Gen X at 40

Canada's Favorite Blog

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gorthos -

Methinks that a lot of the issue we Canajuns have with leaders nowadays is rampant apathy. We want things done for us without the need for our involvement and done by someone who thinks like us. With a country so large and so ddeply divided between rich, poor, rural, urban and freakazoid, its hard for a leader to be like everyone. Except for Mercer. Everyone loves Rick.

For the most part, we don't see a huge need for change or reform until something goes wrong then after a while we tend to forget about it so long as all is good, we have our jobs and our homes and Mercer makes us laugh every Monday night, we don't want to hear from or about the leader. A leader that goes around yapping and complaining and blaming all the time will do well IF he/she is actually fixing and accomplishing things at the same time, otherwise they are a promise filled wet blanket annoying us as we try to talk about Mercer at the office. If they are yapping and complaining and such and seem NOT like us and more like our brethren to the south's leader, and they aren't appearing to accomplish much, well, apathy sets in more firmly.

gorthos -

Hey, I wasn't saying I wanted anyone to pull us together, I think things are fine. I'm one of those who want quiet unobtrusive leadership that leave me alone, manage well, keep the crazoid Alberta oil star chamber folk and those equally frightening rural landowners groups in check and generally return Canada back to being a happy quiet country that annoys no-one and no-one wishes to bomb. I think things are pretty darn good and we generally don't need any sort of revolution or reform (or anymore crappy songs like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18-oRTLIe3I )

Temujin -

<i>Should it not just be an admission that things are pretty robust, fair and acceptable?</i>

Things are also pretty unethical, wasteful, inefficient, and ineffective. And by things I mean government in general. The libertarian in me says nothing has seriously changed at all.

Jay Currie -

There was an interesting article in the Post today (to which I can't find a link) which points out that the federal government has run a surplus for the past 11 fiscal years. Which beats a deficit but also means that the feds have endless opportunities to payoff regions, provinces, cities, minority groups and their friends while still looking fiscally responsible.

At the moment there is not a single member of the Liberal caucus willing to stand up and say that the Liberals decision to send Canadian Forces to Afghanistan was the right one and that the CPC's decision to keep them there is right for the same reasons.

There is not a single politician in Canada willing to address the rapidly unraveling scientific "consensus" or loony economics of global warming. Instead we have dummies in the opposition demanding Kyoto compliance - which they know is impossible and pointless - and idiots in the government planning on banning incandescent lightbulbs in a nation where heat is as welcome as light 7-9 months a year.

I am not sure we need leadership so much as a reduction in craven vote pandering, poll following, know nothingness. Unfortunately we have developed a political class in Canada who are, in practice, sort of incompetent Platonists convinced that they, and they alone, can handle the truth and that the great unwashed need be fed spin.

Worse, the emergence of the Presidential Prime Minister (thank you Michael Pitfield) and the destruction of independent centers of power within political parties (gone since the Election Act required the Party Leader to signoff on nominations), means that the informal checks and balances within caucus have vanished.

My fond hope is that the federal government simply shrinks to irrelevance as quickly as possible. Starting with a serious program to reduce the deficit and thus, in time, the tax burden and, gradually, its capacity to fund the goofier things it seems called to do.

I suspect that will happen as more and more Canadians do their own "value audit" of what they actually get back for their tax dollars and it dawns on them that this is lousy value for money. But it may also happen simply because the Canadian economy grows quickly enough that the fed's capacity to screw things up becomes proportionately smaller.

Thus, Alan, I am inclined to agree with your third point in principle with the caveat that a general direction towards less and more efficient government seems to be attractive to significant sectors of the electorate. More and more people simply want to be left alone to lead their own, perfectly decent, lives. Which implies being able to keep more of their own, hard earned, money.

Hans -

Sorry, Alan: I normally like to praise you for little nuggets of verbal/rational excellence but I have to overlook you in favour of this gem from Jay:

"I am not sure we need leadership so much as a reduction in craven vote pandering, poll following, know nothingness. Unfortunately we have developed a political class in Canada who are, in practice, sort of incompetent Platonists convinced that they, and they alone, can handle the truth and that the great unwashed need be fed spin."

Exactly!