When the title of my post contains "Part "X"" in brackets, you know it's not good. I've often been known to make a short story long, yet I come by it honestly, having learned some time ago I often have to offer a detailed explanation when I say things, or do it repeatedly afterwards.
Welcome, my friends, to "The Vision Movement". Currently 1 member strong but hopeful for growth in the future. The vision movement, for now, exists only in my head, however, fear not, there is plenty of room in there.
This is intended to be the first in a series of what I hope will be evolving posts, and I'm counting on them being fueled and part of a fluid process, based on feedback from like-minded fellow Canadians.
I'm unsure where it may lead, if anywhere, other than me expending the time and effort to try to elucidate my thoughts on a society that builds on the best of what we already have, changes things we have proven are outdated or not working, and provides some kind of cohesive plan going forward.
The vision movement is not a political party (although I'd never rule out the idea it may have to become one), it's more of a meeting of the many minds who have come to realize government does not act in the interests of all of the people. Here, the opinion of the billionaire tycoon carries the same weight as the homeless guy that sleeps on the bench in the park. It's about inclusion and truth. It's about taking power and sharing it with everyone.
This is not about being conservative or liberal or any other party. It has absolutely nothing to do with getting back at anyone, there's no in-your-face we win, simply because the vision movement is about the empowerment of people as equals.
I do want to move forward with what I think is an important discussion. If I don't get feedback, if I don't get some interest, I'll chalk it up as another "at least I tried" moment in my life and move on. I guess it's really going to be up to readers whether there is a part 2 and beyond or not. Once I put the thoughts out there, I transfer it into your hands to decide if it sounds interesting to you, and whether you'd be interested in moving the concept forward or letting it die on the order paper.
I don't describe this as a socialist movement, rather, this is my attempt at encouraging a societal movement. It's about honesty and reality, about dealing with the bad and the good, about learning powerful lessons from hundreds of years of democracy, a shared determination to keep the things that are good and important to us and improve them, conversely it is also about admitting our system is very broken, and it's time for a 21st century update to a more inclusive and sensible system. Our system is archaic and tradition may be nice and all that, but it doesn't mean we should go back to traditional outhouses any more than we should still be operating in a system largely unchanged for centuries.
I subscribe to neither the all out "nanny-state" nor the notion that smaller government is always the best solution. Extremes are for extremists.
I'm not out to "get" business or the wealthy. I'm never going to advocate the notion of "every man for himself, survival of the fittest" either. One thing I think I have learned is that we have, for over a century, alternately elected conservatives or liberals, few of whom have seriously provided much vision in my lifetime. It's been a series of wrongs, both sides clinging to their particular ideology which can be widely warped if it appears it may win them the election. No party exists today that is interested in delivering what I am looking for. Massive, radical change. Not for the sake of change, but for the sake of taking society to a place where we can build for the future, not cling to the past.
How many times have you voted for someone you liked and respected and thought would make a difference, only to find when they do obtain power, do everything opposite to what they've preached or promised? I wonder how many times good, well meaning people of all political persuasions, have been elected with the idea they can make a difference once in power, only to rapidly have those ideas, and their spirit, crushed by a system designed to be run top-down. This is not what we deserve. It's what we have, and as long as we are content with occasionally changing the players rather than the rules, the game will continue. That is what our life has devolved to: a game. A game of politics, where one side or the other must win at all costs to advance their agenda, based solely on their ideology.
This isn't a game. Politics should not be a spectator sport where some citizens win and others lose. It's wrong. It's long since passed its expiry date. It is long overdue, but the vision movement can make this change. Believe that you can, for we are all far more powerful than we will know, if only we explore our own power.
Part 1 of the vision is the unwrapping and demystifying government. It's about being able to expect honesty, to expect a government that is dedicated to creating a society that others look to for inspiration. It's about public, real-time accounting to taxpayers for every penny spent. It's about coming to our senses, creating a Canada that doesn't have to choose between rich and poor, business and citizens, left or right, or any other divisions. Reasonable Canadians, whether they like to be pigeonholed into categories or not, would be able to agree that we can spend our money smarter, and recognize we are unique in our steadfast survival against overwhelming odds. The second largest country in the world by land mass, one of the world's richest countries, yet we only have the population of California, which, in any sense of the word is failing its citizens due to the same kind of politics we seem to be embracing.
Canadians are determined, yet today, we've lost sight of why we are a country in the first place. We totally ignore an obvious historic reality: Canada as we know it was built through compromise and cooperation. Now everyone thinks they have some kind of irreparable grievance, because for the last several decades this is how elections have been won, by playing on why some particular part of the country or portion of the population has been horribly wronged and the only way to fix it is by backing your "Team" (sic) in the next election. News Flash: We are devouring our own flesh for the sake of bragging rights.
Aside from dragging government and its cumbersome, tired mass kicking and screaming into the present (how else will we be prepared for a future?), the vision movement is about just that. Vision. Ideas that not only touch the lives of all Canadians, but build on the things that bring us together instead of always fostering a battle of the differences. Confederation was a vision to create a country. The coast to coast railway was a vision about expanding this country and tying it together. The Trans-Canada highway opened up a vast and beautiful country of opportunity to all Canadians, that also took vision. Our most treasured, and one might say, sacred visions, is our system of medicare which, while flawed, we hold dear to our hearts. The thing is, these are some of the monumental things we have done through compromise and cooperation. I've never given up on caring about Canada. It's not about me, it about my daughter, and your kids, and their kids and all the kids to come. I'm not going to suggest my vision is perfect, that's why I'm hoping for feedback. If I think there is interest, I'll explore some options for the kinds of national visions we should be thinking about. Things to shed our labels and for once, make us all proud Canadians.
It isn't about winning or losing. It's about changing. It's about setting the table for the future. It's about something more than polling numbers and talking points and cronyism. It's one lone man who has devoted years of thought to what is wrong, why it's wrong, and trying to determine the path to effect change.
So I need to know. Am I alone? Is there a will to build a dream?
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture