A New Year's toast to the art of the possible.

AuthorAtkins, Michael

It takes real bravery to be a politician.

The hours are long and the abuse inevitable. The list of priorities is impossible and the devolution of our aspirations to tribal sentimentalities unworkable.

You may not like Justin Trudeau but, by God, he is still standing after the SNC-Lavalin debacle, the Mr. Dressup adventure in India, the blackface retrospective, and recently stepping in it with that stable genius from America earning a "two-faced" moniker around the world.

You may not like Andrew Scheer but, by God, he is still standing after dishonestly claiming to work as an insurance broker before becoming a politician, after forgetting he was a citizen of both the United States and Canada (after attacking Michaelle Jean, our former governor general, for holding dual Canadian and French citizenship), and most recently having retirement options outlined for him by erstwhile colleagues five minutes after the end of the election where his party attracted more votes than anyone else.

You may not like Jagmeet Singh but, by God, he is still standing after helping complete the NDP's fall from 103 federal seats in 2011 to 25 this past year. He was so discounted before the election, this result is considered a great victory. It takes fortitude to keep marching through dismal polls and disaffected party members for years and emerge cheerfully from an election debacle dancing and ready for more.

You may not like Elizabeth May (well, you probably do). She resigned the leadership within weeks of the election and could barely mask her good cheer.

This game has always required a Teflon personality so thick as to be the product of advanced cynicism, severe narcissism, or a secular evangelicalism so powerful it allows these slings and arrows to be hardly noticed.

Just look at some issues we face. Indigenous reconciliation. Gun control. Climate change, pipelines, debt and taxes, trade agreements, Quebec's ban on religious symbols, Donald Trump, China, immigration, affordability, employment, addictive technology, and a collapsing fourth estate.

In Toronto, where there seems to be a shooting incident or death every weekend, gun control is a slam dunk. In Northern Ontario, gun violence is at a minimum. Confiscating guns is viewed to be an assault on personal rights and freedoms. Scant middle ground.

If you are under the age of 30, your hero is Greta...

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