Published on The Link Media File blog on November 4 2015
Through the magic of politics, Justin Trudeau and his Dream Team entered Rideau Hall as regular elites and left as Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
Through the magic of media, we got to watch their transformation—live on the internet on Nov. 4. What a magical few hours it was, with news organizations streaming the exact same video feed to my face, with varying degrees of competence.
CTV bravely provided no analysis or commentary for the entire two-and-a-half hours.
Global News tried to embarrass itself, and largely succeeded. They provided insight into which ministers were captains of their swim teams, a self-admitted “fact that means absolutely nothing.” They wrongly assumed that Marc Garneau was a fighter pilot because he was an astronaut. They didn’t respond to my tweet calling them out for it. And, of course, they had a panel of men talking about gender parity.
CBC earned those tax dollars and courted #millennials by voxing the populi and talking about selfies. They also provided substantial analysis and helpful commentary, but did the condescending live-translation thing—with a consistent high-pitched feedback noise to add injury to insult. Given that young people can hear high-pitched noises that adults can’t, it was a baffling decision sure to alienate the audience that the CBC needs most.
Radio-Canada was great, minus the live-translation in the other direction. They explained what was going on, they discussed why certain people were chosen, they broke down the roles of the ministries—and they ignored the crowd. Whether that was because they assumed their audience didn’t want to hear what some kid from Calgary had to say about making eye contact with Justin Trudeau, or because they themselves figured that when somebody takes the time to watch an important political event they want to hear informed voices about the actual fucking political event, I’m grateful.
Buzzfeed Canada didn’t stream the stream, but tweeted pictures of ministers as cast members in a “Bad Blood” knockoff called, uh, “Sunny Ways.” Somebody needs to be fired.
And, well, because I couldn’t watch every stream, and only remembered that they existed once the swearing-in was over, HuffPo streamed the thing and National Post posted stuff. Also Vice. Also [Canadian news agency that I forgot].
As for the content of the stream; it started late. Rideau Hall was announced as “the home of the people of Canada,” just before the announcement that this ceremony was taking place on Algonquin land. Justin Trudeau reminded us who politics is for when his first oath was to the Queen, his second oath was to the Queen, and his third oath was to the Prime Minister’s Office. Aboriginal children made appearances, cementing Trudeau’s commitment to having Aboriginal children make appearances.
The procession was led in by a young 12-year-old Cree, drumming and singing. During the swearing-in ceremony, two Inuit throat singers—10 and 11—giggled through a performance, undermining the ostentatious pretense of the event. Which was great. The procession was led out by a group of Métis children dancing to the fiddle while the room of elites clapped and laughed. Which was great.
Justin Trudeau was sworn-in as prime minister. Justin Trudeau was sworn in as minister of youth. Justin Trudeau’s cabinet were sworn in as ministers. Stephane Dion was sworn in as minister of forgetting pens. Thirty times, this happened: be announced, stand, swear oath, shake Trudeau’s hand, shake governor general’s hand (and by extension the Queen’s), sign paper, be cheered, sit, clap for next person.
Also Nadveep Bains—the rebranded minister of what used to be Industry but is now Innovation, Science and Economic Development—received the Great Seal of Canada to keep safe for the governor general (and by extension, the Queen). It looks like a giant gold butt plug.
Then more kids came in and they chanté’d the hymne national in a random mélange of anglais and French, then they took a picture together and then went outside and then Trudeau answered questions and then the streams ended.
And so did this blog post.