For a wealthy nation, why are so many Canadians living in a climate of uncertainty and insecurity?
Time and money don't bring you happiness, they bring you choices.
If you treasure your gifts, Invest them wisely chances are you will get the returns that come with your decisions. The pursuit of happiness, purpose, passion, love and belonging, adventure, knowledge, and security.
What if you lack one or both? You don't have time, and you don't have money. Choices quickly shift from a dream state to a nightmare as you focus on survival, getting through another day, making it to another paycheck, choosing between fueling your car to get to work, or putting food on your family's table. What if you live in constant fear of another bill or unforeseen circumstances or losing your job?
That sadly is the case for many Canadians. I ask how is that possible? We are a democratic country of only 38 million people, and rich in intellectual and natural resources, and we have a currency the world still trusts. We have the second-largest landmass in the world, we share a border and language with the world's largest economy, and scale is no longer the prerequisite for success, imagination is. With our freedom and values, we are magnetic in our ability to attract immigrants who want to come here to chase their Canadian Dream.
My belief is that the dire state that many of our fellow citizens are in, is happening because of the choices being made by our political leaders, at all levels of government and across all parties. They don't treasure taxpayer money, and they borrow without regard for future generations. They squander it with little accountability or transparency or strategy other than rewarding their partisan base. In terms of time their focus is on winning the next election, versus setting Canadians up for the next ten, twenty or fifty years.
Voters have been conditioned not to vote because we feel all are the same, or to vote based on what's in it for me. We don't demand answers to questions, transparency, or audits to where all this money has gone, who has benefited and why. We accept foreign interference in our elections and how we govern our nation and Political and media spin is becoming so sophisticated and personalized that it divides our nation, wipes out our memory and in doing so we lose faith in democracy.
We need to reset Democracy and set up as many Canadians as we can up for success, now and into the future. Here is my plan.
Leadership. We need leaders who have a proven track record in making difficult decisions based on strategy, and the prioritization of resources. Leaders who treasure our tax dollars and who only borrow to invest in our future.
Accountability. We are overspending and underdelivering on the majority of public service and infrastructure projects yet offering those in charge full immunity for their incompetency. We need accountability within the public service and all who supply it.
Transparency. We have little transparency into where our tax and borrowed dollars are spent. We need to change that by showing where every dollar is spent and highlighting with a bright yellow neon pen all connections between political donations to parties, trusts, foundations and beneficiaries of public service contracts. If corruption is happening we need to prosecute.
Elections. Foreign interference in our democratic process can not be tolerated. I would do the same with any organization or union whose future and whose contracts are guaranteed by working for the government in power. To prevent it I would ban all advertising. Candidates at any level of government would be given four questions to answer via video, and they also would be allowed two questions that they can add, that they feel best suit their views on how to best run Canada. Their videos will be posted, and these same questions will be part of televised debates. Voters can vote via their mobile phones - yes the same phones we bank and make investments with. With it, I would bring about much-needed electoral reform and proportional representation.
Natural Resources. The world is waking up to the reality of being dependent on energy from totalitarian regimes and a climate choked by electricity generated from coal. Canada can lead the world in harvesting our resources in the most environmentally friendly way. With this money, we can pay down our debt, provide energy security to our allies, and invest in green technology and a new economy.
Immigration. The war on talent, and business without boundaries that takes place in the clouds, will make it harder to attract the immigration we need to grow. Canada must be the place for people to seek their dreams. We must fast-track our ability to identify talent, bring them to Canada, provide them with permanent residency and citizenship. We must reclaim the values of tolerance and diversity that we have lost in the past decade of dividing to conquer.
It's time for a reset. It will take a great leader with a proven track record of making tough decisions that benefit all stakeholders. Someone who has credibility, who refuses to surrender to partisan interests, and puts Canada and Canadians above all. Someone who sets future generations up for their future.
Fyi. I have a podcast called Chatter that Matters. I have included links to some interviews that I have with exceptional leaders.
Michael McCain talks about shared values versus only shareholder values, and his approach to capitalism and climate change is world-leading. To listen click here.
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