I’ve always been fascinated by maps. When I was a kid I declared to anyone who would listen that when I grew up I was going to work as a “mapmaker”. To train myself I would copy maps out of atlases and try to squeeze as many place names and geographic features as possible. Then I later found out that the correct name for “map making” was “cartography” and that in order to become a cartographer you had to be a whiz in mathematics. Knowing myself to be one of world’s worst math students on record I knew my dream of drawings maps for a living would never pan out.
Nevertheless, as my career evolved over the years into editorial cartooning I’ve been able to put my passion for maps to good use in satire. Here’s a gallery of map cartoons going back a few decades:
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 24, 2018
Ontario government says it has an interim sex-ed curriculum elementary teachers must follow
February 14, 2018
The Ontario government has released an interim sex-ed curriculum for elementary school teachers to use this September, and Premier Doug Ford is suggesting there will be consequences if they don’t adhere to it.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) was quick to blast the plan, accusing the Ford government of creating chaos instead of addressing the real issues facing the public school system just weeks before classes resume.
The Progressive Conservative government issued a news release about the changes on Wednesday afternoon, while also announcing plans for what it called an “unprecedented” provincewide consultation process on education reform and a future parents’ bill of rights.
September 10, 2015
The Ford government has faced sharp criticism from a number of groups — including teachers’ unions, many parents and the Official Opposition — over its decision to scrap the modernized sex-ed curriculum brought in by the former Liberal government in 2015, which included information about online bullying, sexting and gender identity.
A group of human rights lawyers are also challenging the government’s decision in court on behalf of six families.
Neither Ford nor Education Minister Lisa Thompson took questions from reporters on Wednesday. (Source: CBC News)
We are in the business of publishing content, not suppressing it, writes Paul Berton
Graeme MacKay’s editorial cartoon last weekend caused a predictable fuss.
When it was brought to my attention before publication, I laughed out loud, and immediately recognized it would be problematic.
Indeed, some readers called it vulgar, another was disgusted and saddened, and said the paper “has sunk to the level of a tabloid.” One writer didn’t like the fact that it seemed to mock Ontario Premier Doug Ford, and added that he didn’t like it either when MacKay made fun of “our president.”
Why did we print it?
I could talk about the freedom of the press, the unique ability of satire to get to essence of an issue, or the importance of reflecting different points of view, and I could remind you that a cartoonist’s views are not necessarily those of the newspaper,
although sometimes they are. In the case of The Spectator, MacKay’s views are his own.
Or we could have just killed the cartoon, arguing that any reference to a penis in connection with Ontario’s premier is inappropriate, even if it is in the context of a heated debate over the future of sex education in the province.
We could have decided our readers don’t need that kind of thing at breakfast, let alone lunch or dinner. But that too, is the heart of the matter — and the point of the cartoon.
Ultimately, we are in the business of publishing content, not suppressing it. There have been times in the past when I thought I should have prevented something from publication, but in retrospect, I regret far more often the things we didn’t print than those we did.
Besides, if we had spiked that cartoon, we would have denied many other readers the laugh that I and others experienced from it, and laughs these days are all too rare.
For not only did we receive complaints about the cartoon, we also received kudos in their wake. You can turn to today’s letters-to-the-editor for some evidence of that. It is human nature to complain, but compliments are much less common.
Such supporters realize a good cartoonist never takes the issue as seriously as those in the midst of it — politicians usually, but often anyone in authority. True, cartoons often say in pictures what some of us are too polite to say in words, but they also make us look in the mirror, point out obvious or sometimes hidden inanities, and poke fun at people who take themselves too earnestly.
Any newspaper editor who says an editorial cartoonist doesn’t cause her or him grief is probably lying. It has always an uncomfortable relationship, and indeed, some cartoonists have been fired for their views. It would be easier for newspaper editors if nobody ever called to complain, but then we’d be approaching irrelevance.
Fortunately, Spec readers care deeply about this news organization, many of you think of us as part of the family, and feel a personal connection. We appreciate that, and we encourage all complaints, considered arguments and feedback of any sort. (Source)
Paul Berton is editor-in-chief of The Hamilton Spectator and thespec.com. You can reach him at 905-526-3482 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Monday July 16, 2018
McCain: Trump’s meeting with Putin ‘should not move forward’
December 17, 2016
Sen. John McCain praised the Department of Justice’s announcement of the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 presidential election, adding President Donald Trump shouldn’t meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin unless he holds him accountable.
“President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world,” the Arizona senator said in a statement Friday. “If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward.”
November 3, 2017
The statement came hours after the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing them of engaging in a “sustained effort” to hack Democrats’ emails and computer networks.
Trump is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin — who has denied election meddling — in Helsinki on Monday for a summit that includes a one-on-one meeting with only interpreters present.
