Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Regional voting on Canadian Idol

It started with Krista Borden winning Pop Stars (after Newfoundlanders and Labradorians voted en masse, encouraged by local radio stations who even went through the dialing process and told you what you would hear on the other end when you voted), then grew a little with Jenny Gear, more with Jason Greeley, hit a crescendo with Rex Goudie and continued full speed ahead this year with Craig Sharpe. I'm talking about doing your civic duty and voting for the Newfoundlander--not necessarily the best singer or the most charsimatic performer--just the Newfoundlander, no matter what. It was during Rex's contest last year that people figured out you could get through easier on payphones than on your private phone. That was it. Try to get a payphone on a Monday night after Canadian Idol. This year, calls went out in newspapers and on radio and tv for volunteers willing to get to a payphone on Monday nights. It was unpatriotic to have an unused payphone in the province.

And the inevitable complaints came after [insert Newfoundland competitor's name here] did not win Canadian Idol. Telephone companies made sure no one could vote out of here and purposely ensured a Newfoundlander would not win, people alleged. Cooler heads just complained that there was no way a Newfoundlander could win since we do not have as many payphones as western Canada or Quebec. How insulting! Why can't a Newfoundlander win because he/she is brilliant and talented? This regional voting is ridiculous. To say Eva Avila won because Quebecers had more phones is to take away from her amazing talent. Conversely, people from elsewhere could easily say that Craig Sharpe only got to the finals because of the organization of the payphone patrol and not because of his fabulous voice. The point is that we should be voting based on talent. We should assume that other people outside of Newfoundland and Labrador--on private phones, cell phones, and payphones--voted for Craig Sharpe because he has the voice of an angel and not because they came from here. Regional voting is worse than voting for "the cute guy" or "the pretty girl". It is telling the person you are rooting for, that he/she has no chance without "the crowd from home". I don't think this will change. In fact it keeps getting more organized and more prevalent. I just think it is wrong. And I have to wonder what would have happened to Jenny Gear (the most talented of the idols so far, IMHO) if the payphone thing had been figured out when she was competing. If only the people of this island could "get out the vote" this well come time to elect the leaders of this country and this province.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Giller Longlist

The Giller Longlist has been announced and they are:

  • David Adams Richards, The Friends of Meager Fortune

  • Caroline Adderson, Pleased to Meet You

  • Todd Babiak, The Garneau Block

  • Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province

  • Douglas Coupland, jPod

  • Alan Cumyn, The Famished Lover

  • Rawi Hage, De Niro's Game

  • Kenneth J. Harvey, Inside

  • Wayne Johnston, The Custodian of Paradise

  • Vincent Lam, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

  • Annette Lapointe, Stolen

  • Pascale Quiviger, The Perfect Circle

  • GaĆ©tan Soucy, The Immaculate Conception

  • Russell Wangersky, The Hour of Bad Decisions

  • Carol Windley, Home Schooling

Not to say I told you so, but I told you so. Sure b'y, just because I predicted correctly two of the selections for the Giller Longlist, that's no big deal. I missed that Russel Wangersky's The Hour of Bad Decisions would make it. I will go further and predict both Inside and The Custodian of Paradise will make the shortlist. Maybe The Hour of Bad Decisions will too but I can't speak about it since I have not read it and am not familiar with Wangersky's fiction. Congrats to all the nominees.