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2018: Counting Down The Political Hits

Greg MacEachern

Welcome back to our 7th annual Counting Down the Political Hits (with some misses), where we review the major political stories of the last year and attach a song for your listening (and office dance party) pleasure.

This year’s top five songs serve to remind us of the crazy year we’ve had when it comes to a wide range of issues related to gender politics, race relations, trade issues, international relations, and diplomacy.

So let’s get started:

5. India. Sigh. The Prime Minister’s eight-day trip to India in February seemed to move in slow-motion and was described as a “total disaster” by one Washington Post columnist. From including a convicted would-be assassin on the guest list, to some – shall we say – unusual sartorial choices, it was not the moment for a Prime Minister who had been previously doing quite well on the international stage. (For a master class in how you handle questions around the trip, check out the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Katie Telford’s interview with Paul Wells, around the 44:25 mark.)

When political faux pas can be remembered for the clothes you wore, well, here’s “I’m a Mess”  by Bebe Rexha:

4. Rachel Notley could be described this year as the hardest working politician in Canada, showing BC that Alberta could do without their wine thank you very much. The once close relationship she had with the Prime Minister seemed at times strained, with the PM making some gestures near the end of the year. Perhaps this lyric from The Middle by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey best describes things: “Why don’t you just meet me in the middle / I’m losing my mind just a little.”

3. On again. Off again. On again. And suddenly a signed deal. No, not the hosting job for the Oscars. We’re talking about NAFTA. Or was it USMCA? Or CUSMA. Or son of NAFTA… or the deal formerly known as… Okay, we get it, enough. And if that’s how we feel, imagine how the negotiators felt? Well for Foreign Affairs Minister there was that pretty significant cover of Macleans as a reward. But were we ever nervous? Hmmm, let’s have Shaun Mendez answer that.

2. The Me Too movement entered Canadian politics with a vengeance in 2018. Within the first month, Patrick Brown was no longer leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives (only to reappear as the mayor of Brampton following the fall municipal elections), and an old but unrevealed scandal appeared about former Conservative MP Rick Dykstra. In light (sadly) continuing revelations, the Maroon 5 video for “Girls Like You” (with Cardie B) was all that more uplifting by featuring strong female role models such as Aly Raisman, Tiffany Haddish, and Canada’s own Lilly Singh

1. This is America. What can we say about the unfolding drama that is our neighbour to the south that Childish Gambino didn’t not say, more brilliantly? *mic drop*