Canada at 150

A few hundred people have convened in Montreal and many more are linking in virtually to discuss the Canada we want and what investments, sacrifices and trade offs we have to make to get there.  Whatever the political merits, this can only be a good thing, focusing our attention on our shared aspirations and concerns.  We already can see early returns in the thoughtful, though not necessarily laudatory, pieces by Bob Hepburn, John Ibbitson, Jim Travers, and Jeffrey Simpson.

Running through these pieces is another question – can contemporary politics rise to the challenge.  The relationship between politics and policy is always a bit strained but lately it seems that the two have not even been talking. As Simpson says, today they are talking, but are the politicians listening?  Perhaps the biggest issue going forward will be whether Canada gets politicians who are prepared to level with us about what needs doing and inspire us to do it – and will we punish or reward them for their honesty?

PS. The Mark News has a timely series on leadership.

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