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February, 2004 - Nr. 2


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Letter from the Editor

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister  

Dear Reader

A lot has happened since we wished you a Happy New Year by the regular calendar. And now we can do it again within the Chinese tradition. In German we say colloquially: Doppelt gemoppelt hält besser! This means that if it is a double then it is of more lasting value.

The operative word in all this is of course NEW. We have a new Prime Minister, a new government in Ontario and a new federal party in which a new leader is being elected soon. We even have a new principal conductor for Kitchener-Waterloo’ symphony.

And all that does not mean that new is better, but perhaps a lot different from what we were used to.

And again I am reminded that we have to become more flexible than ever before, because the world is changing and we have to change with it, cannot be creatures of comfort. We have a need for change staring us in the face and therefore we need to re-evaluate the way we were, are and are going to be in the future.

February has a claim to be called a month of romance, probably because of Valentine’s Day. (There is a wealth of information available on the Internet about the history, customs etc.) Love and everything loving is what gives us a balance to the brute power that the physical universe is exercising on us. And it is balance we are looking for when we think of our leaders. We want someone who can balance the books of life, the fiscal as well as the emotional ones.

Belinda StronachThis brings a few unexpected verses to the daily rhetoric, especially if the candidates for the prime jobs are not of the usual description, like Belinda Stronach.

It was really rather remarkable to listen to all the commentary since this vibrant mother of two and business leader entered officially the political arena. From snickers and sneers to encouragement and in short order outright admiration, everything was heard in only a few short weeks.

I am thinking: Why not a woman, especially a smart and savvy one. She has a proven track record as a responsible and capable leader. Magna’s "constitution" is one of the better things a democratic and socially responsible multinational company has to offer. If Belinda’s vision for Canada is coloured by it we would not go too wrong, especially since it requires participation. It is this participation that is going to change a country or anything else. Nothing happens unless people get interested and participate and play the game, whatever it might be.

The question is: Is Belinda that person that can awaken the political apathetic masses of this country? Does she have the charisma it takes to command enough attention to have people listen closely? Or are they going to fall again for the all so familiar blablablah of yesteryears and old mistakes?

I guess people want to know more about what it is like to think progressively and like a conservative. By definition of the words it simply means that the good old things that work should be kept alive and the bits that don’t work need to be aggressively addressed and changed.

People are a bit jaded though. We all seem to know that politicians make promises before the election only to brake them, justifiably and explainable so according to them. We see and hear it all the time. And no matter how much sense it seems to make at the time, we know that one truth can be twisted to be read so many different ways. Even budgets can be interpreted in various ways to read as a loss or as a break-even proposition. We know, we have just been there in Ontario. So as far a the leadership for a national party as a real alternative is concerned and the possibility of making that new party leader one day Prime Minister we should also entertain progressive ideas that do not just stem from the old boys club, which has disappointed us time and time again.

If you want to know more about Belinda Stronach go to her website and stay informed: www.belinda.ca

As far as the other business of February is concerned, the stuff that romance is made of, enjoy it to the fullest. That too needs to be created by us. Nothing happens without someone doing something; and doing anything is always better than doing nothing! Create the ambience, have that special dinner, enjoy a concert, call a friend, let people know that you care! It will always be appreciated.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sybille Forster-Rentmeister


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