Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Canadians need to remember that compromise means everyone wins and loses

National unity is contingent on the ability for fair agreements in good faith

The current state of Canadian national unity is concerning but is overtly magnified by political parties inability to accept any level of national compromise.

If you tune into national news at the moment, you will undoubtedly here about how Canada is more polarized than it has ever been. That may be true, but the only thing that prevents unity at the moment is a complete and utter resistance by all parties to compromise.

Why is this? Well, compromise ultimately means everyone loses a bit and it is impossible for party communications, who in the social media age control their parties to a great extent, to spin losing to their base. The current machinations of party politics have essentially led to immovable and unreasonable factions that fail to settle for common good.

What this refusal to accept any level conciliation means is that the other half of compromise is obscured — you know the part where everyone wins a little and we continue to have a functioning and welcoming society.

Canada is a confederation of distinct, unique and valuable voices expressing legitimate concerns for the future of this country. Indeed, it is on the representatives of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and everywhere else to voice the struggles of their constituents.

Reasonable people understand that politics is, indeed, the art of compromise and that winning every single political argument is a pipe dream that is only dared spouted by demagogues who believe that power, and not compromise, is the ultimate goal.

Albertans have concerns that need to be listened to; Ontarians have concerns that effect the rest of the county; and Quebecois have unique viewpoints that are valuable in a national conversation. Indeed, Canada is founded on the principle that diverse and unique voices can find common ground based on the principles of freedom and fairness and it is important that Canadians don’t lose sight of the intrinsic value of all of their neighbors.

The federal election and most particularly the statement made by Alberta and Saskatchewan uniformly voting Conservative has assuredly cast light on the concerns many western Canadians have about the current state of federal politics, in particular the governments handling of the energy sector. It also showed that over 50 per cent over Canadians voted for parties who have significant concerns regarding climate change. These positions seem completely diametrically opposed, but it must be remembered that confederation is a constantly fluid agreement between regions and that agreement is predicated on the good faith shared between Canadians.

It is important for western politicians to continue to advocate for their constituents and it is most certainly important that Ottawa listens, but compromise is a two-way street.

To maintain the unity of this great country, it is important for Liberal, Conservative, NDP and every other party to recognize that a compromise will not be everything they desire. It is important, obviously, that no Canadian feels humiliated throughout the process of agreement, but it is also important to remember that sometimes political action is going to be something you do not agree with.

It is my hope that that future agreements between Canadians, which will be further magnified by the realities of a minority government, will be compromises that everyone can at least live with.

Political compromise isn’t perfect, but it is far better than the politics of absolutism, obstructionism and demagoguery.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Most Read