Salutin writes to Everyday Canadians


The Globe’s Rick Salutin  wrote yesterday about the unfolding political partnership in the Liberal party formed by Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae. Forget the first few paragraphs most of the column, though, and scroll down to the sort-of addendum that Salutin affixes to his piece. Actually, just read it here:

P.S. I’m really tired of people saying, “We didn’t vote for a coalition.” That’s the definition of a coalition – something you didn’t vote for because what you did vote for didn’t work out on anyone’s side and you need a majority of votes to run a government.

If you had voted for a coalition, it wouldn’t be a coalition, it would be The Coalition Party or something like that. You didn’t vote to lose your job or get cancer or have that bridge washed out on your trip either. Unexpected, undesired things happen, so people improvise, they cope, they rig up new arrangements. Sometimes it’s even for the best.

The first few paragraphs might not be of interest to most people. It’s inside baseball that looks at federal politicians about whom a lot of people couldn’t care less. I think sometimes that columnists write to not Everyday Canadians, but instead to politicians, staffers, and other columnists. They get caught up in the Political Ottawa audience and forget about the rest of the readership.

(As an aside, I remember getting caught in that bind writing at the Fulcrum, when some columns inadvertently seemed written for student-union types instead of the 10,000 — we hoped — Everyday Student readers. It was a habit that served almost no good at times.)

Salutin’s tone changes in that addendum. Suddenly, he’s not writing about Ignatieff, Rae, or any other intricate Ottawa relationships. Instead, he’s appealing to voters directly and fairly succinctly about something completely different. I think it’s a great string of sentences. Refreshing, if nothing else, that Salutin would write to all of us.

(H/T to Wassim, who insisted this column was worth reading in the comments at a Maclean’s blog post)

One Response to “Salutin writes to Everyday Canadians”

  1. Good call, I missed that last part when I scanned it the first time.

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