Speculation is rampant that, within the next few days, Justin Trudeau will call an election. Polls suggest that the Liberals have a comfortable lead. So, from their perspective, this may be the time to hit the hustings. But we live in a precarious time. Glen Pearson writes:
Twenty years ago, there was a clear sense that the world, and Canada, were heading to a better place. The economy was solid and technological development convinced us that we now had powerful tools to drive the change for the better. There were problems, but we were in the process of overcoming them.
No one is sure of that anymore. Rightly or wrongly, increasing numbers of Canadians believe this country is in decline and that elections just don’t seem capable of fixing the problem.
This is the backdrop that the next election will be set in. The days of hope, while we still wish for them, seem somehow to be moving out of reach. We have numerous causes but no cause, millions of voices but no voice. Every viewpoint counts for something, but if it can’t respect those it opposes, or seek to find common cause for building something better, then millions of voices can merely become a din.
If the election merely increases the din -- lots of sound and fury signifying nothing -- things will only get worse:
If this coming election can’t carry a different tone, a more heartening sense of cooperation, then it won’t matter who wins if they can’t put this country back together again on a common path. Make this election about that, and it will be an election that truly matters.
Over the last three decades, we have become increasingly selfish. The election could result in a more collective vision. If it doesn't, we'll be in a bad way.