Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Appreciating Good Fortune

Britain is in crisis. The United States is roiling. But, in Canada, we're pretty sanguine. Lawrence Martin writes:

In Canada, it’s the 1960s in an entirely different optic. None of the rage and tumult. Rather, a new harmony. As we hit 150 years, with our relative unity, peace and prosperity, it’s akin to the time of the centennial. Crises elsewhere make us look even better. A haven of stability and hope.

Just like 50 years ago, there’s a Camelot North aura brought on by a new-styled leader. On Pierre Trudeau’s ascension to power in 1968, The London Spectator wrote, or rather hyperbolized: “It was as if Canada had come of age, as if he himself singlehandedly would catapult the country into the brilliant sunshine of the late 20th century from the stagnant swamp of traditionalism and mediocrity in which Canadian politics had been bogged down for years.”

In the UK and the U.S, baby boomers are making their last stand. In Canada, the torch has been passed to the next generation:

The Canadian advantage is not just in avoiding the fracturing in the United States, Britain and elsewhere. Rather, we’ve crossed a threshold. With this government we finally have given the boot to the baby boom generation, a generation which has dominated Canadian life for four decades.

Today’s government is young not just by age but in spirit and, by contrast to the venomous partisanship of its predecessor, attitude. The United States is about to elect a president who will be 69 (Hillary Clinton) or 70 (Donald Trump). Britain’s soon-to-be new leader, Theresa May, is turning 60. In neither country will the thinking at the top be at one with the mindset of the new generational wave.

The well-aged political leaders, particularly those on the right, sustained much of their support from old whites or those with old white attitudes. They mock Justin Trudeau for an alleged lack of substance. The younger generation would tell them about his substance; that it is racial tolerance, that it is gender rights, that it is preserving the planet, that it is social justice for native people, that it is open and fair democracy.

One would be wide to remember that what happens in Britain and the United States eventually makes its way here. But there is no law against appreciating our good fortune. 



Lorne said...

Despite whatever troubles we may have, Owen, I often of late have reflected, vis-à-vis the U.S., on how fortunate we are. Long may we hold to the values that make us almost unique in the world.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper tried to Americanize us, Lorne. It took us awhile, but we finally rejected his fantasies.

Stuart. said...

And a large part of it was due to people like you Owen. Thank you.

Owen Gray said...

I'm not unusual, Stuart. I'm just like most Canadians -- who felt that we really deserved better than Mr. Harper.