Regular readers of this column (a group rumored to rival in size and influence the Ontario Liberal parliamentary caucus) may by now be familiar with my annual New Year’s epistle – in which I eschew personal resolutions for the coming annum in favor of suggesting them on behalf of others.
It’s not that I haven’t cause to resolve. It’s just that after years of futile pledges to shed everything from excess pounds to vile habits, I have pretty much given up making New Year’s resolutions. Why set yourself up for disappointment?
However, that doesn’t mean I can’t utilize my keen eye for a shortcoming in the service of others. So, once again, in the spirit of the season, I offer the following list of resolutions I would like to see someone else keep in 2020.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should resolve to shrink his head a few sizes and govern as he once promised to, and many believe he still can. After a humbling near-loss on the campaign trail, one hopes Trudeau has learned transparency is the best way to deal with transgressions and will find a way to accomplish through the cooperation required in a minority parliament, some of what he failed to with the freedom of a majority. He also might want to avoid wandering too close to the Attorney General’s office for the duration of this mandate, just for appearance’s sake.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford, on the other hand, could benefit from having, in true Grinch-like fashion, his heart grow three sizes. Now that the Christmas season is over, perhaps he could try dropping his usual Scrooge routine. If the spectre of reaction to his government’s abject failure on the autism file and the ham-handed landing of the Hamilton LRT abandonment doesn’t make him rethink his crash and burn approach to governing, perhaps voters will send him an even stronger message than they sent Trudeau when next the opportunity arises.
U.S. Republicans should resolve to give their collective heads a shake. Anyone still supporting President Donald Trump at this point in history is either denying reality or unable to recognize it.
Residents of the United Kingdom should resolve to cast their last three prime ministers adrift on a raft in the English Channel so they have some idea how everyone in their country will feel once Brexit – deal or no deal – finally becomes a reality at the end of this month. Each of them played a role in either starting, or failing to stop their nation’s slide into what most predict will be a disastrous period of isolation and lost opportunity.
World leaders, and the electorate in general, should resolve to use the Brexit vote and Trump’s unlikely ascension as reminder never to take a ballot result for granted. Get out and vote. If nothing else, it preserves your right to complain.
Have a happy and prosperous 2020, but if you must make resolutions, keep them flexible and don’t keep a record.