Last evening I caught a documentary on TV Ontario with the enticing title, The Art of the Possible (1978). Filmmakers followed then Ontario Premier William "Bill" Davis as he prepared to make some big decisions: details in the province's budget, text of the throne speech, and demands to be made during the First Ministers Conference (with special guest stars including then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau).
My biggest takeaway, which I formulated at about the one-minute mark of the documentary, was the overall balance of civility; even in the "question period" -- make no mistake, it was still fiery.
Mr Davis spoke at my high school when I was a "minor niner" (grade 9 student). I remember his gentlemanly manner and sharp articulation....which last night I compared to our current premier, Doug Ford (a bully and a simpleton).
"My approach has always been to listen to both sides of the discussion, because I discovered very early that once I stated a point of view, then others who held a contrary point of view would be reluctant to express it... you just see the heads go up and down, et cetera. And I've tried to avoid that because I want to get a very frank discussion of the views of my colleagues."
-- William Davis
The Art of the Possible is available for viewing on TVO's website, here.
Watch for: Then Toronto Sun "Queen's Park" columnist Claire Hoy is interviewed; he almost angrily criticizes Bill Davis and his Progressive Conservatives' out-of-control spending. (A twist in time and space.)