A Singular Moment in our Political Ethos

20130708-100036.jpgI am a voracious reader of newspapers everyday. The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, The Leader Post (back home), The National Post, and the Toronto Sun (for a laugh) all find their way past my scanning eyeballs in the morning. The headlines are mostly the same, and the takes on those headlines are mostly the same (the Sun being the lone, right wing paranoid exception).

I find myself drawn to the opinion columns. Politics captures my attention first. Articles on transit come next. For these reasons, it’s a great time to be living in Toronto – the place where City Hall has devolved into reality television, and transit has become some sort of ball our politicians kick around for sport.

The city is at a gridlocked crossroads, both politically and logistically. Queen’s Park is now driven by an ‘activist’ left-leaning government in Kathleen Wynn. Austerity measures from past regimes have been exposed for the devastating, socially divisive, and economically stagnant policies that they are. The next mayor of Toronto will be somebody who recognizes the need for collaboration and massive spending on infrastructure to repair the deficit previous political generations left us with.

Federally, the Conservatives have never been more unpopular in the polls, and this is due mostly to their own style of governance, and not the emergence of Justin Trudeau. The next 15 months could see a massive, massive shift in the ethos of our political landscape.

Around the world, austere right wing governments are falling. The first world gap between the rich and the poor has never been wider. America is at war with itself and ill-equipped to deal with the damn about to burst. Climate change is a reality, and our political thinking is two decades behind our scientific prognostications. Social media fuels a democratic activism in the political process that previous generations could only envy (or fear).

History is right here, right now. It’s exciting. It’s scary. And it all makes for a good read.

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