In our short history, Canada has become a globally respected voice and example in the world for peaceful change, tolerance, compromise, democracy, active multilateral engagement, and social justice. It therefore matters to me that our head of state is not--and can never be--a citizen of Canada.
If you are one of those people in the basement shouting at the TV news, you are not alone. That's the good news -- we are legion. The bad news? We are rudderless. Back to the good news -- we can fix that. I guess a lot of Canadians really are ready to be outraged by the outrageous. It's about time.
We Canadians need to learn to be outraged by the outrageous. We need to learn that democracy is now a full contact sport that requires us to repeatedly raise our voices in order to be heard, and not to wait for our turn to quietly mark an X on a ballot once every four years.
The Liberal revolution gave us official multiculturalism, official bilingualism, increased interventionist government, socialized medicine and a whole host of other grand schemes. Then came Stephen Harper on the scene; a politician who understood the counter-revolutionary impulse.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau chided the Conservative government for calling honour killings "barbaric." But why such reluctance to call these heinous crimes using terminology that best describes them? Is it fear of stigmatizing a particular culture or religious community? Is it simply naivete of the worst kind?
Parliament has grown dysfunctional, with too little transparency. But while reform is desirable, the result may not be. Consider the "new" process for approving Supreme Court of Canada nominees. The only feisty moments occurred when an NDP MP challenged Moldaver over his inability to speak French.
Three subsequent important prime ministers -- Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper -- invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. Finally, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.
Once upon a time, policy-making was about finding the best ideas to solve a problem. Today, policy process is no longer about finding the best ideas. It is mainly about managing different interest groups, many of whom are in a position to derail a process they don't like.
Don't feel guilty if you couldn't pass the silly Canadian history trivia tests that ran in most of the country's newspapers recently. A lot of people in governments, universities and publishing companies make good salaries working with Canadian history every day don't care much about it, either.