the times demand winners but you wont find them on parliament hill

Politics is the most singularly necessary and yet the most significantly irrelevant game in town. In the official record books at the Canada Winter…

Politics is the most singularly necessary and yet the most significantly irrelevant game in town.

In the official record books at the Canada Winter Games there will be winners and losers.

But because organized sports are one of the few areas of activity in which participants give it everything they’ve got, everyone is a winner.

The games about to unfold in Ottawa however are vastly different. There will be no winners in the upcoming federal election.

I am afraid all Canadians will be losers.

My solution: Throw the bums out, send them packing and put in the second string.

Harper, Dion, Layton, May, Duceppe — gather your things.

Politics is the most singularly necessary and yet the most significantly irrelevant game in town.

Why?

Two reasons:

First, people in power got there because they have achieved the pinnacle of political parlance — the ability to articulate the conventional wisdom.

And second, conventional wisdom has one fundamental and increasingly fatal flaw — it is only capable of providing us with after-the-fact solutions.

The problems all Canadians now face are enormous.

Solutions will only be forthcoming if we find legislative ways to institute an unconventional wisdom that enables us to prevent problems from becoming unsolvable.

Party leaders are proposing solutions that will have little if any bearing on real problems.

Leaders currently jockeying for the gold are losers and they are doing a real disservice to their respective political parties.

Here are the real issues staring us in the face:

We have overpopulated the planet, period. We have bred ourselves into a real pickle and have far exceeded the carrying capacity of our natural systems.

If we do not have leadership on this issue quickly, little else will matter.

Globalization was narrow as an idea to begin with. More simply put, it was unnecessary. Now it will be difficult if not impossible to extricate us from this mess.

Any forthcoming solution will require a rethinking of basic economics, a realignment of regional powers, a redesign of our systems of distribution.

Capitalism was a shinning star in the early 19th century. It burned out as a fair and equitable system of exchange early in the 20th. Socialism has fared no better.

We are out of affordable oil, have been for a half-century.

In no country, at any level of political importance, is there a department of peace. All countries, no matter how small have either a defence department or a standing military.

In all cases these are one and the same and are exact opposites of peace and stability.

Terrorism is a problem of little significance. It does however capture headlines and it feeds the military industrial complex.

Causalities stemming from terrorism pale in comparison to those associated with hunger and disease. The real casualty figures will only start to roll in as global warming kicks in.

As the quantity and complexity of these problems continue to mount, the quality of leadership throughout the world — particularly in Canada — has continued to slide.

Michael Bliss, one of Canada’s most distinguished historians, brings it home:

“Where are the giants of old, the Macdonalds, Lauriers, Bordens, Trudeaus?

Where are the leaders we yearn for in troubled times? Where are the visionaries? Why don’t better men and women go into Parliament?”

Bliss builds a strong case for an overabundance of losers.

Why, I ask myself is Ottawa not full of winners?

Because party politics sustains itself on rote thought.

Look it up; I had to.

Rote: the use of memory with little intelligence; routine or repetition carried out mechanically or unthinkingly.

Again, according to Bliss.

“It is certainly true … that Canadians have recently been more estranged from Parliament and the country’s national political elites. This is part of the concept of the democratic deficit. The leaders fell out of touch….”

This is a very important observation on his part.

Our leadership is clearly out of touch.

Out of touch it would seem with an electorate that is not out of touch.

Every time I engage ordinary Canadians in discussions on real issues, I am immediately amazed at the insights, the clarity, the unconventional approaches they are willing to take to solve serious problems.

Canadians are fed up with pollution, with greenhouse gases, with rape and pillage land use policies, with senseless military occupations, with mediocre educational programs that fail to engage and excite young learners, with violence on TV, in film, on the internet, with the demise of the family farm, with carcinogenic foods, with melting ice caps, with species extinctions and, they are willing to make serious sacrifices to solve the problems.

If you want unconventional thinking go to the coffee shops across Canada, to car dealerships, to supermarkets, to libraries, day-care centres, to churches, to reading groups, to the theatre, concert halls, the drycleaners, to your local sports arena.

But if at possible, avoid Parliament Hill.

That place is a loser.

Stay here in Whitehorse.

Take in the Canada Winter Games.

This place is full of winners.

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