What do we have if we don’t have trust?
Trust is fundamental in every aspect of our lives, I think.
It’s true in and for our personal relationships, whether we’re talking about marriages, family relations, friendships or political allegiances. We wouldn’t have personal relationships if we didn’t develop a certain degree of trust. But when something happens to those personal relationships, and trust is broken, the relationship is often irreparably broken, and things are never the same simply because they can never be the same. That’s human nature at work.
I think the same is true when we consider our trust levels regarding our financial well being, and in our social circles as well. We would never again deal with a bank, for example, if we felt that a financial institution that we’ve dealt with for years suddenly “ripped us off”. Or if we suddenly lost a small fortune because our financial advisor made a series of bad decisions on our behalf. Or we wouldn’t shop at a grocery store that we’ve been buying from for years if we suddenly ended up with a food product that gave the whole family food poisoning.
I’m sure you get the point. We make everyday decisions, as well as very big life decisions, based on the level of trust we have in a relationship, and in every other institutional aspect of our lives. Governments included!
This morning I’m reading that on Monday of this week, Ipsos-Reid conducted a public opinion poll that shows two-thirds of Canadians say Justin Trudeau has lost the moral authority to govern. The issue at hand, of course, is the SNC-Lavalin saga, the Prime Minister’s treatment of his former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, and his very awkward handling of everything that came rolling out of Ottawa for the past three weeks. And might I remind you, this poll was conducted BEFORE now ex-Minister Jane Philpott resigned from the Federal Cabinet, sharing on her way out the door that she could no longer support the Prime Minister because of a matter of trust.
So, there you have it. All but the most hardened partisan Liberal supporter now doubts the Prime Minister’s leadership and moral authority, and without doubt, this will cause panic and concern within the partisan ranks of the Liberal Party.
So, what’s next? Given the depth and strength of social media, and our political parties’ expertise in using social media to their advantage, I expect that we will see an onslaught of partisan Bullcrap aimed squarely at Andrew Sheer, the leader of the Federal Conservatives. And this onslaught will have little of substance to offer; it will just be a negative onslaught.
If Donald Trump has taught us anything on the political stage, it is this – if you’re doing it wrong, or if you’re not necessarily acting in the best interests of your own government, or if you are doing something that skirts the rule of law or simply flat-out breaks the law, go on the attack and make the other guy look like an idiot. This makes the other guy defend him/herself and shifts the focus away from the offender or (suspected) guilty party. You don’t have to get specific, you just must go mega-negative. Nothing else matters, but above all else, you must be more negative than the transgressions you’ve committed. That, my friends, is now the new bench-mark of how we conduct partisan AND non-partisan politics in North America.
And please don’t pretend that we’re Canadian, not American, and we would never do anything like that. There is a government at stake, and the stakes are high. When the stakes are this high, any political party will do whatever it takes to win the next election.
So, the negative attacks will come now, with more vigor than we’ve seen so far. Andrew Sheer will be compared to Trump and he will be accused of privatizing our health care system, stopping the climate change agenda dead in its track, and God forbid, he will even approve oil pipe lines across the country. He will be compared to that right-wing lunatic, Doug Ford, the now Premier of Ontario but still the brother of that other right-wing idiot Rob Ford. Never mind that the only thing of note that Andrew Scheer has done so far in Canadian politics is to get himself elected Speaker of the House of Commons.
The attacks will suggest it is acceptable to bend our morals a little if it means we get to keep everything – surely? Please Canadian voter – DO THE RIGHT THING and turn a blind eye to our Liberal treatment of the Rule of Law or we will lose it all.
I can’t wait to see the first social media attack that will compare Andrew Sheer to Stalin.
We all have a choice here. We can participate in the circus that is coming, or not.
But for those of us who choose to participate, we must ask ourselves at what price? Is not the Rule of Law a fundamental pillar in any democratic society? If we turn a blind eye to what’s been going on in Ottawa for the past three weeks, are we no better than the Donald Trump Republicans who believe in power at any cost?
Trust is the most precious of human emotions, and if you have it, things are golden. But if you don’t……….