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Opinion: Bill Walton, Time for a realignment in Canada

We need to get back into our own league, so to speak

We need to get back into our own league, so to speak.

I have a relative who attends a chiropractor a couple of times a month for an ‘alignment’ that apparently involves laying on of hands to aid the spine in staying somewhat straight and strong. I am not sure how this works and have no intention of testing the methodology myself. As unfamiliar with that procedure as I am, I do recall the days when one needed, after hitting numerous potholes, to get the vehicle’s front end ‘aligned’. Vehicle suspension had improved over the years; spines not so much.

Backs and vehicles aside, I am beginning to think that our country, Canada, needs a realignment.

We need to get back into our own league, so to speak. I might as well stay with the baseball analogies since it is World Series time - when the Americans think they own the baseball world – and who can deny them? Just look at those Blue Jays, eh? Anyway, here we are some 40 million people who are trying to play in the Big Leagues. We belong to the G 7 and the G 20 by some default since we have neither much money, hardly any military of consequence, and especially, no nuclear weapons. Who do we think we are playing in the world series with the big hitters like the US, China, Russia, India, Great Britain, France, maybe Germany (who knows if they have nukes), and of course, Israel who carries a big stick in their arsenal.

The ‘G’ in those organizations stands for ‘Golly, gee, we have a lot of money – and big bombs. Mind, there are a couple of countries that have bombs but not much money or capabilities like Pakistan and North Korea. The Aussies likely have rent-a-bombs from the US but let’s not go there as we used to have them too. So maybe it is time we align ourselves with nations who have similar democratic thinking and values and cut our ties with the big-league players. Down to the farm team, as it were.

I mean, we are already sitting at the kid’s table at the United Nations, and after scuffling with India over the Sikhs, then upsetting Israel in the House, partying at the Queen’s funeral, trying to shoot down Chinese balloons, and wearing those socks, what do we expect? Would we not be more comfortable playing in the minors? Really – that was a change-up?

So, let’s stop the posturing and align ourselves with countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Finns, South Korea, Japan, some of the EU members (I hear Portugal is nice in March), Ukraine if it survives, and of course, New Zealand. Really, don’t we have more in common, socially and politically, with these people than even our closest neighbour? I mean the United States. Remember NAFTA?

We do have a problem with doing a quick alignment in that we need a world-class leader that we can trust, and even like. I keep scanning the photo-ops and newscasts when our present leaders are pontificating, hoping to see someone in the background who could step up and nada. I sort of liked Anita and Melanie but it is just not fair to throw them into the batter’s box against either a right or left-hander World Series pitcher with a tee-ball bat and a kid’s helmet. I keep thinking we missed an opportunity at a statesman when Tom Mulcair was at bat back a few years.

Anyway, we can still do our aid thing for natural disasters or epidemics but we can beg off from some of those global messes, saying aw shucks we are too small to get into a tussle with Iran or Turkey or Yemen or Sudan or sorry, our submarine is too busy to go to Myanmar – you get the idea.

The added benefit to this realignment is that the French language will no longer be under the threat of being swallowed up in North America: it will fit in nicely with the languages spoken in our new league such as Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, etc. There may be a resurgence of language schools where English is a Second language. I always wanted to speak like the Swedish chef on the Muppets. And I do sometimes. Scotch whisky is involved.

All I need now is someone to break the news to Justin and Pierre. I don’t know if either of their egos can handle it. Wait! My email notice just dinged. It is from Juan: Chile wants in and their neighbour is interested. Just saying.