Thoughts on 19 October 2015

03 Nov 2015
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Courtesy of cbc.ca

A mixed (and in this case, late) response. But let’s start with the positives here, or rather the only positives here.

The so-called “Conservative” party was finally dislodged from power after nearly a decade of trying to impose its US Republican-inspired ideals on a country that’s fundamentally different in its founding principles, and with Stephen Harper’s resignation as the cherry on the cake. They were 10 years of actions, decisions and legislations that already or were going to significantly affect this country, its citizens and their affairs in a way never seen before — and mostly negative. Whether anything of the legacy of the founding father of the present Conservatives will remain is dependent on both his successors as party chief and Prime Minister.

After 10 years, we finally have a non-“Conservative” government. Indeed, there are many, many hopes that incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will reverse many or most of the domestic and foreign policies of the previous government that gave Canada a reputation never before negative in its existence as a country, both to its people and to its global neighbours. And throughout his campaign, Trudeau managed to present the image of someone willing and able to do what the majority of Canadians desire. As for their fulfillment or disappointment, that will become clear in the coming few months, and later in this article.

The removal from power of the “Conservatives,” their leader’s resignation and the positive potential of the incoming Grit government are the only positives previously mentioned. The rest just left me disappointed, for lack of a better word. Let’s start with the “Conservatives.”

True, they’re no longer our federal overlords, but they’re now the Official Opposition even with only 99 seats (another plus from me). With Harper still remaining as MP, there’s no doubt, despite what experts might say, that he will exercise considerable and continued influence on his party, especially including his successor who will have to labour under his massive legacy and influence. But worse, perhaps, was the fate of the other parties.

The Grits are back, and with a majority of all things! It’s as if they haven’t learned from their past history of corruption, scandal and opportunism (this coming from someone who never experienced Grit rule). Rather, if there’s any lesson they learned from this election, it’s that a handsome face plus an effective campaign equals victory. It would’ve been better if they remained in third-place wilderness a little longer in order to learn about humility and what a political party should properly be. Now, with managing a leap from third place to government in a short time, for the first time (which would’ve been better appropriate for the NDP), the event of the victory going into their heads won’t be surprising. The corrupt interests have learned that good hair and saying all the right words can win power, without the need for introspection and subsequent action.

It looks to be the same lesson the New Democrats learned — in defeat. The party returned to its more familiar third place in this election, after that surprising and eventually short-lived “Orange Crush” in 2011 brought, also, by the leader’s charisma and effective campaigning. To those saying that the NDP would’ve won had Jack Layton lived, it would’ve been more of a split anti-Harper vote. What made this loss sadder for this infrequent blogger (and still does) was to see all NDP candidates in the three ridings near or within residence (Surrey Centre, Fleetwood-Port Kells, Surrey-Newton) swept out by la vague rouge. Perhaps the most painful was Surrey-Newton, where what could have been continued change and reform saw instead the return of an old politico who, from what I know, didn’t exactly have a credible and admirable record in his previous terms. It was only small consolation to see the two New Westminster ridings (another place where a personal connection exists) remain orange. Where does this leave the party? Would it learn from the perceived “rightward” drift under Thomas (not Tom) Mulcair? Even after choosing to stay as leader, will he remain for some time?

If anything, this huge disappointment was equalled by the disappointment with the Green party, no matter the spin. It hoped to win a few seats, mostly in B.C., with Victoria the most possible seat. Now, the only other Green seat in the House by the start of the campaign — Bruce Hyer’s Thunder Bay–Superior North which came about by floor-crossing — also went red. Given that we have a Grit majority, any hopes Elizabeth May and her supporters entertain of exercising an influence on the incoming government will be dependent on said government, regardless of the “cooperating” image Justin had during the campaign (the petition calling for May’s appointment as Environment Minister would’ve become more possible under a coalition government).

Never mind that it only got ten seats and failed in its goal to regain official party status (or Gilles Duceppe’s second resignation, I later learned) — le Bloc a retourné from its surprising loss in 2011; it would’ve been better had they retained their previous seat count or less. Does this mean the return of Québec sovereignism? For one thing, it has only taken other forms, and hopefully it will become one that will broaden its scope to include all Francophone interests on this side of North America.

So where does this all lead to? With a non-Harper majority for the first time, one hopes to see a complete reversal of all of the previous government’s policies. On the other hand, with the fact that the Liberals still haven’t learned from their not-so-completely great past as the “natural governing party,” and a few actions from the younger Trudeau himself such as support for TPP — not to mention that he strikes me as someone easily swayed over by more powerful forces — any hopes attached to him by progressives may either become pure disappointment or half-satisfactory laws.


About this dominion

12 Apr 2013

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

The last Other Press article I have for this season deals with Canadian identity, what it was in the past, and what it may be in the future. Hope this furthers discussion about Canadian nationalism in such a globalising age as this.


A poem about Canada

03 Dec 2012

The following poem was first performed at the Book Launch & Open Mic event at Renaissance Bookstore, New Westminster, 2 Dec 2012:

Beyond Snow and Maple Leaves

There before me

The snow country stood.

Lifeless, thin branches supported by

Equally thin, hollow trunks.

The leaves of maple lying on the ground.

What to think, what to feel?

What to see beyond all these?

Is there more to this land than snow and maple leaves?

 

Are we all guys and gals who

Skim before the rink like swans with metal feet

Bearing long downward pikes

Prepared to hit the rubber cookie back and forth

Like some preordained play

Armoured we are with padding and helmet?

 

Are we brothers

Donning toques and thick jackets

Sitting in a log cabin

Atop some sofa

Talking to a camera

On how buffoons and self-deprecators we are, eh?

Laughing at ourselves and not taking us too seriously

To the point where self-respect disappears gravely?

 

Are we more than just moose, beavers, geese?

Are we more than the mountains, wheat fields

And lakes that surround us?

Are we more than a certain brand of beer,

Are we just those polite guys up the border

The ones the union of the south tends to forget frequently?

 

Can we be more than stereotypes?

Can we be more than just multiculturalism

And globalism?

Can we be more than acommodating

And towards cooperating?

Towards cooperation and the common good?

Towards the welfare of all and the history of all?

To a land that does not forget the past

But cherishes it and learns from it?

A place where it’s not just your culture

But the culture of this land.

This place where we just find ourselves to be.

In awe of it than taming it?

 

I rest, before the snow.

The leaves strewn beside me and above me.

The blank-gray sky stares before me

Asking me what I to do

What I believe in.

What kind of dominion or puissance I believe in.

I said, yes I believe in.

Believe in what is the good of all and the past of all.

On what values we cherish,

More than just Parliament and Charter.

A land of nature, place and time

A land where the good of all is the good of you.