“The country doesn’t need partisan games; we should demand better”
Opinion by Dave Glover
Comrades, in pursuit of a better Canada!, That’s the role of Members of Parliament!
At least, that’s how it was described to me when I was a boy in grammar school.
MPs represent voting Canadians and work in parliament to address their concerns and implement policies beneficial for all. They aren’t adversaries but purveyors of various political points of view.
They are not expected to be enemies.
Their sole purpose is to ensure the government delivers the best possible results for the voters who elected them.
This is an idealized image, more suited for a movie script, but one campaigns are built upon.
I’m reminded of a story about the parliamentarian who brought his son to work one day.
After a busy morning, they went for lunch in the parliamentary commissary.
While they ate, the young boy watched as his father spoke to various members of Parliament from his own party and those of the opposition.
When his father and he were alone, the boy asked how he could speak so casually to those who opposed his father’s views.
He was genuinely confused because he thought of the opposition as the enemy.
His father, the Prime Minister of the day, responded by telling his son that they weren’t enemies.
No, they were friends who held different political opinions, who believed that Parliamentarians had an obligation to be open to all points of view and to respect all members of Parliament.
“We don’t have to always agree and quite often don’t but we aren’t enemies,” he said. “We represent the opinions and wishes of Canadians from sea to sea to sea. We are a diverse nation, sewn together by our common ideology. And we have to think and behave beyond our partisan rhetoric to serve all Canadians. That’s what makes our democracy work.”
When David Johnston issued his report on foreign interference, he spoke at length about the partisan nature of the scandal and how it undermined our nation and national security. Adding that he had personally invited the leaders of the opposition to be read in on the facts of the alleged interference.
Unfortunately, today’s Parliament is not the Parliament of old; it is no longer a parliament of comrades
Parliament has devolved into two opposing camps: Enemies and Allies.
When Brian Mulroney met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, he spoke of how proud he was of the job Mr. Trudeau had done dealing with what he calls, “The greatest threat to our nation in 156 years.”
Justin Trudeau will be remembered for his leadership — not the trash and the rumours, Brian Mulroney said.
The former Prime Minister said he was proud of Canada’s position regarding Ukraine and how the Prime Minister is steering the ship of state.
He was also disparaging of legacy media and the Conservative opposition who he claims seem to be hell-bent on actively dividing our nation.
That little boy, that I mentioned earlier, was taught that being an MP is about mutual respect and comradery. While Canada’s parliament used to be a place that honoured those values, since 2008 partisan attacks and aggressive rhetoric have eroded discourse. At the time, members were told by leadership to stop fraternizing.
In my opinion, the differences between our political parties are incidental. Canadians care more about the health of Canada’s social security net.
They know that tax cuts equal cuts to public services and amenities.
The only thing that seems to really divide them is: Who pays the bills?
However, the impact of social media and foreign ownership of more than 70% of legacy media has meant that the propaganda game has been raised to new heights. Divisions that barely existed before have been amplified to encourage angry discourse. Rage Farming has become a new way to raise money. Dividing Canada a rewarding way to garner donations. Whether it’s Pro-Life, Anti Vaccines or LGBTQ+2S protests, partisans crank out the rage at the same time as they crank down the money machine handle.
Now, a place of constant one-upmanship, David Johnston and Brian Mulroney, both echoed the same sentiment, such divisive partisanship has become dangerous for our democracy.
Is it any wonder that Canadians, for the most part, aren’t interested in being members of any political party?
If the latest round of partisan manufactured outrage has taught us anything, it’s that democracy carries on despite the rhetoric. But, at some point the nastiness has to stop. The country doesn’t need partisan games; we should demand better.
On a final note, I point to news that broke on June 20th, a bi-election day, about the RCMP investigating the Trudeau Government over the SNCL scandal. It was a lie. Manufactured to cause outrage.
Who do you think broke that story? And did it have an impact on the result of the day’s four bi-elections?
Oh and by the way… that little boy was Justin Trudeau.
Dave Glover is a well known cultural and political commentator in Northumberland. Thousands of listeners, both locally and worldwide, know Dave because of his “Drive Time” radio broadcast that ran for more than 8 years and his 15 years hosting political programs on a local cable channel.
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