Ceding Civility in Canada.

Writing about civility in politics the other day, we never got to the situation here in Canada. Despite our Canadian reputation for civility, things have lately gone to hell in a basket. Federal and provincial politics in Canada have become noisy arguments between spoiled children. Our politicians are not working together to meet the needs of those who elected them.

At the federal level, our parliament has continued to lose sight of the ‘sunny days’ that greeted the defeat of the Harper conservatives. Our poster boy prime minister is losing his lustre both at home and abroad as he missteps his way into new ground in Ottawa and in world politics.

The opposition party in Ottawa chose a nobody to hold the fort as leader and now ‘Chuckles’ Scheer is leading the wolf pack with a ferocity that surprises those who know him. Attacking the liberal government and its ministers has become a blood sport as the façade of competence falls away.

But Ottawa’s problems also come from surprising sources. The American White House is challenging Justin Trudeau’s attempts at bonhomie. Trump alternately patronizes and berates the Canadian prime minister. He tells Trudeau one thing and then tweets something else.

Even long-standing provincial politicians are falling in an onslaught of meanness. No party is safe anywhere. The west coast is a war zone as Alberta and British Columbia’s two New Democrat governments hurl insults and law suit arguments at each other. And you wonder what things are coming to when you have to count on the Saskatchewan government to stand up for that dreary Prairie ultra conservatism.

And yet it is Canada’s two most established and long-running governments of Ontario and Quebec that stand threatened. The pollsters tell us that in Quebec it is the liberal government of Phillippe Couillard that stands on shaky ground as another unknown, unexpected coalition of the right tries to usurp the liberal trust.

It is a Trump-lite wannabe named Doug Ford who is attempting to destroy the liberal dynasty in Ontario. As more and more of the province’s voters come to realize how shallow are his promises, the less the credibility.

But whatever the outcome, the vaunted myth of the civility of Canadians appears to be in jeopardy.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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