As a lapsed Liberal I've spent the past couple of years in political limbo. The Harper government has been mediocre at best. The Liberals, first under Dion and then Ignatieff, have been duds. The NDP, well I still don't trust them, probably never will.
It finally dawned on me that rejecting the current offerings doesn't mean I have to limit myself to criticizing them. No, indeed, this is an opportunity to express what I want to hear from a party I'd be willing to support. What is important to me? What am I looking for? So, here goes. This is what I want in exchange for my vote.
1. I want a government that gives genuine priority to climate change. Every country is facing significant climate change impacts just from the emissions already in the atmosphere. We have to come to grips with that. Our government has to get a practical assessment of what's coming our way. It has to get that information out to local authorities and the public. It has to evaluate our options for adaptation and then engage the processes of planning and implementation.
2. I want a government that acknowledges that the wealth gap, the inequality between rich and poor, is a scourge to the country and its future that needs to be redressed. Inequality harms everybody save for the richest of the rich. It hobbles us and holds us back. It undermines the social cohesiveness we're going to need to meet the challenges coming our way this century.
3. I want a government dedicated to the restoration of a robust, vital and independent Canadian media. That would be a government willing to compel the dismemberment of the corporate media cabal that suffocates diversity and serves power interests instead of the public interest. I want more owners, not fewer, more reporters and columnists, not just the hacks who preside today.
4. I want a government resolved to restore Canada's place in the world. There is no shortage of combat soldiers in the world. Contributing a couple of thousand warriors here or there is a wee drop in a very deep bucket. Yet there is an enormous need for peacekeepers. The job may have become more violent today than it was in the 60's but that hardly determines its relevance. We don't need to become a brigade in America's Foreign Legion.
In short, I want a truly Progressive government, one willing to take long overdue bold stands needed to serve the people of Canada. I want a government with true vision, one that is able to look around the country, see what's happening and understand what's needed. I want a government willing to act with courage and principle, not the milquetoasts who want power but aren't willing to fight for it.
That's my wish list. What's yours?