Sunday, 5 June 2011

Evan Solomon: The Ron Burgundy of Canadian News

Okay, I have a post on Winnipeg getting that NHL team coming up. But there's something that's just so imminent I have to comment on right now and that's this interview.

Okay, I don't really want to get into a debate about whether the ends justified the means when it comes to Winnipeg-born Brigette DePape's subversion of parliamentary etiquette. I'm a stickler for rules, so I personally wouldn't have done that, but the fact that this low-level staff infraction occurred in the context of a culture where the governing party regularly acted with crass disregard to parliament really cheapens the  "blow to the sacredness of this institution" aspect of the story. But Evan Solomon's the real centrepiece of this post as he just infuriates me with his rank stupidity.

First he yammers on about some "mandate" a Majority gives Harper, then he brushes away criticisms of how manufactured that Majority is with "that's how our system works". The pretty simple concept that parliamentary institutions aren't always democratic and can sometimes produce results that most Canadians would abhor is leaps and bounds above this religious studies graduate's* ability to comprehend.

But Solomon comically misses the point of DePape when she mentions the extraparliamentary action of Arab Spring as inspiration for civic action in Canada. His reply is sanity killing:

Millions of people did just decide to take action, we call it a federal election, and those are the results. That's how we take action here, uh, you know, we don't have bombing like in Libya. We have a federal election, which ... is the way to do it.
Uh, do businesses or wealthy individuals decide to stop whatever lobbying efforts they have underway just because an election's over? If that were the case, then Gail Asper wouldn't have gotten funding for the Human Rights Museum. And, no, simple voting is not enough, holding those you elected accountable is a full year job, as shirking (or, perhaps more accurately, selling out the interests of voters) is a characteristic flaw in politicians.

The fact that a seasoned Canadian political news analyst is ignorant of something crucial, mentioned in about any introductory politics book, is just embarrassing. The CBC desperately needs to raise their hiring standards.

*Evan Solomon graduated from McGill University with English literature and religious studies degree.