|MJM photo by Michael Pelzer|
My hunch is that most Canadians are much more interested right now in the Winter Olympics in Sochi than the biennial conference of the federal Liberals in Montreal, but I just can't resist mixing metaphors.
In 1967, when Dr. Jacques Goutor, who was one of my favourite History professors, arrived in Canada from France, the headlines in the first newspapers he saw were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP. At the time Dr. Goutor had no idea who the Leafs were or what the Stanley Cup was, but when he found out, he told his wife this must be a pretty safe country if the top story was about a sporting event.
Dr. Goutor had been raised in France during World War II.
Judging by the frenzy on Facebook and Twitter where it seemed like everyone had become a sports commentator as Canadian athletes increased their medal count at the Winter Olympics, Dr. Goutor's point, albeit about hockey at the time, includes other sports too. Whatever may divide us politically disappears for the moment at least as the Olympic games gives us a common cause as we cheer on our athletes.
Too bad our politics has become so divisive.
Let's go to Montreal for a moment where the federal Liberals, for the past year led by Justin Trudeau, are putting on their face for the 2015 election.
Just before the convention, an IpsosReid/CTV News poll showed that 54% of Canadians shared Mr. Trudeau's values, up eight points over an earlier poll, centred around "innovative and forward thinking".
Interestingly perhaps, the poll also shows that support has increased most in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario. The Prairie provinces in recent years have been pretty solidly Conservative, and of course still may be, but maybe, just maybe, folks there are tired of the same old, same old.
Having attended Mr. Trudeau's no frills meet and greet in Cranbrook last summer as he toured British Columbia in a motor home, it was obvious a new political style was emerging in Canada. I was impressed to be honest, and I have never been a card carrying liberal.
Jane Taber, writing in The Globe and Mail as the Liberal convention opened noted that the Liberal 2015 election campaign focus will be "all about Justin Trudeau".
Will Justin being Justin work? Too soon to tell methinks.
But, for the moment Canadians are preoccupied with our athletes at the Winter Olympics, and it is refreshing to follow the Likes, comments, tweets and retweets and cheers as we join together in our support of them. Dr. Goutor had it right but more sports are now included, and we do live in a great country. GO CANADA GO! My email is email@example.com
This post also appears in the Cranbrook Guardian at http://livablecranbrook.blogspot.com