Every successful political leader, when elected, comes to regret some of the promises he or she made while campaigning. Changes that seemed so compelling, so popular – and maybe so easy – while campaigning take on a different complexion once the election is over. Promised changes suddenly seem less compelling, not quite so popular – and even downright difficult to achieve.
The Trudeau Liberals are moving into the second phase of their mandate, investing some of the political capital they collected in the first phase (the honeymoon or “sunny ways” period) to assert the primacy of the federal government in three areas of national concern.
These are climate change, pipelines and the preservation of medicare. Taken together, the Liberals’ approaches in these areas signal a desire to reestablish a muscular federalism reminiscent of the Pierre Trudeau era.
We have all heard or read stories about those Japanese soldiers who went into hiding, combat ready, in the jungles of Indonesia or the Philippines as the Second World War was ending, only to re-emerge decades later to discover to their amazement that the war was over.
These stories bring to mind the Senate of Canada.
What do municipalities and First Nation reserves have in common? Both are used to being told what to do. It’s natural, then, that any review of Indigenous self-government would examine how these two get along at the most elemental level. A Quiet Evolution is the first research of its kind, and prompts the reader to wonder why nobody thought of this before.