West Wing Wednesday Night #16

Written by  //  July 15, 2009  //  Alexandra T. Greenhill, Canada, Globalization, West Wing (WWWN)  //  Comments Off on West Wing Wednesday Night #16

Wednesday Salon West
Canada Day – the cherry on the top was the Globe and Mail survey   saying the stereotype of Canadians (unsure of themselves and overly polite) is not shared by the majority of… Canadians. Yes, we are apparently self-confident and smug about who we are and what we have accomplished.

So this becomes a great setup for one of the topics identified for this months’ edition of the Salon – myths and more specifically Canadian myths. Things we all love to believe in spite of evidence that they are no longer true or in fact are entirely fiction based.
A short list to get us all started could include –peacekeeping,  the Arctic, health care, innovation, etc. Then again it’s well known that if one is depressed, perception of reality is more accurate, and therefore our collective delusion may actually serve a purpose.

Speaking of collective delusion – fascinating what happened to Iceland !!! And looking at the rest of the world has been brimming with events – Iran, Honduras, Argentina, Ireland and multiple places in Africa – that redefine many of our assumptions.

So we need to refocus and the big question remains: what next? A few thoughts worth discussing emerge:
         Despite massive state interventions in economies around the world, many corporate leaders and investors act as though globalization remains the dominant paradigm. Ian Bremmer (the president of the world’s leading global political risk research and consulting firm, Eurasia Group) contends that’s a mistake and that STATE CAPITALISM is the new paradigm

         If that is true, then how will governments ensure innovation is not stifled? See NYT article

         Canada anyway has not done well in terms of innovation over the years and there is no evidence that the current downturn is being used as an opportunity to do things differently – in spite of droves of Canadian inventors and researchers going abroad for a chance to see their new products developed, we are still saving jobs in the car and forestry industries, not to mention tobacco farmers. And we are about to lose our fairly exclusive status of a world supplier of medical isotopes…

And herein lies the challenge – if you were given a magic wand and were the Prime Minister of Canada or Premier of BC – what would you do? Where would you start? Where would you like to get the Country to? We won’t be doing the Rubber Ducky Award à la National Post (this year’s winners ), but we will reward the best ideas by including them in the WSW top 10 best ideas to make Canada more successful.

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