Fast forward a few weeks and look at this. Not only did Canada's PM show up at the recent climate change summit in Paris-- he took several premiers and other political leaders with him. And it seems to have worked. It wasn't really that difficult was it? Neither was Alberta Premier Rachel Notley's landmark announcement of a made-in-Alberta climate change strategy, flanked by aboriginal leaders, environmentalists and resource industry executives. And how about the return of the long-form census, an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, an end to politically-motivated CRA audits of environmental groups...as well as hitting the pause button on the cult of austerity?
What a breath of fresh air all of this is after several years of toxic and divisive government. Canadians understand economic challenges, the dangers of climate change and the realities of terrorism. All this is worrisome enough without their government piling on with daily messages about why we should all be scared, all the time. It was way past time for some optimistic government and activist policies, and that is what we are seeing unfold.
It's also time for more open and collaborative government: governments that are interested in evidence, that listen to citizens, interest groups of different stripes, academics and clients of public services -- and government that includes citizens in policy-making and the design of public service delivery, as opposed to trying to drive them apart. We now have at least the promise of a more democratic form of governance and it feels pretty good.
In a world in which governments are steadily losing control over communications, information and even policy-making and delivery, political leaders who can find a way to get out in front of this, and shorten the perceived distance between government and citizens, could be around for a long time.
Sunny Days? I grew up in the UK. I would take a mix of sun and cloud with occasional showers over going back to dark and negative politics designed to divide Canadians as opposed to bringing them together.