Like many, I watched both the Canadian and U.S. political debates last week. And like many I shook my head at the shameless pursuit of these potential leaders to get their media sound bites, as opposed to the much needed presentations of progressive economic, environmental and social policies that will advance our respective nations.
In Canada, I blame that on the debate format that allowed for multiple microphones to be on at the same time. In America, I blame that on the presence of Donald Trump.
But as the various caricatures struggled for air time, one thing became incredibly obvious:
Canada’s opposition leaders are on a path to creating an uncompetitive, bureaucratic, socialist state while opposition leaders in the United States are passionately committed to making the American economy the most entrepreneurial, innovative and competitive economy in the world.
And this should concern Canadians.
It should concern us because the advantages Canada has built up during the Obama Administration are at risk, and at risk of reversing rather quickly.
Advantages are relative. And, just as Canada has been successful in the attraction of business, people and investment relative to the U.S. over the past eight years as the Obama Administration was increasing debt, deficits, taxes and bureaucracy … we risk losing our advantage if we start doing the same.
For me, there are only three ballot questions:
- Do we want to be a high-tax or a low-tax jurisdiction?
- Do we want big government or small government?
- Do we want to be a social welfare nation or a globally competitive nation?
I don’t advocate for any one political party – they all have their faults – but I do love my country and all of her potential. We have the world’s second largest land mass with a well-educated and peaceful population and an economy that is inter-connected and inter-dependent from coast to coast. We have the strongest banking system on the globe and a quality of life that ranks us consistently among the Top 5 nations, and consistently considered the most desirable country in the world.
Yes, we have massive work to be done in the areas of Indigenous rights, environmental stewardship, infrastructure investment in our cities and safe energy production and distribution. But, these next steps in Canada’s evolution can only be done on the back of a strong economy where Canadians are all productively working with small, medium and large scale competitive companies and on projects that will build a stronger nation.
From what I saw at the debate the other night, the Canadian opposition leaders are enamored with the Obama Administration, while the American leadership hopefuls are enamored with what we currently have in Canada.
America needs change.
In Canada, we should be seeking improvement … not change.