The Polite Revolution

The Polite Revolution

Perfecting the Canadian Dream

Book - 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.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2005.
ISBN: 9780771043512
0771043511
Characteristics: xi, 270 p. ;,24 cm.
Alternative Title: Perfecting the Canadian dream /

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johnsankey
Dec 17, 2011

Ibbitson is one of the sharpest minds in Canadian journalism. His writing cuts straight through spin and clutter to core issues with acerbic élan.

Ibbitson's thesis here is that Canadians have learned better than any other country to allow differing cultures to live peaceably together and that politeness is our principle tool. He goes on to argue that world population growth is slowing, that other countries will slide into stagnation as a result, but that Canada will attract enough new immigrants with politeness to keep the current mantra of perpetual growth going for longer than anyone else. So, the future belongs to Canada!

After such a heady start, Ibbitson gets down to the details of how we ought to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, his views are so far to the right of most Canadians that this is the least useful part of the book.

The first part, though, is a worthwhile read for all who are exploring what it means to be Canadian.

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