During the past nine years, reputations have been shattered, national institutions have been destroyed, the rules of parliament abused, the federation itself weakened, and the trust in the institutions of democracy profoundly undermined. Justin Trudeau will have to do a lot of heavy lifting to repair the damage.
Could we as a people, despite our many distinctions, be giving birth to a new kind of revolutionary optimism, to the belief we recognize that the political estate can only be as collaborative, visionary, or as engaged as we are? If so, and if the advanced polls are any indication, we could be building our own "Field of Dreams," but with one great distinction.
Actions matter more than words, but in his speech to Americans, Obama's words overshadowed his actions. He spoke to hearts and minds, outlining an aspirational set of shared values on immigration. His subtext was 'we're not there yet,' but speaking ten steps ahead of hearts and minds is how to get there.
A recent police raid of Swedish subtitling website Undertexter highlights the need for the reform of copyright laws, and how these antiquated rules should be replaced with new regulations that better favour Internet users, innovators, and content creators. Undertexter had its headquarters raided for the simple crime of providing fanmade subtitles for foreign and hearing-disabled fans of shows and movies. Now they've paid the price.
Canada's sleepy and dysfunctional "board of directors/content providers", aka its Senate, thrives without justification and without an audience. Its shareholders, and CEO Stephen Harper, disdain the place and yet it continues. The best course of action is for our Prime Minister to become the political equivalent of a hedge fund manager. His job is to enhance shareholder value and there's no better course of action than to ignore threats of litigation by Quebec, stop the losses to reputation and treasure and shut this national embarrassment down immediately.
Around two hundred thousand Quebec students were out in the streets of Montreal protesting tuition hikes Thursday. Their claims are unfounded, or at the very least misguided -- but one thing I must concede is how this movement is getting Quebeckers out of their bubble of indifference relating to public affairs.