums?
Does anyone really know where this country is going? Since the dissolution of the British Empire, Canada has had to struggle to find a direction for its new post-colonial identity. We've been heading towards the feel good multicultural model, touting ourselves as international defenders of justice. But, do we really fulfill that identity?
Countries need goals, as do people. When you have a goal, you have something to shoot for and it gives you an outlet to channel aggression. It has been a recurring theme in history: When a leader of vision comes along and establishes a goal for his/her country, that country feels great and becomes great.
Canada was once charged with a sense of purpose. In the early days of the Dominion, Canada had yet to complete its transcontinental railroad. That railroad was a symbol of unity and the transition of our country from a colonial backwater to an actual nation. We were junior partners in the British Empire and contributed to its defence with an enthusiasm that is lacking in this cynical age.
Canadians may pride themselves on the fact that they are peacekeepers, humanitarians and a multiculturalists, but I wonder whether or not our leaders and the public at large truly believe in those lofty virtues. Not many people would sign up for peacekeeping if it actually came down to it, nor would they lay down their lives for a humanitarian cause.
But I don't know if it's right for me to criticize Canadians when our leadership is lackluster.
What I want to know, is how did Chrétien get elected as leader of the Liberal party? He has a lot of cabinet experience and is a 30-year veteran of the parliamentary arena, but he lacks the one essential quality of a truly great leader: Vision.
We're wandering aimlessly, doing things half-assed. Chrétien is all about dollar signs, not heart. How can we claim to be the great people we are, when our prime minister is more interested in the national pocket book than making the Earth a better place to live.
I think its time Canada begins to export its own brand of tolerance, democracy and respect for minorities. If we truly believe in the Canada that we claim we are, we should be out there crusading to make other countries as nice to live in as this one.
We can start by getting rid of our near-sighted leader.
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