Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The Greatest Canadian?

The CBC is running a survivor-type survey of its viewers on "The Greatest Canadian". The results so far provide an interesting reflection of the tastes and preferences of those who watch the CBC and have the patience to vote on this question.

  1. Tommy Douglas, the top vote-getter, was a flaming socialist. This is like saying Norman Thomas was the greatest American. There are two other politicians in the top ten who favoured larger government and more government intervention in the economy. In my view, those who held off these guys were greater Canadians.
  2. Two of the top ten are from the hockey industry. Most folks in the world with even a passing interest in sports have heard of Gretzky, but how many of you outside Canada (or Boston, where he once coached) have heard of Don Cherry? Cherry is an outrageous commentator on Hockey Night in Canada, a CBC telecast, and he correctly (and likely unknowingly) applied Sam Peltzman's analysis of the effects of seatbelt legislation to the world of hockey: he predicted that requiring players to wear helmets and facemasks would lead to more high-sticking and slashing incidents. I wonder if he will continue to rank above Canada's leading anti-intellectual bleeding heart, about whom I had this to say some years ago. Anyway, my artiste friends are aghast that Don Cherry is even on the list, much less that he ranked 2nd in the voting last week.
  3. Only one of the country's founders is in the top ten, and barely so, with a very unflattering write-up. Tecumseh is 37th on the list
  4. There are no women in the top ten. Can you guess who the top vote-getter is among women? Guess before you click! She's listed as 18th.

As I said, these results say a lot about the CBC and about those who watch and support the CBC. I'm waiting for The Fraser Institute to run a counter-poll.

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