Interesting observation in the Montreal Gazette today about why it is that the two-dimensional Pub Minister and other cynical forms of political band wagoning over the pub trade has gotten such attention in UK election:
Few commentators question the need to help out a sector of the economy made up of 52,000 pubs - the majority owned by large pub companies or breweries - in a country of 61 million. By comparison, there are just 6,100 drinking establishments in Canada - including pubs, bars and night clubs - to service a population of just under 34 million, according to Statistics Canada.
Well, that would do it. We have only one tavern or bar for every 5,500 Canucks while Brits have five times as many per person. Sure, there are hot houses of pub life in Canada like old colonial east coast towns Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John's Newfoundland. Heck, good old Pembroke in the Ottawa Valley had at least 15 bars for 15,000 people when I lived there in the mid-90s. A whole country of that? Of course pubs are an election issue.
But, thinking about it, I really have no idea who is going to win this great British contest we are all watching so eagerly. Who's going to win? In the end, it'll depend on who comes forward to stand up for what is good and right. Yet, unlike tomorrow's election, we may never know who has been more boorish: Pete or Protz and the CAMRA lads. Unless, of course, someone who was also the table comes forward to place that "X" next to a name.