There was little to cheer about after the federal election. It was the lowest percentage voter turn out in the country’s history and all we did was return the Liberals to power with 860,000 fewer votes than the last time.
Safe to say that this was not, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau explained, the most important election since the Second World War and the result did not help us turn a corner. We are not advancing toward better days. We are not even in a good place. We are dividing, regressing, and many feel like the walls are closing in. While our prime minister sees a silver lining in our future most of the country sees the dark clouds of Mordor.
More conversations are becoming unpleasant. Doors are shutting, blinds are being drawn. The divide is growing. We just went through an unnecessary election and all we did was learn unpleasant things about ourselves. Large unions sent emails to their members telling them to vote Liberal or NDP to secure their pensions and jobs. Not a thought to the thousands of jobs that the Liberal government wiped out in Western Canada when it killed two pipelines. Not a thought to the thousands of jobs wiped out due to COVID lockdowns. The government-pensioned workers, many of whom were paid to stay home, no longer live in the same world as the entrepreneurs who lost their businesses and the oil field labourers who lost their jobs. We’ve become a nation fracturing into so many interest groups. It all seems part of a plan.
Canada is systemically racist, our prime minister told us. Yet for decades, the system has favoured women and minorities for government jobs. Trudeau then lobbed out the charge that we are committing genocide. Will he stop at nothing to ensure that Canadians are offended, divided, and pointing fingers? He’s annoyed almost everyone while wishing to appear as the nation’s healer. How ugly.
It is not complicated to see where this is going. Divide and conquer.
Our democracy is crumbling and as we watch it slip away, one politically-charged law after another, one deprecating slogan at a time, it makes the next drive into the city just a little more unpleasant. How many times have you heard people saying, “This isn’t the country I grew up in.”
Trudeau’s most pressing order of business now is to gain more control. It was why he called an election, remember? Government was obstructionist, he said. He was counting on getting his majority to take a second stab at passing an Internet bill that would give him control over the news, effectively passing the first law in Canada that would dictate newspaper content. Maybe he figured this would be his moment to announce a state of emergency. Once we’re done with the pandemic, climate change could become his next emergency. He’s already waving a global warming worst case scenario like it’s the Bible when there’s just about nothing we can do to affect climate and even the United Nations projections are not that bad.
But it’s worse than that. Our federal government has outspent the combined spending of every Canadian government since 1867. At this pace, most Canadians alive today will not live to see a balanced budget but who cares? A ruinous economy will force more people under government control. Our government seems so unconcerned about safeguarding democracy and so naïve about China that our trusted and closest allies (Britain, Australia and the United States) signed a deal last month to share top secret security information and left Canada out of the alliance because we’re too tight with China to be trusted.
Enough gloom, you say. I agree. How about a little hope and a Gandalf smile? While it all looks like Mordor, look more closely. There are enough halflings and hobbits among us, wizards even, who with brave face and perseverance, are willing to carry the water for the common good. But it is going to be a long, hard road.
At the same time we should not underestimate the stupidity of the powerful. They can misstep only so often until the inevitable happens. And when it does, they will trip and they will fall and still won’t quite believe it even as they are being swallowed up by the fires of Mount Doom.