Sunday, January 15, 2006


I apologize to those of you who miss my rants about the media and the entertainment industry during this extended period of electioneering. Don't worry. THE CAIRNS BLOG will get back to ranting about entertainment and TV again as soon as this election is over. Okay, maybe not as soon as the election is over. Maybe the middle of the week after the election. But right now I'm too carried away with politics to concentrate on the stuff I usually rant about. I suppose the Mike Duffy-John Duffy smackdown was a rant about TV, but the rest of my rants have been political in nature.

This is a big night for TV fans because the new season of 24 has debuted on FOX. This is nonstop action and Kiefer Sutherland is back from the dead as Jack Bauer.

For those of you screenwriters in California who may not know, Kiefer Sutherland has a pretty strong family political connection. His grandfather on his mother's side was none other than Tommy Douglas, former premier of my home province of Saskatchewan. Douglas led the first socialist government in the history of North America when he was elected in 1944. He also was the guy responsible for bringing in medicare when he was premier of Saskatchewan. Later he became the first leader of the national New Democratic Party in 1961 and was the guy primarily responsible for getting socialized medicare installed across Canada.

In 1962 Douglas ran for Parliament in Regina and was one of the people mowed down by John Diefenbaker's PCs in Saskatchewan. The personal defeat finished him politically in Saskatchewan. He ended up moving to British Columbia and represented that province in Parliament, and from what I heard stayed there for the rest of his life. My brother also used to live in Saskatchewan. He, too, ended up moving to BC. Moreover, my brother works in the same industry as Tommy Douglas' daughter, son-in-law and grandson: the film industry.

Douglas' offspring also frequently get involved in politics. No wonder, then, that 24 is getting overrun with negative TV ads from the Tories and the Liberals tonight on Global TV. These parties figure that all the politically-minded types will be watching. I'm just waiting to see a Jack Layton NDP ad on the show: one that tells Canadians to give these two the boot, and then shows a picture of an actual boot onscreen. At least those ads are funny.

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