March 7, 2017
McCain wasn’t the only Republican senator to criticize Putin following the indictments. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse said in a statement that “all patriotic Americans” should know Putin is not “the President’s buddy.”
“The US intelligence community knows that the Russian government attacked the US,” he said in a statement. “This is not a Republican or a Democrat view — it is simply the reality. All patriotic Americans should understand that Putin is not America’s friend, and he is not the President’s buddy. We should stand united against Putin’s past and planned future attacks against us.” (Source: CNN)
The election results of 2014 clearly showed that voters were intent on forgiving the Liberals for their many misdeeds and confident its new leader Kathleen Wynne would build the trust and good government that had been lost in the dying years of McGuinty’s reign. Ontario voters even rewarded the new leader with a majority victory in 2014, after slapping the previous one down with a slim minority. This is often forgotten in the current #metoo climate when supporters of Kathleen Wynne deal the misogyny and homophobe cards to explain her dreary popularity numbers.
Polls consistently show that voters are done with Kathleen Wynne (ranked as the least popular Premier in Canada), and indeed the Liberal government in Ontario. To answer this, the Liberal Party platform is chock-a-block full of big spending progressive (NDPesque) promises for child care, health care, senior support, and dental and pharmacare. Despite the efforts, the mood among comment boards, call-in shows, and letters to the editor, seem to be very much about “throwing the bums out”. If, at this point the Liberal’s defeat is quite certain, then the question of who wins and by how much remains to be answered.
The numbers problem
Andrea Horwath enters her 3rd provincial election leading the NDP with poll numbers matching the governing Liberals. After attempting to make her party more palatable to centrist and Liberal Party voters in 2014, while outraging the most leftie members in the process, she has steered the party back to its traditional NDP position with campaign promises embracing free dental care, free tuition, and undoing Kathleen Wynne’s privatization of Hydro.
Hastily assuming the leadership of the PCs beset by scandal and malaise under Patrick Brown, Doug Ford seems to have used populist energy to recharge a party lacking confidence in direction. With new leadership comes learning, and based on the amount of sloganeering dished out by Doug Ford, and an increasingly obvious dearth in policy expertise, or even knowledge (i.e.: how a bill becomes law), it’s becoming evident by the day that the presumptive Premier requires a steep learning curve to adequately prepare himself for the top job. It’s merely a matter of time before we find out if Doug Ford just managed to be the right person at the right time, no matter how uninformed he proves himself to be.
At this point there’s no betting on who will be in charge at the pink palace after June 7, 2018. The PCs may now be riding high in the polls, but its leader is just one gaffe away from throwing the party’s support away in the same way John Tory did with faith based schools, or Tim Hudak did with his one million jobs gimmick. What is predictable about the coming 4 weeks are polls that will turn out to be way off reality. Nothing can really forecast how strategic voting will factor on election day, not to mention, the no shows: declining participation of the electorate, which has been dropping with each ballot, and was below 50% in 2014. There’s no predicting the outcome of this election. It really is anyone’s game.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 13, 2017
Jagmeet Singh praised for ‘calm and positive’ reaction to anti-Muslim heckler
Federal NDP leadership hopeful Jagmeet Singh is garnering praise for the way he reacted to a woman who accused him last week of supporting Islamic extremism, because he chose to come out against “all forms of hate” instead of emphasizing that he is Sikh rather than Muslim.
August 3, 2017
The Ontario MPP was interrupted by an angry heckler at a meet and greet last Wednesday in Brampton, Ont. The woman stood in front of the candidate and shouted as aides tried to usher her aside in an incident that was caught on video and shared widely on social media well beyond Canada’s borders.
The woman accused Singh of wanting to impose Shariah law, an Islamic legal code based on the Qur’an, and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, an 89-year-old religious and political group. The exchange was caught on video and lasted more than four minutes.
“Many people have commented that I could have just said I’m not Muslim. In fact, many have clarified that I’m actually Sikh,” Singh explained in a statement.
“While I’m proud of who I am, I purposely didn’t go down that road because it suggests their hate would be OK if I was Muslim.”
A political science professor told CBC News on Monday that Singh took the right approach.
“It suggests the fact that he is not Muslim is irrelevant,” said Erin Tolley, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto.
“You can just imagine for example a white politician standing in front of a room and heard something racist being said. The exact wrong reaction is to say, ‘Well, I’m white, I’m not a person of colour, so this isn’t important to me.’”
Singh wanted to defuse the situation, she said, highlighting that hate of all forms is wrong, whether it’s directed at your community or not.
His response also signals that Singh, who wears a turban, has experience dealing with direct threats because of his outwardly religious appearance. (Source: CBC News)
This cartoon received an unusual amount of criticism through the mackaycartoons Facebook Page:
Republished in a number of publications. Below the Edmonton Journal and the Western Star, Corner Brook, Newfoundland: