Sometimes I wish that I was bilingual so I could stop reading the English and/or the Toronto focused press. It has become depressing and quite a bit embarrassing to watch the Liberals of the world try to name and claim any POC as "Canada’s Obama" and future savior of the LPC.
If Canada is going to choose a leader based upon being a part of the group that historically has faced more discrimination than any other group, that "Canadian Obama" should be Aboriginal. If Canada is going to choose a leader based on being a part of the largest ethnic minority, that person should be South Asian.
51% of Canadians are women, yet Canadian women are still treated as a "visible minority" with "issues". That’s not to say that women vote as a homogeneous block, but to say that leadership is not exclusive to the male gender. It is also not to say that the men of Canada don’t have a stake in what effects women. Kim Campbell notwithstanding, there has NEVER been a legitimate female candidate for the leadership of a party who could be in power. We all know that she was the only one who would take the job in 1993 and the bloodbath that ensued wasn’t a surprise.
Obama is a transformative figure precisely because he doesn't fit into the US stereotypes of blackness and ISN'T radical. He's about as moderate and middle of the road as a Mulroney-era Progressive Conservative. He's a sign that Americans aren't interested in business as usual, and lord-love-a-duck, the US needs to find some sort of direction in the 21st century.
Canada doesn't need an Obama. What we need is someone uniquely Canadian who has great big ideas that will put an end to the regionalism that has plagued this nation since the PCs built their first Alberta firewalls.
I think you can see that Canada doesn't need the kind of saving from itself that the US does. We need to build a sustainable economy, we need to keep the population from growing too quickly, we need to disengage ourselves from the US, and learn some lessons about having all of our eggs in one basket. We need radically different than what we have always done, but not radically financially risky. Canada is a small nation with a stable finance system and as such is nimble and flexible enough to adjust to the realities we have, not the ones we wish for.
Unfortunately, until Stephane Dion came along, there was no leader for any party who was interested in doing anything different from the way we had always done it. Canadians proved by not listening or caring that they weren't interested in doing things any differently either.
I despair for my country as long as the dinosaurs continue to rule the land.
With that, I am firmly stating that while I am Facebook friends with Bob Rae, I will not be supporting him for leader. I will not be supporting Iggy, or Gerard, or Dominic or really any of the names they keep bringing up. I don't think that the latter two have enough electoral experience, and I don't think that the former two have enough of a "machine" in Quebec to win. I bear no ill will toward Mr. Rae, Mr. Kennedy or Mssr. LeBlanc, I just don't think they're radical enough and/or ready enough to do this immense job of achieving electoral success AND bringing together a party full of warring factions.
I will also state that I think Obama may be the worst choice for President as it relates to proposed relations with Canada, but his election may be the beginning of the US doing things differently when it comes to their working relationship with their closest allies and trading partners.
There's always hope, right?