Sunday, May 8, 2011

Creating Narratives

So now the election is over. The conservatives won, but so did, on a relative scale, did the NDP. We have come to a clear delineation between two world views, collective and individual.

One the one hand, I think that this is a good thing. The Liberals, for so many years, have been the 'safe' bet. The compromise that we could all live with. No narrative, per se, but rather the balance point defined by desire and fear. Desire to do the right thing, and fear of paying too much.

 Our Nation, has not really chosen a narrative, like the Peacekeeper or Medicare or Balanced Budgets, rather they've pushed their way into our consciousness from the fringes - usually the NDP or Reform. To their credit though, it was the Liberals who brought all of these things to fruition on a national scale. But these successes were accompanied by a certain arrogance that rankled. Especially in the moment. And sometimes they failed. Look at the National Energy Program. And in the end, we could see the achievement only at the moment of culmination, or sometimes, only after it had become entrenched.

But in these last few years, we've gone from compromise to muddle.

So the Liberals now, are spent, and about bloody well time, I say. Now we have a Left/Right dichotomy in the House while I embrace the clarity this may bring, I fear that our story may become the American story. Only two ways are seen, and to entertain ideas from the other end of the spectrum is naught but treason.

The single largest benefit of a multi party system is that new ideas flow. Ideas force their way into the public narrative to create innovative public policy. I think that this Parliament will be useful, help us to once again have a clear Narrative from both ends, to show us distinct policies to help us define ourselves. Define our choices, costs and benefits.

Just keep in mind, please, that Policy is not just about solving problems, it's also an opportunity to dream, to see not just a safer future, but a better one.

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