The Shotgun Blog
Friday, July 09, 2010
Friday Filibuster Funny: Canada's underclass
It's been a while since we posted J.J. McCullough's political cartoons (you can click on the comic above for the full size). While J.J. did take a break, he's been back delivering quality comics for his fans on his website for some time now (so the fault is ours, dear reader, not his). To help catch you up, we put together this little pictobrowser below, which will let you see some of the work we've missed:
Do check out J.J.'s website Filibuster Cartoons, and scroll through a few more of his cartoons. You'll be glad you did). Below the fold, J.J.'s commentary:
Stephen Harper announced his pick for Canada’s next governor general yesterday, and in a somewhat surprising pick, selected University of Waterloo president and longtime law professor David Johnston. Somewhat surprising, but not really. As you can see by consulting my handy governor generals chart, there has never been a governor general from British Columbia, despite the fact that it’s Canada’s third largest province, and an extremely influential part of the country, both culturally and economically. Prior to the Johnston announcement, the B.C. media was thus giddy with anticipation, assuming that this would finally be our year. But once again, it was not. Not even with a noted “friend of the west” like Harper as prime minister did B.C. get one of its own in Canada’s top job.
The major reason, once again, was apparently bilingualism, a cruel and inescapable expectation of all holders of high office in modern Canada. Almost no one in British Columbia speaks fluent French, not even people in extremely elite positions of society, simply because there is no real need to. B.C. is not a province with an ample French population, so important people tend to focus their educational time elsewhere, studying matters that may actual have some tangible relevance to their career.
But British Columbia is hardly unusual in this regard. According to the Government of Canada’s own statistics (PDF link) only a measly 8.8% of Canadian Anglos can speak French, meaning about 91% of Canada’s majority population can never hope to be governor general (or prime minister for that matter). As a result, the people who do get appointed to the office are either French-Canadians, who have a much more immediate interest in being bilingual, or strange lawyer-types like Mr. Johnston, who come from a very isolated, elite subculture in Eastern Canada, centered around the greater Ottawa-Montreal axis, in which functional bilingualism is common and practical.
At one time, right-wing politicians like Mr. Harper criticized official bilingualism for extracting such a high toll on Canada’s majority population in order to appease French Canadian resentment — which didn’t even seem to be lessening, by the way. Now, however, Harper seems perfectly keen to continue to prop up the system he once opposed, in his suddenly pressing pursuit of eastern votes. The substantial differences between Canada’s two political parties continue to lessen as a result, and unilingual are once again left wondering if anyone in the political system actually cares about their interests.
I assume that the cartoon depicts diversity in action.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-07-10 8:47:56 PM
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