Of the two national Canadian newspapers, I prefer the Globe & Mail. I find its columnists more insightful, its business and international coverage stronger, and – I’ll admit – I prefer its editorial directon over the hard right-wing cant of the National Post. Some time in the early half of the year, the Globe completed a long-overdue revision of its online presence. In the process, they stressed the ability for users to comment on the news articles throughout the site. It seems like so small a tweak, but now, instead of simply reading about world events, I get a glimpse of what other Canadians think. Well, at least other, vociferous Canadians.
We are…not so very nice…as we imagine.
Perhaps it’s the effect of reading a 1000 (or so) pages of European history for my upcoming exam, but I’ve become more sensitized to the deep rifts expressed online. Going by the comments on the Globe & Mail news stories, the gap between the right and centre-left lies somewhere between gaping and chasm-like. It raises its ugly head whenever there’s a story on the “Alberta miracle”. According to some (Albertans?) out there, Eastern Canadians – really Ontarians – are no-good, corruption-loving, federal-trough feeders who don’t have the cojones to make tough economic or social divisions. In fact, we are all after Alberta’s wealth, which, in NEP fashion, we wish to loot wholesale. Today’s discussion by Jeffrey Simpson on Ralph Klein’s leadership review was particularly telling. This columnist was questioned repeatedly about what “pedigree”, “right” or “background” he, as an Eastern Canadian has, to write about Alberta.
From my ‘egocentric’ position here in Ontario, its hard not to reduce Canada down to a nation perpetually troubled by Quebec separatism in the East, over-caution in the center and Western – Albertan – wealth and paranoia in the West.
Sounds like “fun times”™ to me.