Monday, March 26, 2007

Election blogging when there's no news yet

It's certainly surprising to listen to/ read/ watch electionnight coverage in someone else's electoral culture. There are terminological differences that, however well I know them, constantly jar my ear-- "ridings" not "seats" or "districts," for example. The CBC uses "elected" in a very formal way; when American reporters would say that a race "has been called" or "is confirmed" or "is official" or any number of other terms, the CBC always says "no one has yet been elected in that riding," "only one MNA has been elected yet," etc.

Then there are weird terminological similarities. Even though the main race is a tight, complicated three-way race, and even though Canada generally has had man, many more than two important parties for a long time (Liberals, PC, NDP, Bloc, PQ, PLQ) the marginal parties (Greens, Quebec Solidaire) are still referred to as "third" parties.

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