Elections are always fun events in Happy Valley.
Think splendid, colourful posters plastered on our streets. Think informed debate and discussion at every street corner. And think intriguing flyers left in our mailboxes.
And while an unfortunate court ruling in my native land has reduced my electoral rights to voting only vicariously, what could be more exciting than having 2 national elections happening in parallel?
That’s because in addition to the excitement swirling around the upcoming Swiss federal elections October 18, Canadians are going to the polls on October 19.
So imagine your correspondent’s sadness over what appears, to-date, to be zero coverage of the Canadian elections in the Valley’s newspaper of record, Le Temps.
Your loyal Happy Valley correspondent tried to find a keen Swiss assessment of the electoral machinations in what, after all, is a G7 nation. And so the word “Canada” was entered into Le Temps’ search engine.
Results: A review from last month of an Atom Egoyan film. A piece written back in April about a photo exhibition. And an article published in June about how Canada is becoming an “ecological hell”.
But nothing about the election, and the key issues being debated.
Nada about “Peegate”. (Recap: a candidate for the current ruling party was found, in his earlier career as an appliance repairman, to have peed into a customer’s coffee cup on a house call a few years ago. He has since withdrawn his candidacy.)
Nothing about whether Niqab-wearing, about-to-become Canadians should have to remove the veil during their citizenship oath.
And nothing about whether marijuana should be legalized.
Big issues indeed. To say that your loyal correspondent is disappointed by the lack of Happy Valley coverage would be an understatement.
Mind you, good luck trying to find anything about the Swiss elections in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s English-language equivalent to Le Temps.
All of which makes me wonder. Could it be that Orson Welles had it only partially right in The Third Man? Surely in his speech about the Borgias and Switzerland, Harry Lime had meant also to say “…and even better: In Canada they had 100 years of peace, order and good government…and what did they produce? Céline Dion.”
Just a thought.
In the meantime, happy voting!