Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Terry Fox and the Election Debate

I dreamed last night that during the Great Federal Election Debate, Terry Fox, wearing trademark t-shirt and running shorts, limped onto the set and stared each leader in the eye. In return, they stared at the floor and shuffled their feet.

Debate day was the 31st anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, in which Terry Fox endured exhaustion and pain to do something worthwhile for millions of people. Canada has had few visible heroes since. There are heroes working quietly in fields such as medicine, education, and in family life, but certainly not in politics.

In my dream I wished that Terry's appearance would cause the leaders to throw away their notes and step forward individually and declare: "Here are the problems we face in our country. Here is how I believe we can tackle them. Whatever the outcome of the election I'll work with other leaders, and all Canadians, to make things better for all of us."

That didn't happen, of course, even in my dream. That's because politicians follow the polls and their spin masters, in the greedy pursuit of party power. Terry Fox followed his heart, concentrating on the next kilometre of pavement ahead. One more kilometre, one more small contribution to the common good.

Imagine if the politicians had decided to cancel the debates and focus all that energy, money and talk on the specific problems that need solving in this country. One focussed, painful step at a time down the centre line of the road that leads to a better place for all of us.


1 comment:

  1. Right off the top of my head, I can think of one politician who did the honourable thing and quit politics to work towards the eradication of Aids in Africa. I'm talking about one of Canada's real heroes, Stephen Lewis.