Does the religious model serve the new politics?

Is it religion that we see reflected in the new politics. Maybe it has been there all along. Canadian politics has been slower to wrap itself in vestments but in American politics, religion plays a constant and visceral part in what is happening.

Americans speak of their country as “one nation, under God” and God help them. Even under the hands of Donald Trump, it was the God-forsaken and the holy rollers who combined to usher him into power. Trump mixed the bikers with the Tea Party Republicans, the dispossessed coal miners and frustrated farmers—it was a political coalition conceived in Hell—and they all come to Trump’s revival tents. And that hypocrite continues to revel in the adoration of his multitude.

But who expected political salvation in Canada? For the past year or so, I have been trying to fathom why Justin Trudeau has been so intent on destroying the established Liberal Party of Canada? He took away the tenets of membership, collapsed the policy mechanisms that his father learned to respect and abused the party as just a source of funds. He has left the Liberal party with no mechanisms for change or restructuring. It has become nothing more than your friendly local neighbourhood church where you can go to feel good on Sunday—but do not forget to tithe.

The Conservatives always were the self-satisfied Anglican burghers who worshipped the almighty buck. They are currently awash in mediocrity in the House of Commons while interim pastor ‘Chuckles’ Scheer holds prayer meetings. The real conservative action is in the provinces. The two major efforts are provincial as the Yin and Yang of bachelor leaders Kenney and Brown smell blood in their anti-feminist fights for power in Alberta and Ontario.

Not to be outdone, Canada’s federal New Democrats have been handed a religious symbol of sorts to lead them to the promised land of the Regina Manifesto. Whether a turbaned Sikh can serve that role is hard to say. The party’s problems run much deeper than leadership. Without coming up with a new role for the party, it is not ready be led anywhere.

But I would like to include some of the thinking of other progressive Liberals in this strange mix of religion and politics. Send me an e-mail with your thoughts and whether you want to be identified with them. I am more than willing to share the blame.

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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