Commentary by Jeff Burgar
There’s much going on in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo has bumped Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez from the top rank of Instagram. The print industry has yet to understand that Google and Facebook, as they buy up advertising agencies, are creating monopolies determined to put print out of business.
Hollywood celebrities keep telling us how to not only live, cook, exercise, and spread brotherly love, they now also tell us how to vote. Canada’s federal government is much more concerned about Ontario and Quebec dairy farmers than Alberta oil. Canada’s prime minister parades the country, acting more like a candidate for a United Nations secretary-general seat than a inspiring leader capable of looking after his own country. Around the world, China spreads its influence while most of the West occupies itself with what Russia is up to. And we haven’t even started to talk about hockey, football, soccer, the fall television season, major motion pictures, unrest in the Middle East, North Korea, immigration, separation, reconciliation, famine in Africa, stock markets, Christmas, the weather or just making ends meet.
Whew! So much to babble about. So little time.
At any rate, we found time to bounce around the channels last Tuesday, checking in to see how Americans were voting in their breathlessly self-described ‘most important election of this century. Or maybe in all time!’
Presidents are elected for four years. So Americans were not voting for Trump. But the equivalent of our Canadian parliament, the House of Representatives, was up for election, as it is every two years. So 435 seats to vote for. The American Senate has 100 members, two from each state. They run in a six year cycle. So every two years about 33 senators will be elected. Plus there were 39 state governors to be elected. The whole idea behind this mish-mash is to keep politicians from getting too comfortable, and also to provide checks and balances against government going crazy. Maybe it works.
Maybe we need something like that in media. For sure, a news channel like CNN is easily spotted as off-the-rails left wing. Right wing supporters find their own channel at Fox News. The rest? Well, several studies have shown media leans left, astonishingly, as much as 95 per cent of the time. In Canada, nobody in their right mind says CBC, CTV or even Global are not left-leaning. Nor are they ‘fair and balanced’ as they pull so much of their feeds from the Stateside leftist media. The Globe and Mail newspaper is left. The National Post leans right. Alberta, a generally right-wing province, likes a lot about Donald Trump. Not so much about lefty Trudeau.
In the end, we had barely watched one hour of election results rolling in and we were content. The House went to Democrats. The Senate stayed with Republicans. Donald Trump is confirmed, even as he wasn’t running, as a worthy president.
Now, let’s get back to our real world.