A decade and a half into this 21st century futurist of past generations would be greatly disappointed at the extent to which the mire of economic hardship and conflict of war conflates around the globe and, showing little sign of changing course.
A break in the clouds of darkness that envelopes this present era of humanity may, especially for those of us who reside here in Canada, pose a glimmer of hope reflected and encapsulated in the phrase: “Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways.”
This phrase attributed to Sir Wilfrid Laurier was re-iterated by Justin Trudeau first when addressing campaign supporters following his October 19th, 2015 defeat of Conservatives and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. And, repeated again following his November 4th, 2015 formal swearing in as the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada.
Given that Prime Minister Trudeau’s electoral platform found its success on the promise to bring forth a sea of change to that experienced under the ten year reign of defeated government of Stephen Harper, it seemed a very appropriate and fitting way to communicate to all Canadians and, to the world, in much the same fashion as was Laurier’s intent, that a change of attitude will be forthcoming promising fair, equitable and transparent governance by Canada’s newly elected Cabinet. To make the point evidently clear not only was the swearing-in ceremony at the Governor-General’s residence of Rideau Hall open to general public and broader media, the newly appointed thirty-member Cabinet is comprised equitably of men and women as was promised in Trudeau’s election campaign. Note too after much speculation; each appointee regardless of gender is highly qualified to meet the rigors and obligations of their Ministry portfolio to which they are sworn to uphold.
As Canada and Canadians wait anxiously for the first seating of its new Parliament on December 4th, 2015; the majority of House of Common seats occupied by Trudeau’s Cabinet and Liberal Members of Parliament, the first test to his ability to meet his promise of critical change will be the final legislative outcome of files initiated under the Harper government such as the Security Bill C-51 and the Trans-Pacific Partnership international trade agreement. Both files will be critically watched as they undergo Parliamentary review to render their ratification subject to modification or possibly, be fully repealed especially in the case of Bill C-51. Other significant planks of the Liberal election platform such as legalization of marijuana, opening Canada’s borders to Syrian refugees to name but a few additional critical pieces of new legislation and processes promised will be closely scrutinized for their outcomes.
So what makes the successful election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, predicated on a platform of `Change’, translated into a swelling of pride and hope for better times significant?
Since the election of President Obama in 2008 and re-election in 2012, many citizens of the United States feel let down, disappointed at the lack of change originally promised during Obama’s 2008 electoral campaign echoed in the campaign slogan: `Yes we Can. O, yes we can’. This failed-state can be attributed primarily to an intransigent, Republican-held, Congress and Senate and, somewhat docile Democratic membership when attempting to fulfil the promises that got a Democratic President elected. Though Obama’s promise to bring health-care to several millions of uninsured Americans has been fulfilled through the passing of the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obama Care, it remains under attack by Republicans pursuing nomination as their presidential candidate for the upcoming November 2016 presidential elections. Not to mention the inability to close Guantanamo; end the wars in the Middle East; and, make significant strides in restricting emissions and their effects on climate change.
Fuelled by Democratic President Obama’s apparent failure to fulfil his electoral mandate, beginning in the early months of 2015, continuing to the time of this writing, a field of individual elected and non-seated Republican members, at one point numbering as high as fifteen, have committed to pursuing the Republican presidential nominee to run against the Democratic presidential nominee candidate in the November 2016 election.
In the ensuing months of 2015 several candidates have withdrawn for lack of critical financial or base support. However, those that remain, especially the front runners such as Ben Carson and Donald Trump appear to be gaining their support by they who reflect the worse of the American ethos. The spectre of racial and religious divisiveness centred on historical White-on-Black issues only to be further inflamed by hateful rhetoric directed at Hispanics of Mexican descent and increasingly, due to the conflicts the United States is embroiled in the Middle East, those of Muslim-Islamic faith are confronting a form of Islamophobe broaching persecution and attacks. Compounding this racially, inflammatory state-of-affairs is the significant financial inequity spawned from the 2007-08 global financial collapse from which the United States is only marginally recovered. A recovery that has yielded an even greater class divide with significant growth in profits for the one-percent.
Prior to the successful election of Prime Minister Trudeau, the state-of-affairs under the Harper government had Canada headed in the same direction as that presently occurring in the United States. The tight-lipped, media controlling Harper government seemed to take its legislative playbook from the doctrines of the Tea Party, the extreme right-wing segment that comprises and dominates the policy arm of the Republican Party. His government’s sweeping passage of monster omnibus budget bills crammed with secretive legislation and significant changes to standing legislation, muzzling of scientist and public employees, etc all serving to put a cold chill in the backs of many Canadians.
The final straw came with blatant divisive rhetoric around the treatment of new immigrants especially those of the Muslim faith, a staple factor in the defeat of Harper’s 2015 re-election campaign.
There is little doubt that the same `Messiah-complex’ bestowed Obama following his first election presides over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau however, we can only put our faith and hope that he is capable and able to fulfil his stated goals and promises; to prove to the rest of the World, real change is possible that can lead to “Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways!”