With An Astounding Victory Monday – Justin Trudeau May Revive Legendary Father Pierre Elliot’s Legacy


By Dr. Sawraj Singh

Finally, the last of the Bush-Blair-Harper trio is on his way out. The liberal victory in Canada’s Parliamentary elections can play a very significant role in Canada’s future as well as it can affect global trends and balance of power. Pierre changed Canada’s role and perception in the world. Before him, Canada was just another country next to America. It was never perceived as a truly independent entity or a real player in the global affairs. Canada could neither cut its umbilical cord from England nor come out of the shadow of America. Like a small tree under the shade of a big tree, Canada never seemed to have a real chance at growing tall.

Prime Minister Trudeau changed all of that. He brought recognition and respect for Canada. Canada started to be counted among the real countries and was no longer just another country. Trudeau did more than that. He helped to create a new and almost unique place for Canada in the world. Canada became a bridge between the East and the West and between the developing countries and the developed countries. Trudeau was an admirer and advocate of the Eastern philosophy. He earned respect for Canada in the third world countries for being fair and understanding of their plight. It was the first time that a western leader started to look at the East with an eastern perspective and also the first time a western leader really tried to treat the third world countries with real respect, and sincerely wanted to give them the recognition they deserved.

Then came the real catastrophe for Canada in the form of Stephen Harper. I had nothing personal against Bush. As a matter of fact, he was very nice to the doctors who have suffered more under Obama’s care. Similarly, I have nothing personal against Harper. I just cannot agree with their philosophy and outlook. Bush, Blair, and Harper are the Gung-ho trio—and if we add Howard of Australia—then they qualify to be called the Gang of Four. They are not necessarily bad people they just have not changed their outlook with the times. They are still very much affected by western arrogance, chauvinism, and cowboy mentality. For them, the west is the west and the rest is the rest. In other words, they still subscribe to the outdated notion and the world is really different than their perception of it. The West can no longer control—leave alone rule—it. The balance of power has shifted to the East. Today, the East is leading the world; just look at Syria or the Chinese president in Buckingham Palace.

Stephen Harper undid all of what Trudeau had worked so hard to achieve for Canada, a respectable and independent status in the world .The image of Canada as a tolerant, generous, and open society was almost completely finished by Harper. Justin Trudeau also wants good relations with America. I am sure any sane Canadian leader will want that. However, it is one thing to have good relations with another country, but it is another to lose your independence and self respect. As a matter of fact, real, good relations can only exist on the principles of equality and mutual respect. Canada is different than America. Canada, more than any other country, can only progress as a multicultural society. Multiculturalism and pluralism are not ideals for Canada; they are basic requirements for Canada to function. Similarly, the American styled cut-and-dry consumerist capitalism is not suitable for Canada. Canada needs something different, a middle path between the consumerist capitalism of America and the utilitarian capitalism of Europe.

Even though Canada is physically close to America yet philosophically it is different. Generating more profit or making more money has always been America’s main priority. However, Canada is more concerned with human welfare. Pierre Trudeau was the main architect of such policy. Stephen Harper changed this policy and made money the dominant force in the Canadian politics because his main strength came from the oil wealth of Alberta. This wealth has played a big role in his staying in power for nine years, in spite of representing exactly the opposite values than the Canadian values. It may not be   mere coincidence that with the fall in the oil prices he has also fallen. Canada is now ready to go back to its original values. Justin can not only take Canada back to where Pierre left but can take it forward to new horizons.

Pierre understood eastern philosophy through Bhagwad Gita. Justin should take this notion further and study Sri Guru Granth Sahib. The Punjabi community has played a very significant role in Justin’s resounding victory. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is the foundation of the Punjabi philosophy and value system. However, Sri Guru Granth Sahib is not just a granth for the Sikhs or the Punjabis alone. It is a granth for the whole humanity. Sri Guru Granth Sahib is a source of universal human values. The message of Sri Guru Granth Sahib is of universal concern, universal welfare, love, tolerance, peaceful coexistence and of unity in diversity. It also advocates social equality, justice and human dignity. Canada is in a unique position to spread this message in the world. Justin, if you do this, your dad will be really proud of you. This is what the world needs now. Stephen Harper made Canada a party to the conflicts in the world; Justin Trudeau can make Canada an instrument in solving the conflicts.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at [email protected].