The flaming pants situation: Why broken promises matter

We live in dark times. Everywhere you look liberal democracy seems to be in crisis. The UK and US have gone down the path towards racism and away from the global world order. Canada had a similar decision to make in 2015 and we voted for the good guys, or so we were told. We now like to think of ourselves as in the running to be the leaders of the free world. I would point to Germany and Sweden but many look at Trudeau’s image and words and see a leader who is unlike his times.

I once saw that too. I held back tears while watching the cabinet sworn in. I was especially excited to see Kent Hehr, a Calgary boy who had fought back from so much and was so connected with the communities I most identify with. That moment seems very far away now. I feel naive and stupid for believing in the promise of the Liberal government. I have been made to feel stupid for my anger at promise after promise broken by the Liberals. I have been told of course they lie, that’s how it goes. I have been blamed for believing them, where the Liberals should be blamed for lying.

I now live in a world where people who are surprised that Donald Trump is actually doing some of the horrible things he said he would are given more credibility than I am when I complain about Justin’s failure to keep a number of core promises. I now live in a world where it is more surprising that a politician would do what they said they would than that they lied about it all. To me that is the reason liberal democracy is in crisis. Canadians voted for change and hope. Instead we got a man who has seen fit to violate his own ethics policies and to break promise after promise.

It is very hard to see a future for democracy if Justin Trudeau, the poster child saviour of the free world, thinks that he can turn back on just about everything he told people he would do. Why wouldn’t you vote for Brexit or the Cheeto if everyone else has lied your entire life? Why not go for nihilism when someone like Justin clearly doesn’t mean a world they say. If this is the best that liberal democracy can do then it’s hard to think the crisis will end any time soon.


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