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The eyes of the world have rarely been so trained on this unique corner of the planet called Canada.

The risks of feeling uncomfortably exposed were there. We crave the spotlight, but fear how we will look in high definition. Lots of things could have gone wrong.

The relationship across the Rockies has often been a bit tense, and could have grown more so. Logistical snafus could have been a perpetual embarassment. Our athletes might have stumbled. Our weather could have cast a pall.

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None of it transpired that way.

Our nation may just have enjoyed its greatest moment on the world stage, and the most powerful rallying event in a long time, maybe ever.

The pictures of our country were vivid, moving, stunning. Vancouver shone like never before. No doubt tourists will arrive in record numbers for years to come.

Our athletes revealed the best of our collective values, our sense of humor, determination, and grace, in frequent victory, as well as defeat. Our hockey heroes provided a fitting cap to an incredible couple of weeks.

Many wonder what the impact might be for our politics.

It's plausible there will be a lift for the Conservatives in the near term, but far from certain and not necessarily durable in any event. The more important impact might well be the sense of aspiration we feel coming out of these games - and whether it makes us look for a more inspiring agenda for the country.

Canada felt the gaze of the world, and loved it. We won more gold medals than ever before because we wanted to move to a different level as competitors.

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Thinking big worked out. Thinking bigger might also be the best prescription for successful political leaders starting this week.

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About the Author
Bruce Anderson

Bruce Anderson is the chairman of polling firm Abacus Data, a regular member of the At Issue panel on CBC’s The National and a founding partner of i2 Ideas and Issues Advertising. He has done polls for Liberal and Conservative politicians but no longer does any partisan work. More

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