– As a society we teach values as a county we shouldn’t. We let society choose it’s own values and then government attempts to protect these values. The problem is that those in government don’t understand this. People like Stephen Harper and the conservatives seem to think that the government is there to spread the values of society but due to faults in the party beliefs seeks to protect values that are not held by all the people. The next government of this country should learn to listen to the whole country. The conservative party of Canada is a regional party. Lower taxes, greater deregulation and increased privatization are values summed up by the term individualism. Individualism is to a large extent the backbone of the Conservative party. This mindset is one held in western Canada. Western Canada is a place where individuals made society. They still hold to values associated with a frontier society. Not that they are still a frontier society, but that their grandparents, parents and siblings have grown up in a society that holds these values. These values change much slower than the economic and physical situation around them changes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with individualism but it is only a part of what Canada values. The problem is that we need to incorporate these values with the values of the east. In Atlantic Canada we have a cooperative society that has developed in adversity. Maritime songs are full of stories of how the community came together to fight storms to rescue sailors and this cooperative society still exists today. We all recall the effort that the people of Gander put in to help those stranded by the closure of American airspace after Sept 11th 2001. Now our political readers are going to say I am over simplifying the issue. The problem is that we tend in Canadian politics to go the other way, to make things more complex and treat issues in a way that does not seek to address the values of all the country but to please the loudest. This makes the choice of a solution one that addresses the loudest region. If Ontario is not concerned with an issue and does not loudly object to it, it will be ignored. The problem is that issue solutions are cumulative. If too many issues that deal with western issues are regulated then the flavour of Canadian politics will defiantly be individualist in nature making it more likely that the government will be able to put forward individualist values. The way to address this is to be the most centrist part as possible. We tend to get a centrist government because we have a minority government. That is why I support the value of having a minority government. The problem is we need a faster government than what we get from a minority government . Bills become bogged down in debate or committee. I support a liberal government because it tends to be the most centrist values wise. This is because for the most part the liberals are less of a regionalist party than the conservatives. That said the liberals have to be careful not to be the voice of Ontario. To some degree this is inevitable because Ontario is one of the most diversified province having absorbed many people from other provinces as they migrate there for higher paying jobs. Of course this will change as jobs move to the other provinces, due to such things as the expanding Oil economy out west. However the values held by Ontario, will remain for some time steeped in diversification because the citizens will have grown up in a society that respects more values that are pan Canadian. This is not to say that Ontario values are the values for the whole nation, Ontario has some values that are definitely not for the west. The urban nature of Ontario tends toward the cooperative. Unions protect the group or at least for many this is the perception, the west would definitely disagree with a pro-union stance, as unions are definitely not for the individual.
– My conclusion is until we have a party that is primarily for the centre entirely one that does not pander to any one area we will not have a truly Canadian party. Why don’t we have a party that is really a centrist party (the liberals are close but not quite there)? I tend to think that we as voters would not vote for a true centrist party because we tend to be selfish and that makes us regional in our voting. Thus the government does not embrace the idea that WE ARE CANADIAN. We devalue Heritage Canada as a department and we don’t teach history from a national perspective. We need to teach a Canadian curriculum that shows our youth what it is to be Canadian from all regions and then we will have a real Canadian society and we will elect a true centrist party or one of the parties will truly embrace the centrist position, which at the moment none do. We need to develop true Canadian values from the ground up. As Pierre Elliott Trudeau said “Canada will be a strong country when Canadians of all provinces feel at home in all parts of the country, and when they feel that all Canada belongs to them.” This is a true centrist idea and truly Canadian.