Dear Canada (and Prime Minister Trudeau),
I’ve stayed rather elusive about this, but only because I don’t want to start any fights. The only reason I’m being upfront now is because I believe that it needs to be said. This past Monday. Canada voted in what is to be known as a historical election. Not only was voter turnout up 68% from 2011’s election and had it’s strongest young voter turnout, we came together as a country and made a decision to vote for change. Prime Minister Trudeau, the youngest leader to be elected in the history of Canada, has now become the face to represent all Canadians.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve always been a supporter of the NDP from the time I was first introduced into Canadian politics. The conservative government didn’t speak anything to my generation, but I know it’s always wishful thinking to have an NDP goverment. I, just like everyone else though wanted a change. Stephen Harper, who was representing each and every single person on an international front was making us look bad. Sure he’s an “economist” who has done a great number of things for this country, but he’s also done a great number of things that make us look bad as a nation. We’re all about equality, diversity and helping those less fortunate. Our stance on violence, on women’s rights and being a welcome beacon to those who need help, are what make us so likable as Canadians. In the past year or so, that’s been tainted. The once shiny glow of Canadian pride was slowly being diminished by scandal after scandal within parliament hill, unreasonable comments about ethnic wear, and an overall coldness we didn’t once have.
I’m not saying Justin Trudeau will be the saviour to all our problems, because unless you can tell the future, nobody knows what will happen. Everyone says “all politicians lie”, but they also do a lot of good. I’ve been seeing a lot of praise about Mr. Trudeau, but I’ve been seeing a lot more skepticism and harsh judgement before he’s even been sworn in. His platform wasn’t just about legalizing Mary Jane, or creating a safe place to do drugs (which BC has been the forefront of, if I’m correct, for awhile now). Justin is young, he understands that the baby boomers are soon to be retiring, and the Millennial age group will soon be the dominant age in our Country. He understands that as a nation we are stuck in more ways than one. He gets that something needs to be changed.
The one thing I admire most about Mr. Trudeau is his willingness to listen. He’s not all about the politics, but instead he’s about the people who live and run this country. The moment I saw the video of him thanking people in a Montreal Subway Station the day after he was elected, was the moment I knew things would be different. He may be a politician, but he genuinely cares about us. Think about it – when was the last time you saw Harper on the streets just being among his fellow people? And campaigning and strategic appearances do not count. They don’t. And if you think they do, you’re wrong.
He may bring our country into more debt, he may not. He may give more focus on our environmental issues, or promise to help ease our taxes, he may not. All I ask, is to go in to his leadership with an open mind. Stop hating on someone we’ve yet to truly get to know, and wondering what possibilities he’ll come up with. We used to be a country full of optimism, now we’ve become so used to being cynical that we’ve forgotten what it used to be like.
Call me an optimist, but I feel like with the bad Mr. Trudeau may bring, he’ll also bring forward the best side of Canada. He’s 100 per cent for everyday Canadians, and in the end, I think it’s his effort and stamina that will win us over. And remember, it’s not 1 vs. 32 million. He has various outlets he has to go through before anything ever gets approved. He’s got an entire team behind him to help him guide the way and make the best decisions for all of us. So while I’m usually on the side of the NDP, I’m also behind our new Prime Minister – until he proves otherwise.
We’re all human, we all make mistakes. We all deserve a chance to prove our greatness, including Mr. Trudeau. So before you decide to bring him down, give him a chance to shine. I wish you all the luck Mr. Trudeau, and I hope you don’t disappoint me, or every other Canadian. I can only speak for myself, but I want you to succeed. I want you to make a difference and I want you to make Canada what it once was. Being old fashioned isn’t a bad thing, just as long as you’re willing to step forward into the future.
Prove them wrong, stay humble, work hard and you will come out on the other side.