Politically Homeless

So here we are, another election.

We’ve hardly had time to exhale. Small businesses are moving forward carrying an additional debt load of $200k, parents are panicked about whether their kids will be in class. We’re dealing with waves of variants; inflation is rising and now an election. WTF? 

Like everything else coming out of Covid, we need to renegotiate our relationship with the government. This is an abnormal time filled with vulnerability and separation. Still, it’s a perfect backdrop for political ego to prance about declaring it has the answers, and that’s precisely what the leaders are doing. Because something is said and written doesn’t mean it’s true, yet that is the veil surrounding many issues. As Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

I want a natural leader. Someone with a tamed ego and a measured and objective perspective. A leader who can make solid decisions that are pragmatic and possess vision. Whose lens is compassionate and authentic and has nerves of steel and an unobstructed vision of reparation and success for all our nation. Someone who recognizes the simplicity and brilliance of common sense and can mine for taxes with a win/win approach. Something we’ve never done because it never dawned on those that that could be a possibility. The truth is, a natural leader isn’t attracted to the job. Therein lays the disconnect. None of the leaders running are exceptionally skilled strategists with the fortitude to address challenging adversaries in diplomatic ways. Instead, they have emotional charges, taking the bait and exposing their ego. Historically, the best leaders were also some of the best thinkers, from Nelson Mandela to Martin Luther King. We’re not getting anyone like that. So we’re back to where we’ve been, voting against someone rather than for someone.

The current election could cost taxpayers an estimated $610M. That amount of money would have made a significant dent coast-to-coast had it been invested in housing, equipping those most vulnerable with the services they require. The homeless issue and the economic recovery are two sides to the same coin. It’s time we start to recognize and address both of them. 

We didn’t need this election. It’s egoic. I’ll take bets we end up close to where we were except in deeper debt with not much to show for it. What I hear is separation and schoolyard talk of “we can do this better than you.” If there’s a pothole, it doesn’t matter what level of governance. The Liberals will fix it one way, the Conservatives another and the NDP yet another. But the pothole affects everyone precisely the same. It damages, and all the public wants is for it to be corrected. That holds true for other issues. But that type of common sense and collaboration doesn’t happen, and frankly, it needs to. Having an open mind to new possibilities is what politics today should be about; instead, resistance abounds. My mailbox is filled with paper and my neighbourhood is littered with signs. The hypocrisy being those running for Prime Minister, claiming to support climate change while sacrificing trees for another political sales job.

I take elections seriously. I research each party platform, call their offices, ask questions because they ultimately work for every Canadian, including me. Government is us. While some offices aren’t returning calls, others can’t answer my questions. Those who have come to my door wish they never did. They couldn’t respond succinctly to even one concern I had. Deflecting the inquiry to something lame they have familiarity with instead of answering questions that I know other Canadians may share.  

The pandemic has shown us where our institutions and policies have failed us. Start there by redesigning and improving all that is lacking, infusing it with resilience and vision. If we ever have to walk down a similar road, and we will, we’ll be in a sounder position. 

We have a health care system that is expensive. Introducing a homeopathic healing component that recognizes natural medicines and focuses on preventative medicine would create considerable savings. It costs far less to help someone that isn’t hospitalized than someone who is. Pharma has proven it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. I know of not one drug that doesn’t have more side effects than results. Let’s make well-being the focus of our health care system instead of illness. 

Let’s examine Donut Economics which focuses on the success of sustainability, creating a safe and equitable space for humanity versus one group getting rich on the shoulders of others.  They’re doing it in Nanaimo

Let’s attract biotech companies supporting innovative and alternative plant-based medicines that we can export. God forbid if sanctions are ever held against us, and we are dependent on medications that we can’t access. We need to become self-sufficient and export what we create. Why isn’t the government nurturing that? If they had already invested, we would’ve been prepared for this pandemic with homegrown vaccines averting the lockdowns, but that takes vision and action. I’m not asking for a psychic, but I am suggesting a strategic vision.

Canadians are a robust, tough and resilient crew. I love this country and the people who live here. Canadians are portrayed a tad like Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World. That’s accurate when it comes to our generosity and friendship, but the truth is we’re a pretty sophisticated lot, and our leaders don’t reflect that. Sixty percent of Canadians have passports, close to 90% have cell phones, and over 96% are online. 

Creativity is the primary currency of problem-solving in many professions, opening doors that otherwise would be shut. Politics is void of creative and abstract thinkers. It’s saddled in the past, fearful of progressive action, the currency at stake, votes. Politicians reach for the lowest hanging fruit, and on many occasions, it’s already rotten, deserving of falling and blending into the landscape. Putting your attention slightly higher up means the fruit that could serve is ignored because it’s a tad effortful.  

There’s a Kool-Aid that politicians drink where they believe they are somehow anointed when they’re not. To quote Paul Begala, “politics is show business for ugly people.” There’s truth to those words. Some political individuals genuinely want to make a difference, but the political landscape is incongruent in manifesting those interests. Instead, we get lots of lip service filled with slow and unimaginative ideas. The past is a depleted place from which to mine. We need to look towards the future.  Canada is filled with visionaries. Get the leaders in their prospective fields like David Suzuki and Brigitte Alepin to guide politicians on issues like climate change, taxes, health and our economy. They know their landscape better than any bureaucrat. 

Every day the parties waste precious time wronging each other, not taking responsibility, or thoroughly evaluating the issues objectively when they need to be working towards change. We need to eliminate waste and introduce terms. Complacency comes with incumbency, and terms must be set for all politicians. Even great athletes retire. 

I want to see my friend’s fairness, diplomacy, democracy, choice, reason and evidence back. I’ve missed them—Good-bye deflection. I also want someone who recognizes straight out of the gate that they work for Canadians. Not for their ego or to satisfy their personal agenda. Corruption and politics are partners, but they don’t need to be. Transparency is a core value in healthy relationships. I certainly expect that from our leaders. I have stringent rules I must abide by on the boards I sit on. I expect nothing less from the politicians who are supposed to serve their constituents. It’s called ‘public service,’ not private. They need to have the courage of their convictions to create positive change while being bright and intelligent radical thinkers.

I don’t want my grandkids living in an apocalyptic climate-afflicted planet saddled with debt. That’s our problem. We created it, not them. Leaders need to be stewards of that transformation—enough vacillating and using current events like the pandemic as currency to leverage votes. Tough decisions may not net out votes but can bring with it the greatest return on investment, benefiting the masses. That’s when a natural leader educates people and illustrates the outcome—refusing to reach for the lowest-hanging fruit to secure themselves above the rest. 

With chartered banks posting obscene profits while veterans in the 4th stage of Cancer occupied homeless encampments during the pandemic, I barely recognize this as being Canada.

I’m a fan of Wyatt Sharpe from Orono, Ontario. He possesses a fantastic comprehension of Canadian politics. He’s wise, focused and measured. He has an innocence and speaks from a place of humility and wants to be Prime Minister one day. He’s exceedingly more knowledgeable than those who’ve knocked on my door. He’s also twelve.  

For the first time, I find myself somewhere I never thought I’d be – politically homeless.


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