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At the Senator


time ever for us to talk in the tones of the Ameri- can speeches that you see on television. About ‘ap- peals to greatness’ and ‘a rendezvous with destiny’. If someone in Canada had given a speech like that ten years ago, they would have been laughed off the stage. I don’t know if that would happen today.

A big event, a big idea, can still bring Canadians together coast to coast.

Rob Silver

CR: None us have used the ugly word: patriotism, but that’s what you’re talking about.

RS: I would articulate it as a confidence. A self con- fidence, but I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with your manifestations of it. It could manifest itself in terms of policy implications with our openness to immigration, openness to trade, breaking down protectionism in Canada. We’re confident. It’s the opposite of 1970s-style malaise in our country. There are different ways that this confidence can manifest itself.

CR: I disagree. RS: Sure, you would disagree.

MS: I think a leader or a politician who could stand up and articulate a new Canadian patriotism or na- tionalism would be very successful.

CR: I think it will materialize first in a new na- tionalist populism. Things like the seal hunt have been early precursors. It may be asbestos or more northern sovereignty next.

MS: The Governor General, when she plopped a bit of seal meat into her mouth, became my hero for a day. A central theme for me would be a new Canadian patriotism. I think you see this in both Ignatieff and Harper. With Ignatieff it is...

RS: Big ideas. MS: It’s high-speed rail or the east west


grid. With Harper it’s arctic sovereignty. For the first time in more than a generation in politics, people are talking about something bigger than tax cuts and health care. They’re actually talking

40 Politics | Canadian Edition

about big things again. There’s a big implication for campaigning.

CR: OK, what about the tactics? What can we learn about how to run campaign?

MS: How about, ‘television isn’t dead’ in the way that most have thought?

RS: In terms of the notion of the fragmentation of Canadians, the disintegration of our politics, you see that a big event, a big idea can still bring Cana- dians together, coast to coast. Whether any of our current leaders can articulate something in politics that can bring us together in the way that a US- Canada hockey game can, obviously is question- able.

CR: I think the very brave and risky thing that the Vancouver Organizing Committee did was shake off the established brand that had a lot of value, of the classic five colours in the Olympic rings. They used those colours only in the Organizing Com- mittee logo, the rest of them took a very bold, new fresh look. They were able to trade on the legacy of the rings and the image. It’s looked extremely modern and it’s translated well in everything from their fencing signage to their pinnies the skiers are wearing as they go down the hill. It demonstrates that parties don’t wed to the same old colours and the same old ideas in terms of their brands.

RS: And, to your point, Hudson’s Bay Company was able to revitalize the iconic point blanket and the Bay colours by leveraging off the Organizing Committee’s brand. The Hudson’s Bay Company comes off a different company and a different type of icon for what has been a fairly dormant brand.

MS: CTV is a big, big winner. They demonstrated they can do the job of national broadcaster. So there it is, social media, the power of unity, don’t count television out and a new patriotism…that may be what the Olympics was about. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69
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