The belief that American politics are so fundamentally right-wing, and Canadian politics so impossibly, incompatibly liberal by comparison, is one of the most well-rehearsed lines in the preening party game that is modern Canuck nationalism. As Tabatha Southey writes in the Globe, however, this uncritically accepted thesis is becoming harder and harder to defend in the age of Obama and Harper. Even if you believe a Canadian Tory is only as conservative as America's most liberal Democrat, you gotta concede there's a point where even slow-mo conservatism begins to pile up.
For me, the final days of 2012 were a sneak peak at an exciting new professional beginning: taking the helm as managing editor for blogs at HuffPost Canada. There's a frenetic and lively conversation going on here, and I look forward to both helping steward it and diving headlong into it myself.
This is what has impressed me most so far: HuffPost bloggers do not all sing from the same song sheet. While one calls out the NRA, another insists that guns aren't the root of our violence problem. That diversity of opinion is a large part of what drew me here, and I suspect it's part of what draws you too.
Last night I stood in the kind of hip club space I haven't visited since my 20s, jammed with nominees for the annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards. That spirit of course imbues our own upstart site here at HuffPost Canada, which was nominated for no fewer than eight awards. You can imagine how proud I was, as the former Managing Editor of Blogs here, to see our talented writers walk away with both the Gold and Silver awards for Best Blog in the daily and weekly newspapers, and broadcasters category.
Oh what a completely gratuitous way of getting you to read this blog! Shameless sensationalism, pure and simple. We try to be more high-minded than that at HuffPost, at least over here on the blog rail, where we would never post links to the red-headed royal frolicking around a Las Vegas hotel room in the buff, with an equally starkers "poker" (poke her? surely that's what the reports meant ...) companion. At most we would publish a serious think piece on the increasingly diminishing returns of the monarchy -- one which would thoughtfully weigh its relevance to our country, one which might indeed spark an important national debate on the topic.
Two major government budgets were released this week, by Ontario and the Feds respectively; as widely anticipated, both will balance spending and eliminate debt by the end of the year with no cuts to any social services. Critics from the left and right applauded the leaders for showing such fiscal responsibility while managing to balance the needs of all Canadian citizens. Asked how he expected to deal with the looming crisis with old age pensions, Prime Minister Harper noted that the budget called for the phasing out of seniors beginning in 2016...
Okay, now that I've got my April Fool's joke out of the way, let's look back upon the messy conflagration of human events that constitutes last week's news highlights here at Huffpost.