The Polite Revolution
Perfecting the Canadian Dream
By John Ibbitson
(McClelland & Stewart, Hardcover, 9780771043512, 288pp.)
Publication Date: October 18, 2005
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From one of this country’s best and most controversial political writers, a searing blueprint for the Next Canada.
Five years into the twenty-first century, Canada is viewed as one of the most desirable nations in the world in which to live. Despite the worries of many Canadians — our country’s regional and linguistic divisions, our frequent identity crises — Canada, it seems, has a lot of good things going for it.
The federal election of 2004, however, revealed new cracks in an already flawed political system. John Ibbitson argues that we have entered a new political era, that Canada has become a nation of solitudes — the West, the English Centre, the French Centre, the East — each of which has its own cultural and economic concerns, none of which are being sufficiently recognized by the major political parties. If we cling stubbornly to old methods of governance, he says, we risk losing all that the Confederation has achieved in its first 138 years.
In this compelling, and ultimately hopeful book, John Ibbitson dismantles the old ways of thinking about Canada’s immigration, free trade, social, and defence policies. His ideas for the future of this country are daring — a devolution of power and dollars from the federal to the provincial level, a revamping of medicare, a refashioning of the electoral system. They amount to no less than a revolutionary plan for the creation and defence of a new national dream.
John Ibbitson is the political affairs columnist for the Globe and Mail. He is the author of two books on Ontario politics, several novels for young adults, and a play. His writing has been nominated for numerous awards, including a Governor General’s Award, and most recently, a National Newspaper Award, for his coverage of the inner workings of Paul Martin’s government.