Obama hype takes hold of Canadians

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
I went to the Grad Club on Tuesday to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama. The news coverage of this historic event was on every television set and the volume was cranked up so everyone could hear. The place was packed to standing room only. When Obama gave his speech, there was silence mostly, mixed with cheers and clapping.

It was a stark contrast to when I went to the Grad Club on Dec. 4, 2008 to watch the television screens. What? Does that date not ring a bell? That was the day that Canada’s governor general set an historic precedent by proroguing the Canadian Parliament less than two months after it was elected. Yet when I went to the Grad Club to watch Stephen Harper give a briefing and answer questions after coming out of Rideau Hall, it wasn’t on the TVs at the Grad Club. Instead, people were watching Off the Record and the Weather Network. We had to ask management to change the channel on one TV (which they did) and we watched this event at a barely audible level while everyone continued their conversations.

As I hear stories of Canadians crying and singing and rejoicing about Barack Obama’s accession to the United States presidency, I wonder why that same interest and emotion is not given to our own politics and our own historic moments. It is hard to defend the sovereignty of our nation when we are more consumed with politics south of our borders than in our own home and native land.
" Jason Brown
PhD Biology

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