To the world beyond our borders

Shauna Sylvester reflects on Michael Ignatieff’s speech in Ottawa this week.

Some might argue that a speech at the Canadian Club does not a platform make, and they may be right. But when was the last time we heard a national political party leader use a major speech to address global issues? Even during the worst global economic recession in decades, all speeches were domestically focused.

I know that every Poli Sci 101 course says that “elections are always won on domestic issues,” but I’m not convinced – if no global issues are raised, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. What I have noticed, is that fewer Canadians are going to the polling stations, especially younger Canadians. While the reasons for this are complex, I think every political party should be looking at how they can speak to more Canadians. Given that Canadians are focused more globally than their government, perhaps it’s time for federal political parties to wake up and see the world.

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