At the Hamilton Spectator, I’m quite spoiled by having several pages that have run for four days this week highlighting the past events of 2021. It’s a huge honour, and a wonderful testament that there are still some print media outlets, like the Spec, which embrace satire, as well as local reporting and staff photography as a necessary part of print and digital journalism. It’s a tradition in newspapers around the globe to use the final week of the year to showcase editorial cartoons which best boil down the past 12 months viewed through the lens of satire. Thankfully, there’s still a contingent of talented cartoonists sustaining the craft. Although, as many of you are aware, editorial cartooning positions have been in steady decline as newspapers respond to shrinking circulation & advertising revenues by chopping or retiring off their artists and replacing their local insights with banal syndicated Hallmark style gags masquerading as satire, or worse, bland wire photos. Support your local newspapers but remind editors that satire is fundamental to a healthy democracy. Thank you for your likes and shares, and encouraging comments. Here’s to a better year ahead in 2022, my 25th year as editorial cartoonist at the Hamilton Spectator. Happy New Year!
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday December 30, 2021
Ottawa’s New Pastime: Leadership Speculation
No wonder there is a sense of déjà vu on Parliament Hill. The minority Parliament elected in September met for just two-and-a-half weeks before taking its holiday break.
Perhaps that business-as-usual post-election vibe in the House is why one of the favourite political discussions among insiders is speculation as to who will lead the two main political parties into the next election. Some may think this a waste of time. With a second consecutive minority government no one knows when the next election might be. And neither of the major party leaders, Justin Trudeau or Erin O’Toole, plans to step down. Quite the contrary. Both have said they are determined to lead their parties when voters next go to the polls.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday December 29, 2021
As Omicron Spreads and Cases Soar, the Unvaccinated Remain Defiant
As a fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus swarms across the country, hospitals in Ohio running low on beds and staff recently took out a full-page newspaper advertisement pleading with unvaccinated Americans to finally get the shot. It read, simply: “Help.”
But in a suburban Ohio café, Jackie Rogers, 58, an accountant, offered an equally succinct response on behalf of unvaccinated America: “Never.”
In the year since the first shots began going into arms, opposition to vaccines has hardened from skepticism and wariness into something approaching an article of faith for the approximately 39 million American adults who have yet to get a single dose.
Now, health experts say the roughly 15 percent of the adult population that remains stubbornly unvaccinated is at the greatest risk of severe illness and death from the Omicron variant, and could overwhelm hospitals that are already brimming with Covid patients. In Cleveland, where Omicron cases are soaring, a hospital unit at the Cleveland Clinic that provides life support to the sickest patients is already completely full.