It sometimes happens that the Toronto Star gets something right. On August 13, the largest newspaper in Canada used its front page for an editorial asking: ‘Show us leadership.’ If there was one word that asks for Canada’s greatest need in this time, it is ‘Leadership.’ The provinces and our federal government are desperate for leadership.
The federal election on September 20 is hardly the answer. It reminds you so much of Sir Walter Scott’s Lay of the Last Minstrel: “Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land.”
To be fair, I think this election will do much to clear the air and underline the need for new leadership. Justin Trudeau is hardly the answer. He does not even understand the leadership of his father. Sometimes his father could be caustic and insulting to Canadians but, in balance, his leadership was critical to his times. He understood rights and freedoms. He understood the needs of the individual. He laughed at the collectives, and frustrated the mean and selfish. He often used intellect when humanitarianism was needed.
We have had no leadership since. We had the politics of cant over need. Slogans instead of policy.
It is not that Trudeau the Younger does not have his moments. His popping out of Rideau Cottage to discuss Covid-19 was a fortuitous calmer of the pandemic. His feminism had poor follow-through, his environmentalism was conflicted, his appointments elitist and some of his promises ill-considered. He got a C-plus on his report card.
But failure is not in the cards. Nobody has done better.
Erin O’Toole of the conservatives has been ‘a failure to launch’ on Canada’s political scene. He does not seem to know what to say and when to say it.
And you can hardly count on the pockets of Sikhs in British Columbia and Ontario to rescue Jagmeet Singh of the new democrats from oblivion. The Greens have ruled themselves out and the Bloc are just troublemakers.
The most likely scenario is to suffer Justin Trudeau’s minority for a couple more years and let all three of the major parties search their souls for some leadership. Who knows what the tides of time will bring?
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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