#NotMyPresident. No, really! The orange coloured capricious individual — the only person on Earth actually closest in colour to a Lego-man — is not my leader. Yet I am reading more about Trump’s crazy in Canadian papers than I am about what our own politicians are doing. That’s not good! I think it’s time for the national media to take a deep breath and reassess story importance.
I’m not naive. I know that, due to the prolific globalized world we live in, Trump will cause impacts almost everywhere — that has been the same for any American president over the last few decades. Is it good to be aware of what he and his congress are up to, especially when he’s going exactly to the nutty extremes he said he would? Yes. Should it overpower our own federal, provincial, or even municipal politics? No.
Yes, he is making changes that will affect Canadians. His first week in office was a flurry of executive orders, many of which will have implications here. And yes, I want to know what the MPs who we elected to deal with other countries face.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is unlikely to continue without the US. The removal of privacy protection on foreign data means that all our information that is shared by Google, Facebook, and even private email or data centres (which outsource to the US) will have even fewer protections than they did before. Our leaders will continuously have to reassess how they broker new deals, and adapt to Trump’s whims.
But my issue is this: the whole past few weeks, and even prior to his election, it’s Trump’s actions which are making headlines here, and not our leaders’ actions about how they are going to deal with a Trumped-up America. I don’t want to hear any more alternative facts propaganda from the White House; I want to hear about what we’ll be doing in response.
Even aside from that, there’s plenty of entirely unrelated news that the media should be updating Canadians on. In BC, there’s an election coming up, and I’m willing to bet that more than half the people reading this can’t even name the leader of the NDP or Green Party — John Horgan and Andrew Weaver respectively — let alone their own constituency candidates.
For months, the BC government has been bragging about its new upcoming “modernised” liquor laws. Now, the update is here, and the only real modernisation I can see is that they are allowing for more licences to be awarded.
And in a move towards reconciliation, the City of Vancouver is holding events using funds earmarked for the Canada 150 Celebration. These events have been designed to foster healing with, and education about, the indigenous nations that were stewards of the land before colonialism.
The need to be informed is important to democracy. The media as the fourth estate is meant, in part, to help me, the citizen, be aware of what is happening in government — our government. If all I hear every day is trumpeting from our loud downstairs neighbours, I can’t do that. If we can’t turn them off, let’s at least turn our own music up to 11, so that we don’t forget about it.