As the year has wound down, it’s time to look back on it and forward to 2017.
2016 has seen many dark clouds. The election of Donald Trump was perhaps the darkest one of all. Justin Trudeau appears to have lost his appetite for proportional representation, and climate change is accelerating. No one would blame you if you’re feeling somewhat pessimistic as the year drew to a close.
However, as Leonard Cohen taught us, it is the cracks that let the light in. Perhaps things are not so bleak after all. Let’s take a moment and look forward to what might be possible in 2017.
It’s no secret that mainstream Republicans do not support Trump. It’s also no secret that he has no concern whatsoever for the rule of law in general and conflict of interest in particular. Put all this into the mix and I see the potential for a Trump impeachment in 2017. If it happens, you read it here first!
As we watched and learned from south of the border this past year, Martin Luther King’s dictum of nonviolent resistance is the most powerful weapon by far. The water protectors in North Dakota were up against a force that, on the face of it, was much more powerful than they were. Tear gas, pepper spray and water cannons were just some of the weapons the “more powerful side” had at its disposal, yet the water protectors were victorious. The takeaway for me is that we can and will defeat Kinder Morgan if we follow this inspiring example. We must make it physically impossible for Kinder Morgan to proceed while at the same time demonstrating the utmost respect for any police or security forces turned against us.
Christy Clark’s most recent media interview, by many accounts, was one of her worst ever. By contrast, the NDP’s John Horgan was interviewed on CBC Radio’s Early Edition earlier last week and he was a brand new John Horgan — polished, confident and premier-like. The NDP have a number of issues to go after Christy Clark on, but possibly the biggest one is the $2 billion-plus provincial budget surplus. It’s one thing to campaign on a platform of restraint when there’s no money. It’s quite another to ask the public to continue to say no to much-needed social programs when the money is sitting in the province’s bank account. It’s not too much to hope that the province’s very positive balance sheet becomes an albatross around Christy Clark’s neck, opening up the possibility of an NDP minority government with the Green Party holding the balance of power. No more Site C Dam! An end to Kinder Morgan!
As of late, Justin Trudeau has been choosing his words very carefully. When talking about proportional representation, he seems to be leaving the door open for a retreat on one of his most significant election campaign promises. However, the PR movement is very well organized and has been doing an excellent of job of putting letters of support on the desks of Liberal MPs. Add to this the fact that the NDP and the Green Party have continued to push vigorously for this very important change to our electoral system. Fingers crossed Justin Trudeau will do the right thing and open the door to proportional representation in the coming year.
Yes, many dark clouds are hovering above us but the cracks between them can let in lots of sunshine in 2017.