We’ve all wondered what has been happening to our society, to our moral framework, and to our democracy.
We are not as kind to each other as we used to be, nor do we have the faith in our institutions that we once had. Case in point: the furor over foreign nations meddling in our politics.
Did it happen? Is it happening now? Will it continue to happen? I believe the simplest answer, and one we should seriously consider, is yes.
That said, I agree with the special rapporteur David Johnston. The public should be told more and know more, but a time-consuming, open-wide inquiry will be simply self-defeating. Some things are better dealt with behind closed doors.
First, we need to modernize our intelligence apparatus and the means used to disseminate information to our elected leaders. Broadcasting the who, what, when, where and how of our intelligence development would only give the bad actors knowledge they could use against us.
Second, we need the leaders of the major political parties to actually be read in on all aspects of foreign interference. Perhaps then, we could have the leaders actually propose solutions instead of just laying blame. One only has to look to the U.S. to see what happens when party politics get in the way of good governance.
Third, we need to stop the automatic knee-jerk hysteria, name-calling and knowingly promoting of false narratives. It will be interesting when court cases against the media for (alleged) fabrication are settled, much as it was in the Dominion Voting Systems/Fox News (case). I do not think it behooves the leader of any party to base a political decision on who likes who or who skied with who.
Honestly, if Johnston was capable of serving under a different party, was a governor general and was vetted by the proper authorities, who else would have been qualified or willing to take on this thankless task?
Finally, does anyone else see how foreign interference is really working? China, Russia, Iran and heaven knows who else never asked for my vote. What they have done is spin a narrative that sets all of us against each other. It is disinformation of the highest calibre. It is designed to set up a situation where trust is a commodity that can be sold to the highest bidder.
When society fractures, people naturally look for a leader, someone who can say the right things while planning to do the wrong things. No one would vote for someone who promised to restrict rights for the majority while pandering to the powerful few. Yet it happens and is happening, witness (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, (Hungarian Prime Minister) Viktor Orban, (Belarus President Alexander) Lukashenko, (former U.S. President Donald) Trump, and (current U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin) McCarthy or Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot (before them). They were elected to do the right thing, but the right thing is power for themselves. Nobody saw that coming.
We need to get back to basics. We need to learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff. We need to elect individuals of proven integrity.
We need to regain the sense of togetherness and commonality and discard the “us versus them” narrative we’re constantly being fed.