Dear Canada or what may be left of it…
Well, guess what? I am beyond apologizing now… got that out of my system over the past few weeks. Moreover I’ve decided that it may well be no longer fashionable for me to get involved in the political scene of the national government. I say this from a perspective of profound sadness, as I have been a unceasing booster of this country, long before I traveled to countries that made me yearn to get back to the freedoms, foresight(s) and delightfulness that has made us a country to be envied by most everyone, except the violently obtuse such as the Taliban, ISIS, Putin and the extreme MAGA boys.
While I have no desire to emulate any of the aforementioned, I also am losing my lust to support the Dominion from sea to sea to shining sea. In fact, I am becoming convinced that perhaps I ought to consider (once again) a monastic life albeit without the need to inhabit a forlorn monastery down some weed-encroached rutted road.
Among my friends and colleagues, all of whom I respect (otherwise they would be neither friend nor colleague), are some very bright, learned and reflective people who continue to surprise me with their two-fold approach to the Canadian political scene: their virulent disdain for Erin O’Toole and their abject support for Justin Trudeau. Yes, I am a supporter of the Conservative Party, and yes I wish Rona Ambrose had been willing to take on the full-time leadership of the party. But I can’t for the life of me, figure out why O’Toole is so bad when Trudeau is so unethical, anti-democratic, and an extreme elitist. He certainly has no real understanding of the Aboriginal issues in Canada (but then even Dr. Murray Sinclair, Retired Senator and now University Chancellor doesn’t have a full grasp of it either, so maybe I should excuse JT on this count). More to the point JT is no feminist (at least reflecting on how he treats his colleagues who are identified as female vs what most people, myself included, consider to be an appropriate managerial and/or collegial style of leadership). And he definitely is not a democrat – talk about being an elite power monger, this guy tells me more what he learned from his father than I wanted to know about his father.
Let me try to elucidate a bit further. People were so happy on the night of the 2015 election when sunny ways had returned to Ottawa. No more that terrible, grim-faced, fiscal conservative, who didn’t always embellish the democratic foundations of our country. Once again, let me be clear, I was able to see the way the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) operated from a very unique vantage point. But never in my wildest dreams did I see outright corruption (in the way some accused two of his predecessors – one being a Conservative), open efforts to reward close friends, belligerence at protecting inept Cabinet ministers (although he did permit some dumb ones to hang around until their constituents removed them). And as for gigantic omnibus budget bills, this Liberal regime has made the Conservative errors in this regard pale. The refusal to reinforce cabinet government and the complete disregard of the House of Commons (not to mention the rather incoherent ways of choosing Senators, Judges and Governor Generals) makes me think that Harper was the farthest thing from a dictator this country has ever enjoyed.
But let me not linger longer on this specific topic. I can’t get a Liberal or a liberal to explain how they accept any of this other than it is better than what O’Toole would do (even though he has never occupied the PM’s office). And, frankly, if O’Toole is unfit for that chair, then sadly no one currently in charge of a federal party is fit (including the Green Party but then that itself is a dumpster fire of mega-proportions). Is he the best possible candidate, no – and I have never claimed he is. But when I look at the choices we have, and the political philosophies they espouse, the other non-PM leaders are far scarier. I can’t afford the government we have now, and I don’t know how the next generation can afford it. But we are leaving to our grandkids such a horrific financial mess that with the droughts we are experiencing and the rising interest rates that are beginning to emerge I wonder if we are about to experience first hand a renewed dirty thirties?
And that brings me to the gist of this epistle: why is it that every time I share a perspective that is not woke or to the left-of-centre, I am inundated with e-mails, texts and the occasional phone call that castigates me for adopting right-wing conspiracies? Why is the left the only part of the spectrum to be allowed to posit their perspectives as truth? Why can no one stand up and say, I disagree OR even more unsettling it appears, say I have another theory, and not be shouted down?
The UN like the PM uses stage one moral reasoning ad nauseam. This is the fear approach – the attempt to scare people into subservience. It didn’t work for Covid-19 and it isn’t working on climate change. The problem is that Stage One is the fundamental stage used by people like Attila the Hun, Hitler, Trump, Putin and when it fails, there is no alternative but more of the same. If the world does indeed burn up in the next decade it will be because people became inured to the cry wolf beatdown, not because the climate actually changed.
Climate change is real – it is a continual process that one better understands if one looks at millennia, epochs and the history of time & space. Weather is a more appropriate term for what we experience on a day-to-day, month-to-month, year-over-year basis. And this year our weather is hot; but not the first hot year we’ve had in the past 76 years. This year we are experiencing some serious forest fires, but not the first year we’ve experienced serious forest fires in the past 76 years. This year we are experiencing drought, but according to my Grandad (when he was alive) this doesn’t compare at all to what he experienced on the prairies in the 1930’s. But to say that in this coming decade we are burning up, that we need to convert to totally electric cars, that fossil fuels are dead, is in the least absurd, and at most dangerously futile.
Let me explain why I say this. Of all the people I know who are buying into the UN’s perilous predictions, none have gone out and bought a pure electric car. None have gone off-grid and are using only solar and wind power. None have changed their life-styles all that much. Oh, some bike to work – but my brother has been doing that through the streets of Toronto no less, for decades. Oh, some refuse to travel long distances but my sister has been a proponent of that for some time. And few have devoted the majority of their life to better environmental management than I have. I’m not bragging about my brother or sister or myself – I’m just saying that one’s political leanings doesn’t mean one isn’t committed to change or improvement. It doesn’t even mean such leanings inherently are more or less ethical. I think though, that whatever your perspective might be, it is better if you do not castigate those who try to get to better simply because their path is different than yours.
As I have said before: let s/he/it who is without sin, cast the first stone…
As promised last month, I did talk to you again, when I felt less apologetic… I may talk further after I visit my Mother (who is still the boss) later this week… In the meantime, continue to believe in your perspectives, just make sure that anyone wanting to lead you should be consistently able to respect and protect those perspectives.
And please don’t be shocked if once this next election is over, if I decide to join the Maverick party – the only party with a feminist name actually. I won’t join it because of the name however, but because my vision for the country may be incompatible with the ethos and ethics of the governing assemblage. But that will be a discussion for another day.
For now I am going to re-direct my energies to two major projects. I will return to the writing of Book III and in this space I will begin a series of letters to people who have been especially important in my life – I will not disclose their names nor perhaps at times if they are still alive but each letter will be also sent to the individual by Canada Post (if I have an address) either to the individual or his/her/its closest survivor. I have enjoyed too many obits in the G+M to continue to miss the opportunity to write my own appreciation (even though in some cases it will only be heard by those left behind).
Have a delightful August — mine started with a great visit with Grandkids & their parents who I hadn’t seen in a couple years, along with live viewing of a Dodgers’ victory, four different Covid-19 tests (all negative), flights cancelled by smoke, other flights upended by miserable flight attendants, nasty people in security roles, nice people at car dealerships, hot weather but without smoke, delicious meals and re-scheduled birthday parties, water volleyball games, and real hospitality in a Republican State, and horrendous line-ups during universal random testing in a Socialist Province and yet through it all I can still laugh, breathe and remain thankful.
And never forget: Know that if you are reading this Chapter to this point, you remain a dear friend and colleague and I wish you only the greatest of moments each morning – that you wake up to a new day!!