Saturday, October 23, 2004

A Great Idea

Give the CBC credit. As impossible as it sounds, the CBC has what is now the hippest water cooler show in Canada with their Greatest Canadian series. Everyone is weighing in with their opinion, arguing the choices and debating the whole concept of the show. Why is it a success? Because they decided to avoid the typical PC CBC thing which would have been to have a panel of "experts" select the top 50 Canadians, making sure to have enough females, aboriginals, artists and francophones. Instead we get a mix of mind bogglingly stupid choices (Shania Twain is the greatest female Canadian ever...and Ed Belfour cracked the top 100) and some truly deserving people who I'm shocked anyone knew about, much less voted for. The fact that Sir Stanford Fleming beat out Avril Lavigne is actually quite surprising if you think about it, as is the fact Tecumseh beat Mario Lemieux or that the unknown soldier made the list. Since the CBC didn't censor the choices, we get a very interesting mix which makes the show both frustrating and educational...and extremely debatable. So full marks to the CBC.

That said, Don Cherry cracking the top 10 is shocking. Off the top of my head, Canadians who didn't make the top 100 who you could make a case for as being "greater" than Don include: Louis St. Laurent, Brian Mulroney, Ben Mulroney, Justin Trudeau, Shirley Douglas, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Red Green, Tom Green, Casey, Finnigan, Ross Rebagliati, Perditia Felicien, the little blue cow, my barber, Preston Manning's barber, the guy who makes sure Ralph Klein doesn't go into public after drinking...the list goes on and on.

For what it's worth, my own top 10 list would be as follows:

1. Pierre Trudeau
2. Terry Fox
3. Frederick Banting
4. Wayne Gretzky
5. Wilfrid Laurier
6. Tommy Douglas
7. Lester B Pearson
8. Margaret Atwood
9. Marshal McLuhan
10. Jean Chretien

OK, so sue me for my bias...

Honourable mention to: John A. MacDonald, Robert Borden, Mackenzie King, Rocket Richard, James Naismith, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Karen Kane, Billy Bishop, Nellie McClung, John Molson, George Etiene Cartier, Stephen Lewis and Jean Vanier. And Stockwell Day. Of course.


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