Many generation Xers like me remember the endless essays on the Canadian identity written in our youth. We were trying to define ourselves and set ourselves apart from our colonial parents and our American neighbours.
The Canadian Federal election, that will be decided on October 19, 2015, has us asking this question once again. Our prime minister, on the advice of his Australian PR consultant, has chosen, based on data, to prey on our fears and our prejudices. Partly to detract from the real issues, and partly to capitalize on what they believe will woo voters to vote Conservative. The attack ads on opponents, divisive strategies and incredible stretches from the truth, have been so embarrassing that they've captured headlines around the world.
As an immigrant, a proud Canadian, and a woman, my biggest fear is that they are correct. Who are we? What do we stand for? Is the prime minister lying to us, or have we been lying to ourselves? Is this still my Canada or has it changed?
As someone who has been involved in branding organizations from the inside out, I often say that our brand is a promise of who we are and how we deliver. It is not just about logos and taglines, but more about our values and our behaviours.
During this election, Canadians are being asked to take a good look at our values and our behaviours. Are we peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, honest, diverse, safe and respectful or is that yesterday's Canada. Is today's Canada more divisive and intolerant? Is it more interested in protecting 'old stock Canadians' from 'barbaric cultural practices' and pitting neighbour against neighbour?
Today's poll results tell us that Harper and his strategist are wrong but the real proof will come October 19th. I encourage women, immigrants, students, and all my many tolerant neighbours and friends to bring back the Canada we love. A Canada that regains its position as a worldwide leader and is respected for its track record of environmental and cultural success.
Let's work together to bring back a Canadian identity we can once again be proud of.
Vote Canada Vote!