On a human level, not so many years ago, eight-year-old Justin Trudeau was taken for lunch in the parliamentary dining room by his father, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. After Justin made a joke about someone in the room, his father took him aside and told him that it’s possible to disagree with someone without denigrating their character. It was his father who told him that, no matter what the argument is, it is possible to respect another opinion and work to resolve a problem. And it was his father who demanded of him, and indeed of this country, that we exhibit tolerance of other opinions and differences. Over the years, his son and the country have forgotten this mantra, and instead have given in to the people around him, and us.
So what does this all mean, especially after the fractious election of 2019? Maybe Justin Trudeau needs to shed his cloak of advisers and listen to the soul of the country—and heed the words of his father.
He could start by appointing some of his so-called opponents to cabinet positions. There is plenty of talent to choose from. The gesture would be outlandish and innovative and would create a truly collaborative working government that would serve the country and not just self-serve.
You might also like:
Wasn’t it Trudeau who said we must celebrate our diversity, that in fact it is our strength? He added that we must learn to co-operate and understand our differences, not reinforce them.
Well, here’s his chance to begin a new dawn of Canadian politics. Appointing members of other parties to cabinet will include, not alienate them. It will force collaboration and co-operation. It will demonstrate to Canadians that people from different backgrounds and beliefs can work together. It’s no good preaching the virtues of this to the public if government itself can’t set an example. There is no better chance for Canada to show its true mettle to the world than by becoming a progressive role model for others to follow.
That’s how we evolved as a country, and it’s how we can evolve as a society. As Lester Pearson said. “We are a solution looking for a problem.”