With the United States as the undoubted epicenter of current socio-political turmoil one might forget that other countries in the Western Hemisphere not only feel the repercussions of U.S. actions, but also have pressing issues of their own. In MENDING THE FLAG, HEALING THE WORLD Canadian national Andy Bilik addresses those issues as they most affect his home country and proffers a new system of governance to deal with them.
Bilik structures his discussion of the current political order as a classic dialogue, beginning with an autobiographical answer to his opening question “Who Am I”? At first this chapter-long author bio might seem a bit long-winded, but soon the reader sees that his overall conclusion is based on Canadian national identity and thusly leads seamlessly into the new chapter of the dialogue “Who Are We? [Canadians]”.
In formulating an answer to this phase of the inquiry, Bilik cites in detail the history and traditions of his country. That Canada is medium nascent in relation to many of the world’s countries is both a benefit and a detriment to the overall argument in that the history is limited, but as such is concentrated and highly specific.
Without any sugarcoating Bilik lays out a litany of issues that stand as touchstones of that identity, including those that have caused rents in the titular flag. In a Victor Frankl-esque reactionary measure, specific elements addressed as Bilik strives to establish the Canadian identity include national security, foreign aide, taxes veterans affairs, and Canada’s treatment of its indigenous peoples. In addition, he noticeably doesn’t shy away from elements such as border control and trade and climate change that are directly resultant of America’s current administration.
Having laid out those things that do really need healing, Bilik then sets out to offer an equal number of solutions for facilitating that healing and for moving the country forward. First and foremost, he puts forth an innovative political ideology which he calls “Democratic Restructuralism”. This ideology does reflect the general premise of what has always been called democracy, but pares away the tribalism that has of late befogged the ideology’s classical essence. By removing this “us vs. them” angle, Bilik exposes the elemental truism of democracy–that’s it’s all “us”, or in this case, all Canadians.
In this light, the solutions proffered circle back to the beginning of the dialogue, mining the answers to the “Who Am I?” and “Who Are We?” questions. In doing so, the author essentially assigns his “Democratic Restructuralism” like a teacher handing out homework, shifting the responsibility of improving the country–and hopefully, the world–away from solely the government’s duty and into the hands of every Canadian citizen.
Author Andy Bilik offers an erudite, comprehensive discussion of the current political climate without any of the tiresome hyperbole and snipery of current political discourse.
~Johnny Masiulewicz for IndieReader