TORONTO - Forty one years ago tomorrow, Aldo Moro, arguably one of Italy’s most accomplished prime Ministers of the post-War era was found assassinated in the trunk of a car in Rome.
He was, as we say, larger than life.
Post-war Italy went from a “basket case” to “economic miracle” thanks to people like Moro and the political class of the day. Reconstruction was the order of the agenda, both social and economic.
Allied carpet bombing, retreating German bomb, burn and retreat tactics had left the country’s infrastructure in shambles. Its industrial capacity reduced to zero. There was not a family affected by the ravages of the death and destruction that friend and foe alike rained upon persons and property.
Partisan bands of semi-private armies espousing various and adversarial positions, often at the behest of foreign jurisdictions working to impose their influence on the peninsula.
The political class that inherited this mess needed to be inspired by the ambition to rebuild the country create a new society and a new economy to sustain it.
The moment called for leadership, statesmanship, qualities that would discern problems, identify solutions, negotiate “buy-in”, fi nd and assign both the “mechanics and mechanisms” to put the solutions into operation.
At the very least, those political leaders required the moral fibre “to do the right thing”, the goal that served the public’s interest. In short order, by the mid-sixties, Italy became one of the industrial powerhouses of the world, a society of inventiveness, hard work, altruism and civic responsibility seemed the norm.
Of course, there remained many inequalities; still are. How ironic that yesterday, Aldo Moro’s daughter asked Pope Francis to halt the religious proceedings to cause the Beatification of her deceased father. Among the reasons, she said, her father did not need the accolades.
In her view he had already earned and occupied his place among the saintly. His worldly accomplishments as a lay deacon in the Dominican order and as a European leader were recognition enough.
Today’s political class is all about being “first”, taking “selfies”, claiming to be the “best” and “cutting taxes”. That this is resulting in the deconstruction of all that has been created and built up to generate the society we crave has somehow been lost of the political class.
In Ontario, the Premier appears determined to undermine the fiscal underpinnings of our educational and health care delivery models.
Rather that restructure and improve, he is opting to “throw the baby out with the bath water”. He is applying the same detonator to municipal governments and governance models. What the end goal may be is unclear. He is not building anything, whether social, cultural or physical infrastructure.
Another provincial premier from Alberta, Canada’s wealthiest province on a per capita basis, decided that the first order of business, upon being sworn in, was to intone that Alberta’s separatist leanings were about to be unleashed.
"We want more!"; Canada be damned! Alas, we appear to be afflicted with a generation of would-be leaders who substitute bluster for altruism, replace advancements in favour of restrictions and favour privilege rather than the commonwealth.
Regrettably, it would appear, Canada is not immune.