Thursday, June 02, 2011

This month in Canada's History

My subscription copy of Canada's History June-July 2011 has beaten the strike to my mailbox, so it's out there and on the magazine stands too, if you can find one.  Over several issues the mag is following the centenary of Parks Canada, and this month there's a look at its founding head, Bernard Harkin, by his biographer, Ted Hart of Banff.  Also the history of Trivial Pursuit, fires in St. John's, and a Terry Fox cover story, and as they say, much more.   Details here, all to suggest why Canada's History is up for a Magazine of the Year award at the National Magazine Awards next week   And ... I don't usually say this, but that columnist Christopher Moore they have  (Actually, he's up for a magazine award too), he's damn good this month too.
With his Gollum-like cunning, Mackenzie King at once grasped the magical power he had been granted. Clutching his precious leadership, he had suddenly become immune to his MPs. He told the people’s elected representatives he was no longer accountable to them; they had to do what he told them. Mr. Harper’s often-deplored practice of treating backbenchers and cabinet ministers as gofers and water boys is just the blossoming of the seed Mackenzie King planted. Under Canada’s new idea of party leadership, MPs became nobodies long before Pierre Trudeau was mean enough to say so.
It's about how coalitions became so unpopular in Canadian politics.  .
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