IF SANTA CAME AT THANKSGIVING
Dear Mr. Claus,
I have been a very good boy this year. I look forward to your imminent arrival. Please ensure that you stock the following for me, in reward for my stellar behaviour. In other words, all I want for Thanksgiving is:
1. Government by ethical people who place the common good above their own interests and ideologies.
2. Government by people who are principled but not dogmatic; who are able to listen and to consult and to keep all channels of communication open even when they are ‘getting an earful.’
3. A coalition government that includes Justin Trudeau, Thomas Mulcair and Elizabeth May in senior cabinet positions. The Prime Minister is irrelevant to me; I will be happy with any of these three. I would also make room for a Tory or two in cabinet, but there is slim pickings there if quality is what we are looking for (refer to items 1 and 2 above). Perhaps Peter McKay’s wife might be encouraged to stand and run. She seems to be made of the right stuff for leadership. And while we are at it, 50% of parliament represented by women.
4. A government committed to work with civil society and the private sector on building a diversified green economy.
5. A government that puts peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding ahead of bomb dropping and fear-mongering.
6. A government that governs as if the poor matter most.
7. A government that builds water delivery systems, not prisons.
8. A government that recognizes that ‘Canada’ is more than a geographic space occupied by self-centred consumers and profit-oriented free market capitalists; that being ‘open for business’ must be balanced by the complex business of building and supporting a strong Canadian identity. This means significant support for the arts, and for organizations such as the Canada Council and the CBC.
9. A government that recognizes that education is the foundation of economic, social and ultimately ecological stability. Quality education should be affordable to all. The choices are there for spending Canadians’ tax money: spending on the software of teaching, training and research and on the hardware of buildings is money better spent than that which goes toward prisons and pensions for corrupt politicians.
10. A government that is unafraid of the information its own scientists collect, and of the knowledge scientists everywhere generate. Knowledge is power, and therefore dangerous, but a government who follows 1-9 has nothing to fear or lose and everything to gain.
11. A government committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, both in word and deed.
12. A government that works with all parties in parliament, with the provincial Premiers, and with the Mayors of our major and secondary cities.
13. A government free of bullies.
Kind regards. Enjoy the milk and cookies,