Barack Obama told Americans that they were better than the last eight years of Bush rule, and they responded historically. A majority of Canadians think we can do better than the governments Stephen Harper has been offering us since his first minority victory in 2006, and we, too, have a chance to make history.
The Liberal-New Democratic coalition, with the support of the Bloc Quebecois - and, Mr. Harper, Quebecers are Canadians, too - represents the overwhelmingly progressive aspirations of a majority of Canadians. Harper has tried soft-pedalling his party's Reform-based radicalism for years, but the Conservatives' radical agenda reveals itself no matter how hard he tries to cover it up. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's gaffe-loaded economic message last week betrayed again their destructive, ideologue tendencies.
Harper's helpers feature the same hacks who almost destroyed Ontario during Mike Harris's repugnant 1990s rule. They left this province a poorer and crueller place that has yet to recover, and now they are fumbling at the controls as this country slides into the grip of a global economic meltdown.
With an arrogance based on his belief that Canada has lost its short-term appetite for an election, Harper gave us a look at his unfiltered rule. We saw the promise of service slashing, sell-offs and fantasy-land financial strategies based on the bizarre idea that the recession will be over by April 2009.
Harper's right: Canadians don't want another election, and we don't need one. Canada just voted, and the majority of us voted for a better world than the one Harper is offering. If the kind of imagination mustered to create this remarkable coalition can now be used by this progressive pack to govern, it truly is possible to imagine "politics done differently."
It's democracy done differently, an exercise in non-partisan nation building that could surprise us all by actually giving us the government we have always wanted. If you want this to happen, act now. Look in this week's NOW (page 26) and at our coalition page for steps you can take to make sure the majority is heard.
A stronger, greener Canada is within reach. Let's make it happen.