We live in times of such political upheaval. It makes me wonder what politics will look like in the future. I have asked myself – what is the most important feature of our Canadian political landscape and how hard will we work to make sure that feature endures into the future?
My answer is that, in Canada, we have developed our right to be responsible for one another through our constitution, our charter, our laws, our customs, our social programs, our cultures and our religious traditions. This “right to be responsible” is a basic Canadian right and freedom. One way it is expressed is in a universal health care system that is government funded. This is an internationally recognized feature of Canadian life. It reflects our intention to gather together the resources of the community and task the government with using them responsibly to care for those most in need.
What makes this a spiritual matter? Desire. Desire is at the heart of our compassion and care for our neighbours – desire to offer the other what they need to have life. It is desire, also, to receive from our communities what we need to have life.
We hope that our political expression will be the expression of our desire. Will voters and leaders of the future continue to protect our “right to be responsible” and our desire to make our compassion a reality in our society? Or will selfishness and greed diminish our capacity for responsible and compassionate action?
The Canadian political landscape of the future will reflect how faithfully we have protected and nurtured our right to be responsible. We must keep this in mind – not only at election time, but always.