American Politics - Our new Favourite Reality TV Show

It’s near impossible to log onto social media or any news platform nowadays without seeing some mention of Donald Trump and his ludicrous campaign. But why are we all so obsessed with Trump? For some people it’s almost become a daily dose of reality entertainment. Rather than tuning into Keeping up with the Kardashians, watching a highlight reel of Trump’s most recent backlash is equally, and perhaps even more, entertaining.

This also brings to light an even bigger and more important question – why didn’t the Canadian election receive this much media attention? We had our fair share of huge upsets and campaign disasters, not to mention one of the largest and most significant party changes in our nation’s recent history. So why didn’t anyone care or notice?

American politics tends to be more favourable among global spectators, largely due to the significant role the U.S. plays in nearly every sector of international function, including military, international politics, economy, etc., but Canada’s a huge player on the global front too, so why does no one seem to care about our politics? The famous comedian John Oliver brought this up the night before the election, acknowledging that non-Canadians know very little about Canada.

This issue is also incredibly prevalent among our youth. Canadian youth are not nearly as involved or interested in Canadian politics as they are in the U.S. elections. Perhaps it’s because our elections are less flashy and controversial, but even then, our youth should prioritize our nation’s elections and government over the more dramatic American ones. Canadian politics only seems to interest us when it’s about Trudeau, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as he does a lot of great work as our Prime Minister, but Canadian politics is more than just Trudeau. American politics attracts our attention far more than the relatively demure Canadian politics and events, so often times, when our leaders are making bad decisions or passing ill-intended legislations, we're unaware of it until it's too late. We need to learn about how our country functions if we want it to work in our favour. Becoming more educated about our country and its government will also help in working up Canada’s reputation on a global scale – by showing the world how much our youth care and engage in our politics, we’ll be encouraging them to learn more about our wonderful nation as well.

It’s also important to mention, that even though we may not be receiving as much media attention as the U.S., and people may not care about our politics or economy, this might not necessarily be a bad thing. Without hundreds of different media sources trying to shove down some form of ideology or misrepresentation of our politicians down our throats, we’ve been able to make more knowledgeable and relatively unbiased decisions about our leader. Our country remains one of the most welcoming and diverse in the world, and even though our movies aren’t always blockbuster hits and no one knows about or understands our politics, we’re still one of the greatest countries in the world, and we don’t need constant global media coverage as validation.

Even before Trump, we were all far more invested into American politics than Canadian, perhaps because of the preconceived notion that Canada is in many ways inferior to the U.S. We may not be as powerful militarily or economically, but our nation has many things to be proud of. Take a look at the incredibly supportive community of Canadians that have welcomed thousands of refugees over the past year, or the incredible lengths our new government has gone to make our nation more accessible and welcoming for people of the LGBTQ+ community. Canada should be recognized globally for the progressive, diverse, and thriving nation that it is, not just as America’s quiet next-door neighbour. We may not be the biggest or the most powerful, but we’re a wonderful nation made up of open-minded and kind people. So, let's shift our focus from the American elections and get more involved in our own Canadian politics. 

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