I came across this quote today:
”We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit.”
— David Suzuki
While I assume Suzuki’s comment is directed towards environmental efforts, I couldn’t help but think that it applies to all Canadian politics.
Social issues are often thrown around the House without much weight. You can see it in the eyes of some politicians when they stand and declare their stance on whether the group of people that would benefit from a policy or service deserve it enough to pass it through. People hop back and forth and draw out the debate without thinking about the consequences. There is no sense of immediacy. The proposal is often chewed up and spit out without making the issue human – if it were seen as having a human face, chances are this would lessen the debate.
Rather, debates on social policy have become this kind of dance, similar to the crowd in the clown car switching their seats as it sends the passengers rushing towards their fate. Is it best to sit with those who optimistically decide to turn the car in a new direction, or those who think the effort is a waste of time and money, and so keep the car heading straight towards the brick?
In discussing social issues, few are truly listening when someone suggests the car should turn left or right. Everyone else is too busy switching seats to make a decision, and so the wall hits and everyone suffers; it’s too late to do anything, and the damage has been done.