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Canada's laziest columnist

Earlier in my blog career, friends of mine would occasionally drop by this page to have a look. Some of them were shocked. Where was the balance? How could I just take one side of an issue without clearly explaining the other? Why did I appear so certain of things that were still in dispute? I would respond that no one wants to read mushy prose that says nothing that isn't already known, doesn't have a point to make, and doesn't make a stand.

But what do I know? Evidently there must be some kind of market for that kind of journalistic tofu, because the Globe and Mail pays Jeffrey Simpson a hefty salary to produce it, day after day, and week after week. Do people read it? Why? Does he ever say anything that isn't totally obvious even to the most casual observer?

Take a look at his column today. Come on, just look at it. No really! Just this once try and read it! I'm trying to make a point.

It's about the maneuverings and strategies of the different parties in Parliament this week. It's a topic that interests me, and no one could say it's not full of drama. It's the stuff political junkies live for, and Simpson is supposed to be the Globe's top political columnist. Let's take a look at some of his keen insights:

Liberal weakness, real and imagined, has emboldened the other three parties in Parliament.

[...]

If an election really loomed, chances are the Bloc would be tacking and trimming, unless, of course, the party really does want an early vote on the theory that it will certainly do worse later than now.

[...]

In recent polls, the NDP remains in its accustomed position: around 15 per cent, give or take a few points. The NDP believes it has momentum; polls suggest otherwise.

[...]

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion's white flag - the Liberals will not vote against the Throne Speech - removes whatever threat the Harperites might have felt of parliamentary defeat.

[...]

Mr. Harper, however, has decreed that many legislative initiatives flowing from the Throne Speech must be matters of confidence. This new doctrine expands, or rather distends, conventional practice to suit his purposes - namely, to put relentless pressure on the Liberals.

Gosh! He gets right to the heart of the matter, doesn't he? If you actually steeled yourself to follow the link to the full column, you will have noted that the quotes above are not opening sentences pulled from a more penetrating paragraph; they are the paragraphs! The whole column is like that. One banal and very obvious point after another, until his word count is met. How can I get a job at the Globe and Mail?

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