One fact that has been established firmly in the last 12 months or more is that both Canada and the United States are incredibly-divided countries for the same reason – their political leadership.
In the U.S., a billionaire has already launched an open campaign seeking the impeachment of unpredictable President Donald Trump. Noisy and often violent public demonstrations against Trump edicts, announcements, attack-style Twitter feeds and irrational behaviour are daily occurrences from coast to coast.
Trump sometimes reminds me of insult comedian Don Rickles – “is there anyone in the room I haven’t offended yet…” But there is hardly a nightly talk show host in the nation whose opening agendas are not aimed directly and negatively at the president. It is not very funny sometimes…
There is barely a week goes by without a new ‘crisis of confidence’ in this leader.
Across Canada, just reading and watching social media alone is quite enough to allow even the casual reader to form the conclusion that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be one of the most contentious political leaders this nation has ever known.
The traditional media, print, radio and television confirms daily there are equally-gaping divisions across our country based on the the policies, practices and, yes, the personal behaviour of our prime minister and some of his ministers.
This past month, revelations about alleged conflicts of interest had not, at time of writing, brought down Finance Minister Bill Morneau – but there’s a large, vocal political and public opposition pack out there baying for his head on a platter!
George Bush was the most recent American president to stir a huge negative reaction among American voters and Bill Clinton’s amorous proclivities frequently threatened his career. Richard Nixon resigned the presidency after the Watergate scandal – which I believe would be seen today as barely a blip on the often-startling panorama of peculiar events unfolding across the U.S.
In Canada, just following the tidal wave of commentary bile spilling across the numerous attack postings I read on my own Facebook account, reveals as much about some of the writers as it does about Justin Trudeau as a prime minister, but it is not an uplifting experience.
New words, new names and astoundingly-frank insult postings abound, to an extent I personally have never seen before,
A New York Times article on the range of Trump impeachment efforts attracts thousands of comments by noon. But they also demonstrate clearly that wide canyon of disparate opinion and division that exists from Maine to California.
In Canada, however, our famed good manners and public democracy often emerge to help ameliorate much of the harmful commentary bedevilling the Trudeau government.
Last Tuesday began a week of better economic news that is giving the Liberal government some new wiggle room. But difficulties with NAFTA negotiations and some of our challenging international activities, such as sending former Ontario Premier Bob Rae to Myanmar, seem certain to ensure the divisions will remain deep.
Now, with the Conservatives and NDP brandishing new leadership in Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh, we can expect the road to the 2019 general election will begin to heat up considerably. There’s no shortage of ammunition or antagonism.
If the stone-walling by government leadership in question period in the House of Commons continues, we can be certain that the Liberals are not planning much deviation from their chosen path – the campaign is underway.
On a lighter note, anyone who can ‘do something about the weather’ might get my vote. “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain…”
And I’m certainly looking for a sunny day I thought might never end.
Last Saturday’s dump of wet snow flattened my garden greenery before I could get around to tying it up for winter,
But our power failure and this week’s pounding, relentless rain showed us again our so-called middle-of-the road unstable weather does not always protect us from flooding and its accompanying problems. But it reminds us that it’s the end of October and a few degrees less in temperature could just as easily have buried us in enough snow to last the winter – before the Grey Cup game!!
I hope Malcolm Baxter’s bible, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting wrongly for a cold, snowy winter – but surely we are a bit overdue!