Canada should embrace U.S.-style faith in politics, former MPP says
John Milloy claims religious dialogue as seen in America 'would be a handy guide for voters'
U.S. politics isn't always pretty, but can Canadians benefit from the type of faith-centred dialogue that takes place south of the border? A former Ontario MPP believes it would be a step forward.
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John Milloy, an assistant professor of public ethics at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, joined CBC Radio's Morning Edition on Super Tuesday to discuss the U.S. presidential race. The former MPP told host Craig Norris he'd like to see "an injection of faith" into Canada's political discourse.
"I wish there was more discussion of faith in Canada. I think faith is not necessarily right-wing or left-wing, it's a world view, it's about the 'other.' It's about collective responsibility and I would welcome it if candidates came forward and talked about how their faith perspective, how their values inspires the policy positions they take," he said.
Faith is not necessarily right-wing or left-wing, it's a world view.- John Milloy, former Ontario MPP
"I think it would be a handy guide for voters because right now, we have a political system in Canada where everyone's going to solve everybody's problems and give you a tax cut at the same time," Milloy lamented.
"There's that lack of reality [in politics] and I think an injection of faith in a non-frightening way … would benefit the dialogue here."
'Trump is not a man of strong faith'
Milloy said in the U.S., the right-wing camp is split into two: Republican voters who go to church and those who don't. The latter appears the group backing Donald Trump.
"What we've seen here is a real split in the Republican party," he explained. "You see some of this polling amongst people who consider themselves strong Christians and they're acknowledging the fact that Trump is not a man of strong faith. They realize that, but they don't care. That is making us all scratch our heads."
"I think what we're learning is that the term Evangelical Christian is passé right now. That we can't start defining people by that term, alone," he said.
All the rules have gone out the window.- John Milloy, former Ontario MPP
"I think what they see in Trump is someone who is very strong, very outspoken. They're looking at someone who's going to sort of fight for them."
Milloy said Trump "has to be the most non-religious candidate around" and yet he's still the front-runner of a party with a strong religious base.
"The biggest thing I think all of us are shocked by is the fact that [with] so much of what Trump does and says — nobody cares."
Milloy believes if other candidates were quoted as saying even a fraction of what Trump has stated publicly, they'd be out of the race.
"All the rules have gone out the window."