When on March 28th the hunters gather in the Great Hall of the Mariposa Public Library to launch their long and difficult hunt for the wild Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice, they will obviously need to have some idea of what the creature looks like. This is a basic hunting principle. Of course they won’t know fully until they have actually seen it in the flesh and up close and will be reluctant to make too many prior assumptions. Still, a sketch of some kind based on previous glimpses may be useful, and one trusts the organizers will hand out something of the kind. Perhaps it will look something like this:
- Explicit recognition that the pursuit of Social Justice is the proper Goal of our politics, the cause in which we are all engaged. The fact that that Goal remains riddled and elusive must not be offered as an excuse for us to settle for less.
- Explicit adoption of a search for Balance as the means by which we grope our way forward. This means respect for the complexity of all public affairs and refusal to reduce them to simplicities. It means that policy must be made based on data, conversation, and negotiation.
- Strength to the Social Fabric: languages, cultures, communities, enterprises, arts, opportunities, employments, governments, public services.
- Strength to Parliamentary democracy and to democratic institutions at all levels, but only if they truly are democratic.
- Strength to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and related elements of our inherited constitution.
- Strength to the Social Safety Net.
- Prosperity, vigorous and justly shared; respect for the complexity and difficulty of this goal.
- Stewardship, resolute, protective and far-seeing, of our air, land and waters.
Internationalism in foreign affairs, pursuing peace, prosperity, justice and the rule of law.
- Vigilance in the protection of our own territory and sovereignty, extreme reluctance in foreign adventures.
- Reconciliation as the fundamental principle applied to disputes, contentions, and criminal justice.
- Sound public administration and responsible fiscal management.
No doubt this needs more work. In fact, that’s what the whole hunt is all about.