Better late than never!
Rather than post a personal ‘best of’ end of the year list or my own hopes, fears and/or predictions for the new year we’ve now embarked upon, I decided to ask a handful of my Twitter friends I’ve made in the last year to share with me their thoughts.
The question I put to them was this: What did you like/dislike about 2010 and what do you hope for or predict will unfold over the course of 2011?
Here’s what a few of my tweeps (Twitter people) had to say:
@stepc (Vancouver, B.C.)
“My favourite thing from 2010 was the display of spirit and solidarity during the Vancouver Olympics. This is not to say that I approved of the hosting of the Olympics, but I really enjoyed the unfettered joy, the openness, the welcoming friendliness. It was a refreshing change from the usual winter doldrums. If only we could have that sort of celebratory event every February.
“For the future, I’d like to see the end of the word ‘elite.’ It’s an accusatory, distancing word. A bogeyman word. The definition is forever changing because no one wants to be an elite. Maybe there’s no such thing then? The only positive context of ‘elite’ is an Aeroplan points accumulation level. The trend lately has been to blame problems on elites instead of focusing attention on finding solutions. So, I’d like to see the end of ‘elite.’ ‘Hipster’ can go too.”
@dacks1 (Toronto, Ont.)
“When I look back on 2010, I think about my neighbourhood, how I’m growing into it and how we’re all contributing to its new identity.
“When you hear the words St. Clair Avenue in the Toronto news media, usually it’s shorthand for a protracted transit project that looked bad on the previous municipal administration. But that’s over now, and the street looks better than before. The lawless traffic has calmed down (too much for some) and it’s got a cool mix of people and businesses that I feel proud to call my local promenade. I wish more of Toronto looked like this; profoundly mixed in income, ethno-cultural background and a healthy balance of tenants and owners.
“’Hopeful’ is not a term you’d throw around too much in Toronto these days, but this neighbourhood gives me hope for the year to come. Maybe this yutz of a mayor we elected (Rob Ford) will force the reinvention of alliances and tactics, and create sorely needed new networks of people in this city. Maybe St. Clair is somewhere that can happen in real life instead through the weak ties of social media.”
@tidewaters (Vancouver Island)
“I hope for an overhauled Canadian Parliament and similar changes to the B.C. Legislative Assembly. I doubt anything substantive will change in terms of policy or the direction of this country, the provinces and territories, or communities if these changes do not happen.
“I hope for the people’s representatives to be elected through a new inclusive electoral system; that the power of backbenchers is returned; that the power in the office of the heads of governments be vastly reduced; and that Question Period, a farce today, be returned to a venue for vital rigorous debate on issues important to Canadians.
“I hope for a reversal of the power and responsibilities of Canada’s three tiers of government. Local governments must have more power, greater areas of responsibility and additional means for acquiring their own, direct, revenue (e.g., community-based sales taxes). Many Canadians appear, rightly, to have had enough of the paternalism of the federal and provincial governments toward municipalities; the governments closest to the people are those which should have the greatest political influence.”
@YukonGale (Yukon, Canada)
“What I appreciated best in 2010 is life; one generous, productive life taken, one beautiful, new life given. One I will miss desperately as a guiding beacon through fog and uncertainty and one I greet with a new colour of love that glows as bright as a new day.
“Another life: this one for Michael Ignatieff as he travelled around the country spreading common sense as a foil for Stephen Harper’s messages and actions of fear and smear. Those that met him liked him. Those that listened to him heard a smart, thoughtful, forward-looking man. These things mean life for our seniors, our natives, our most vulnerable, our environment — if people stop fearing and start thinking and if his political courage remains.
“As for political life in the Yukon: NDP Leader Todd Hardy succumbs to cancer and his successor, Liz Hanson wins his seat. Here’s hoping that she brings some of Todd’s strength and motivation to our Territory.”
@JonathanElliot (Wellington, New Zealand)
“In my interest area for 2010 I was encouraged by Meal with a Muslim, Walking Abraham’s path and by greater acceptance of gay people within conservative Christianity. The latter is a subjective feeling on my part; nevertheless I think a sea change is occurring.
“Environmentally I was happy to see a greater awareness of plastic packaging and an effort by several local companies to reduce theirs.
“And even though he’s been criticized at home, we overseas folk are still glad the U.S. now has President Obama leading them.”
For the record, I vow to be more consistent with this very blog in 2011 (you can track my progress if you fancy).
What are your hopes and/or fears for 2011?