Saturday, April 13, 2024

Common Interests

Common Interests

Okay, I’m no expert on public sentiment, just your average Joe. But I think I can feel some building ground swell, seeking to try and counter the divides that have been aggressively growing between us. No doubt the growing divides are influenced by age old struggles, between such things as tradition and progress, freedom and authority, stability and rebuilding. But at this point in time, I sense that we are at a particularly volatile juncture. Where we are at risk of coming apart at the seams. Or being able to stitch things up and carry on together, with some renewed semblance of mutual respect. And I can feel more and more people feeling the same way.

Theres quite a lot of things needed and choices to consider at the present time. And I think it’s fair to say that there is also enough common ground on areas for improvement, that we could focus on those things, that we are mostly in agreement on. Governing for the common needs. Rather than trying to deepen the trenches, the differences, to clarify or mobilize voters, or bolster public opinion, for the more difficult causes in the wings. Common interests to work on could certainly include, health care, standards of living and affordability, continuing to improve our energy efficiencies and independence, pollution reductions of all kinds, controlling government expense and taxation levels, corruption and crime, tamping down privacy intrusions, etc. Keeping in mind that in the process, an individuals rights should remain protected by our respective constitutions.

60 Minutes had an interesting piece recently, roughly speaking, on the concept of Survival of the Friendliest. Considering that the most substantial societal advances lie in discovery of new forms of co-operation, not battle. Thats what I’m talking about. Let’s cast off the “damn the torpedoes” approach to ramming through contentious objectives. If support for an initiative is merely split, find other things to work on, that are more broadly supported. Another thing to be aware of and reduce would be the common mindset in play these days, that is the “what can we get away with” principle. Which is unfortunately so prevalent within ourselves and our institutions.

Let’s each offer our best version. What do we want our choice in this world to look like. And let the chips fall where they may. The world can remain full of choices. It doesnt all need to gravitate to same same. If you want to have certain elements be pervasive, like lower carbon electricity, EVs and heat pumps, then we have to figure out how to make those things the most affordable. Without just driving up its competitors price and all costs, by government edicts and punitive taxes.

Even while we make progress, there can still be a remainder of the older things and continuing choices. And you can also continue to appreciate those contrasts. Like modern furniture in an old brick and beam loft; like in the future rolling down the window of your EV to enjoy the sound of a V8 going by; like being able to respect and be intrigued by the traditional Mennonite or Amish way of life, co-existing nicely on the fringe of our urban centres.

Alec McColm
Calgary, Alberta.

Alec McColm
Alec McColm
Semi-retired commercial property manager and realty broker. Canadian backcountry enthusiast, logged about 6000 kms canoe tripping, about half of that solo.



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