The Walrus settles into a comfortable position just below THIS Magazine as one of Canada’s most interesting and relevant general interest magazines. October’s issue responds to THIS magazine’s profile of Jack Layton with a look behind the curtain at Stephen Harper’s Conservative strategy machine.
Most interesting is the debate-by-essay on the American election, featuring psychographics king Michael Adams explaining why Bush’s grand destiny is writ in the shared values of most Americans, and Time Canada columnist Stephen Handelman’s assertion that, thanks to the more radical elements in the White House, John F. Kerry has a free and open centre to occupy in Bush’s America.
I’d be interested in others’ response to these arguments. I find Adams’ logic unusually weak. His survey of the shared values of Americans reveals, for instance, that “Republicans are more likely to feel a duty to vote than are Democrats,” which I believe to be true… except in this election. He seems to have completely glossed over the shock and horror most Democrats feel when remembering Florida 2000, and the fact that, as Handelman points out, national US polling reveals a much higher than average voter interest in this election, which can only spell trouble for an incumbent president initially brought to power by a sleepy and apathetic electorate.
Anyway, good on The Walrus. We at THIS Magazine encourage brash young upstarts like them to take a run at joining the national conversation. They can call us for advice anytime. As for Time Canada, one can only wonder why Handelman didn’t publish his essay there.