Thank you to the Liberals. The Liberal cabinet has given us the opportunity to change government and reform our democratic process, to represent all Canadians, not just the privileged elite and their fans.
Now it is up to Canadians to choose a government going to talk a lot and do very little as it has for decades OR choose a government going to fundamentally improve our democratic systems so we can seriously make the changes in Canada we need and want. While there are serious issues to address (reconciliation, environment, child care, pharmacare, others) the common deficiency to action on these is who makes decisions and how.
The Liberals have most clearly benefitted from a distorted democracy based on myth and complacency. Their sense of entitlement and assumed right to rule continually, has put us in a situation where rhetoric has replaced reaction on a number of serious social, political, historical and environmental issues. While the government talked a good line, it did virtually nothing on reconciliation, electoral reform, child care or health system reform. On the environment the government funded more oil profit while procrastinating on addressing global warming.
The Conservatives. Well they are still thinking a return to Diefenbaker policy days will solve the needs of a country facing 2022 needs.
The NDP. Well they are trying to be better liberals with charming new leaders.
The Greens. When they resolve the leadership crisis and return to party building they may be an option in the next election.
So what do we do as voters? While I am still sceptical we can make serious change to government, I think we need to keep trying. Here is a strategy I think could have an impact in this election.
- Put forward a Build Back Better strategy, not just a list of programs to fund, but a plan for Canadian transformation, to address future issues facing us all, to the benefit of all.
- Propose how to reform our electoral system and to restructure the Senate. Both are essential and we need a succinct proposal of what parliament will strive to do to manage a process of rebuilding our democracy.
- And most important, a party must agree to an automatic immediate federal election IF these two policy themes are not implemented in the first year of them being in power.
While specific issues may concern us and these may have led our voting in the past, it is imperative to demand a democratic change now. With government able to represent all Canadians, it can then give Canadians the means to address specific issues. Second, let’s remember we are voting for a party and their policies, not for their leader or a prime minister. Elections are not celebrity or popularity contests.
It is up to us as voters to choose democracy over dynasty. It is up to each one of us to challenge every candidate and party on these three points. If our voice has volume we can make a difference.