Saturday Morning Coffee

International Affairs Specialist by day, Blogger Enthusiast by night. This is a sneak peek into my world that should be enjoyed with ample time and a good and very strong cup of java.

The State of our Union

I’m a sucker for drama. I love it; love the intrique, the storylines, the passion, the risks. Throw in some humor and you have the ideal screenplay for my Friday night! It’s no wonder then that drama is what has attracted me to the profession I’m in – So many personalities, priorities and problems to go around that drama really is bound to follow and everybody has an opinion and much to the chagrin of our democracy, we have to listen to them.  

Keeping this in mind, watching the State of the Union last night was my version of the Oscars. I don’t know all the actors, but I know the biggie’s, I enjoy hearing their responses and torts and the partisan interaction. I also kinda like seeing the outfits.

Over and over again, Obama blows me away with his speeches. I’m not even American and I get emotional! I like the priorities they’ve set out and the pragmatic manner in which they’re hoping to solve their obstacles (or so he says). Of course, reactions follow and debate errupts all over the networks, but its dialogue. I also like that the event has given the American people a chance to once again understand their leader, what their values are and where they see themselves in the future.

I know that I cannot say the same about Canada.

Is there consensus in Canada about what our challenges are? Do we have unified national values? Do we have a common vision for what the future of this country will look like? It annoys me that important issues arise in the public domain because the media covers them, not a top-down approach that sees executive leadership explain the state of our federation and attempts to move it forward. Instead, we have a protracted view of the political system that sees much power delegated to the provinces, where debate over central issues is not widely discussed or analysed, and as a result, ignorance results.

Politics is not an easy game and its riddled with tactics, timing and Oh the drama! but it has to be open and transparant to the electorate otherwise we compromise the system. Squashing funding for research and development in numerous sectors may balance the books, but it doesn’t make us stronger, it just makes us rich idiots. Neglecting to collect census data makes our programming based on nothing more than campaign contributions and who our leadership likes in government.  What are we doing and what are we striving for?! A Statement of Our Union would help. So would active debate. After all, Knowledge is power and the Canadian people deserve not to be left in the dark.


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January 2012
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