Trudeau and the Justin Society.

In the 1972 federal election, Pierre Trudeau told us he was going to have a ‘conversation with Canadians.’ He told Canadians about the ‘Just Society.’ If he had anyone other than the patrician Conservative leader Robert Stanfield as his main opponent, he would not have won the minority government that he did. After that Pierre paid attention to the party apparatchiks. So should Justin.

Justin Trudeau announced his candidacy to lead the Liberal Party of Canada, as expected, last week, and claimed he was going to have a conversation. He tells us he intends to listen. We sure hope so.

With few exceptions, most Canadians would agree that, if pressed, they think of themselves as middle class. And liberals, more than anyone else, identify as middle class.

But we have to get away from the clichés. Sure, giving voice to Canada’s middle class is of critical importance. Without substance behind that though, we are caught in the same trap as President Obama in his race for re-election in November. The promise in Canada has to be more than rhetorical.

In a country bleeding high-technology jobs in the east and gaining resource-based jobs in the west, someone has to start talking about the need for a government that can see a balance that can work for all Canadians.

And, in that regard, we need a government that does not pit region against region for its own electoral benefit.

And why continue the current government’s hypocrisy of restoring the snobbery of the word royal everywhere in a country that has moved so far beyond its colonial past?

This country needs a future far more than it needs its past. It is a country of people from many lands who see it as a land of promise and opportunity.

We have to work on the opportunities. We have to set targets. The goals must be worthy of challenge and the hard work of Canadians. And Canadians must all benefit from them. The challenges can be expanding Medicare to include drugs and dental care. It can be free education to all who can make the grades. It can be better retirement for all.

Justin Trudeau can formulate his own ‘Just(in) Society’ and really be the leader that Canada needs. As we all want to be more than a name.


Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

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