Elec­tion re­sult lack­ing in real changecy

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

The more things change the more they stay the same. That has to be true for pol­i­tics in this coun­try.

While ev­ery po­lit­i­cal pun­dit on ev­ery chan­nel, be it tele­vi­sion or ra­dio, echoes the pop­u­lar sen­ti­ment that we are poised to ex­pe­ri­ence some real change be­cause the Lib­er­als have re­taken the reins of power, no one seems to ap­pre­ci­ate, let alone ar­tic­u­late, that the only thing that has hap­pened with a Lib­eral sweep is that the po­lit­i­cal pen­du­lum has swung the other way in what has his­tor­i­cally been a two-way choice of di­rec­tion.

Our his­tory of choos­ing be­tween two po­lit­i­cal par­ties ev­ery two or three elec­tions when there are other choices can’t be said to be new.

For those cit­i­zens who may have voted for the very first time, they can be for­given for their ex­cite­ment at the prospect of sig­nif­i­cant change when it comes to po­lit­i­cal ste­ward­ship over the next four or so years. Sea­soned vot­ers may be ex­cited as well at the prospect of sig­nif­i­cant change, but for stu­dents of his­tory, it doesn’t give any ap­pear­ance of be­ing any dif­fer­ent than what we’ve been do­ing ev­ery time we switch from one party to an­other.

A na­tional shift to either the NDP or the Green Party would demon­strate a real change. That’s en­tirely up to the elec­torate, of course. Sig­nif­i­cant change is not some­thing that any of us do very well. Our nat­u­ral ten­den­cies are to re­sist change just for the sake of change. There’s re­ally noth­ing wrong with that if there is no need or rea­son to change.

Re­luc­tantly chang­ing is not the same as em­brac­ing change, and more of­ten than not, it is our his­tory of try­ing to em­brace some­thing we think is per­ma­nent or looks per­ma­nent that con­tin­ues to keep us from mov­ing for­ward with any speed.

That’s why con­tin­u­ally choos­ing be­tween one of two par­ties over the course of our life­time can­not be con­sid­ered a le­git­i­mate at­tempt or ef­fort to change. Choos­ing a lib­eral agenda over a con­ser­va­tive one or vice versa must be ar­gued as re­luc­tant change as op­posed to change we might em­brace.

We cel­e­brate peo­ple and ideas that of­ten seem to come from left field, or out-of-the-box think­ing so to speak, yet con­tinue to con­duct our ev­ery­day lives and ex­pec­ta­tions on the ba­sis of a cen­tral kind of sta­tus quo with only pe­riph­eral changes we man­age to con­vince our­selves we can live with.

Per­haps this will be a new era. Per­haps not. This isn’t meant to be a cyn­i­cal view of what has just hap­pened at the fed­eral po­lit­i­cal level, but rather, a bona fide re­sis­tance to the pun­dits and the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who in­sist on try­ing to con­vince us that we are in for some real change.

If you don’t mind, I will wait to be con­vinced that is true. Un­til then, all we re­ally have done in this elec­tion is to re­verse a train that was run­ning in one di­rec­tion, to now run in the other di­rec­tion on the same track.

At some point, you have to ask your­self, “Is that the real kind of change we were look­ing for?” Surely the tracks can run north and south just as well as east and west.

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