This is Bambi’s first post after Beirut sea port explosions, which is not about her birth city’s surrealistic tragedy. Indeed, this post is about her beloved country, Canada.
Make no mistake please, this does not mean that her heart stopped being consumed by Beirut’s tragedy and her loved ones’ sufferings or shared grief. She just took a break from her own sorrow, so to speak. She was also eager to return to a certain normality, at least in the variety of the posts’ topics. By no means, she meant to be disrespectful or insensitive in these moments of grief. Plus, the post is still related to Lebanon and lessons learned from it.
Stated differently, because Bambi deeply cares for Lebanon, she does not want Canada (and, by extension, every democratic country) not to learn, at least, one lesson from Beirut:
With much clientelism, without any accountability, with unbalanced power of one entity over the others, with slogans or beautiful yet empty words, with increased identity politics, and without true patriotism of its leaders, any country (large or small) risks turning into Lebanon one day, of course not to that extreme. This can happen despite the best intentions of political leaders and the country’s stability.
So, what could be an antidote to “Lebanonization” of respectable countries like Canada? In Bambi’s mind, it is democratic accountability (to the people).
Bearing this in mind, like all Canadians, Bambi learned today that Mr. Blanchet [leader of the Bloc Québécois (BQ)] is again asking for the resignation of Mr. Justin Trudeau and Mr. Bill Morneau… as well as Ms. Katie Telford (Chief of Staff to PM Trudeau):
To use Mr. Blanchet’s own words quickly translated from his own Twitter account: “If we have to go to an election because it’s not as bad as leaving them there, there are possible distancing measures. The a contrario reasoning would mean that as long as there is a pandemic, we live in dictatorship.”
As a reminder, the WE Charity saga is Mr. Trudeau’s third scandal, neither the first nor the second. The New democratic Party (NDP) does not seem to be in line with the Bloc Québécois (BQ) with regard to such request. This is fascinating yet not surprising, given that elections may not be to their advantage, from a financial point of view. Who knows? Despite spicy critics concerning the WE scandal, they may be perhaps resorting to political flirt with the Liberal Party of Canada (Trudeau’s government)? Bambi is saying all this as a non-expert citizen.
Talking about finances, if Bambi recalls well, the BQ may be the only federal party that chose not to financially benefit from the covid-19 pandemic (trough a certain program of salary support). This tells you something interesting: The BQ may be sovereignist, yes. However, it has demonstrated that it is not only decent, authentically socialist, and ecological (like Québeckers in general). Most importantly here, it is also ironically working for Canada! Do you see the irony :)?!
Bambi is saying the above, even if she obviously cannot vote for the BQ (meant for Québec residents only). This does not prevent her from thanking Mr. Blanchet for holding our leaders accountable, regardless of the outcome. Same for Mr. Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, et al.
Today, it is about the Liberals. Tomorrow, it will be about another party in power. No one is immune to temptation or… simply to a sense of entitlement. Of course, this despite all the best intentions of the world and despite the challenges of governing during a pandemic. It is accountability to Canadians that matters, regardless of the politician’s name or party in question.
As Canadian citizens, how many scandals should we tolerate or… excuse? Some would say: oh we are in a pandemic, give us a break. Others may think: The federal government supported us or fed us during the pandemic. True but, of course, there is a price to this generosity: increased future public debt. Although this urgent support was much needed and is much appreciated, our government was already overspending prior to the covid-19 pandemic. We did not even have a budget lately, unless Bambi missed it.
Bambi feels like adding the following: Even if our current federal government is helping her birth country (God knows how much Bambi is grateful!), and even if she voted for the Liberals most of her life (not the last time :)), she still thinks that our top political leaders should be held accountable. This even if they may have been clever in their roles or capacity. Thanks for their service, not for the conflicts of interest.
Of course, as Mr. Blanchet asked from day 1 of the WE Charity scandal, Elections Canada should get ready to adjust its operations during the pandemic. He is right. Even without an election soon, this preparation may be needed in the future (in case of other pandemics).
Before concluding this post, did the WE charity return the received money after the contract was cancelled? Perhaps Bambi missed this piece of information in the middle of the Lebanese saga.
OK, time to be sarcastic now. The title of this post refers to a Banana Republic. Thankfully Canada has ethical mechanisms in place to keep it functioning as a democratic country. Let’s make sure we will keep using those mechanisms as we are doing now (bravo), of course with real independence and transparency.
At the end of the day, governments come and go but countries stay. This can work for Canada. However, sadly, in the case of Lebanon (tiny, bankrupt, geopolitically vulnerable, and now with the covid-19 crisis like the rest of the world), this country is holding on BECAUSE of its amazing people, first and foremost (along with the much needed international support), and DESPITE its government(s).
Last but not least, related to the above point, in one of the many news documentaries on Lebanon she watched yesterday, Bambi recalls seeing a young woman from Beirut who was helping her homeless fellow citizens (post-explosion). She told the international reporter interviewing her whilst packing food: “You knows, there is no government in Lebanon… We are the government“. Isn’t this fascinating, to say the least?