SNC-Lavalin is, above all else, an ingenious piece of political theatre. It’s a story that has its villains, its heroes, and even the threat of political assassination (according to Michael Wernick at least).
While the truth might have been lost somewhere in the political drama and havoc, and Canadians might be left questioning whether they will ever get any answers, SNC-Lavalin has opened up politics in Canada.
The one good outcome of SNC-Lavalin is that Canadians are now far more interested in what their government does.
If you’ve been paying attention to social media and Canada’s small little corner of the internet as I have these past few months, you will notice one particularly remarkable thing. It is that some of the most widely-shared clips, stories, and tweets have to do with the inner workings of the government.
People in Canada are now tuning in to watch question period and committee meetings. Everybody is perking their ears for the next tidbit of information to come out of parliament.
Bureaucratic affairs that used to be boring are now topics of water-cooler discussions and conversations at the dinner table.
Perhaps from this overwhelming disappointment, Canadians will once again feel involved in the process of politics.
Aristotle once said that “Man is a political animal”, by which he meant that citizens live in a state and have access to the good life through politics (not the easy life, but the good life).
I would extend this to today and say that Canadians are parliamentary animals; we live in a parliamentary democracy and through it we have access to public virtue and greater societal goods.
Now that Canadians are more interested in how their government operates, they can work to keep it accountable.
My dearest hope is that out of all of the hustle and bustle around SNC-Lavalin, we will maintain that interest and that curiosity well into 2019.
My hope is that the 2019 federal election debates will be the most watched debates in Canadian history and that Canadians across the nation will set a historic record for voter turnout in October.
We must do it for ourselves, for future Canadians and to show the world that politics can indeed be done differently.