January 23rd marked a monumental date in Canadian history and the implications and consequences of this day will echo within the Canadian social and cultural mindset for years and years to come. Yes, on a Monday evening in late January the historical volume of our great nation turned a new chapter and many observers will forever mark that day as one that truly established a new direction for our noble country.
I am, of course, talking about the day that the Liberal leadership race began!
Did anybody inside of the media notice something else that happened on that day? While I’m certain that the formation of the first Conservative government in over 12 years may be fascinating to some, it seems that your friendly Bytown reporter is instead waiting for the latest news about the most recent senior Liberal to scoff at the idea of rebuilding the Liberal Party.
However, there’s something odd in the media’s hunger for a Liberal story this time. The next Liberal leader is running to be just that: the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. There will be no Prime Ministerial coronation this time. While there will be thundersticks, Bono isn’t likely to grant his blessing when the Grits meet later this year to pick the poor sap who’ll be charged with presenting a hastily bandaged and rickety version of the Liberal Party to voters during the next electoral outing.
So, why the attention to the Liberal Party without the real substance of governance underneath? Is it time to update the old contact list to include members of the new Conservative government? Are reporters falling back on their well-groomed and now less valuable contacts to push out that one last easy story about the old gang?
I remember a time when writing about Stephen Harper’s horrific desire to destroy the country was ‘newsworthy’. Now that Harper’s in charge, it seems that journalists will look everywhere else to get a story. On a news show this weekend I saw one talking head complain that Harper will run a boring government. Perhaps some of our media friends just wish for the good ‘ol days when stories about corruption and the speculative horror of a new Conservative leader (How scary?) wrote themselves.
However, I’m certain that we’ll soon find the new balance. For as long as there are potato patches to till or awkward father-son handshakes to be shook, there will be something to sustain the political punditry between bouts of Liberal hysteria.