Post Your Opinion
Welcome To The Nineties
by K. Jean Cottam

I AM APPALLED by the review of Rick Salutin's Waiting for Democracy by my fellow historian, Professor Desmond Morton, in your November issue. He says: "When a single issue turns a general election into a referendum, scores of other concerns, from PCBs to child care, will be ignored."

The "single issue" was the most important one Canada has ever faced; all other issues were subsumed in it, as it were. If we become an impoverished hinterland that has lost its sovereignty in political, economic, social, and cultural affairs, we won't be able to deal with a multitude of vital issues, including daycare and disposal of PCBs.. Considering the events since the last election, with aspects of the Tory agenda all interconnected (including the Goods and Services Tax, necessitated, in part, by the government's loss of revenue from tariffs), the grim vision seems not in the least far?fetched.

What "positive proposals" of the NDP did Professor Morton have in mind? During the election campaign, the NDP refused to put forward an economic policy, according to advice received from a U.S. pollster. (Was this an unwarranted U.S. interference in Canadian affairs?) And, in terms of the neoconservative atmosphere in North America, it was a total lack of realism that prompted the NDP to assume it could win or even come second. At least Broadbent subsequently saw and admitted the error of the NDP's ways ? Professor Morton unfortunately didn't.

Contrary to Professor Morton's amazing statement that the free trade issue was only "apparently" of transcendent importance, the FTA chickens are already coming home to roost with a vengeance. The FTA debate is far from over; it has barely begun. The early '90s and the next election will tell whether the opposition parties and the electorate have learned the appropriate lessons, or whether Canada has truly .opted out of the Twenty?First Century" (roughly the title of Peter Newman's article in a recent Maclean's). K Jean Cottam Nepean, Ont.


Home First Novel Award Past Winners Subscription Back Issues Timescroll Advertizing Rates
Amazon.ca/Books in Canada Bestsellers List Books in Issue Books in Department About Us