Graeme_MacKay
September 23rd 1968  (Age 51)
Male
Hamilton

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Random Thots is brought to you by Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist at the Hamilton Spectator, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Website: mackaycartoons.net.

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Alas & Alack


Click here to see a larger version.

Continuing with some memories of a cartoon I drew 18 years ago for the University of Ottawa student paper, The Fulcrum, which was my first foray into getting my stuff printed on a regular basis (Part I). The above cartoon was the first Alas & Alack strip to be published. It set the foundation for a series which would focus in Brian Mulroney and his cabinet. The main figures included Finance Minister Michael Wilson (dubbed Earl Mike, Minister of Pelf and Filthy Lucre), Joe Clark (Erstwhile king in charge foreign things), John Crosbie, (Sir John of Foundling), Lucien Bouchard - who wore a Napoleonic outfit (Baron Lucien, Minister of Nature), and Barbara McDougall, who as Minister for the Status of Women, who was known in the strip as Lady Barb the Dougall, ye minister of Shrews and Wenches. That's right, Shrews and Wenches -- they were different times in 1989 -- political correctness was on the verge of getting traction in the universities at the time but hadn't quite made it to my school yet. The Barbara McDougall character carried a coat hanger which I suppose had some reference to the abortion issue at the time. For whatever reason, it's a head scratcher to me now, and probably not the sort of symbolism I'd depict in a cartoon these days.


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Referring to Sheila Copps as "Damn Sheila Witch Bitch" is also an indication of how permissive editors and readers were in the pre-PC period of the student press. Even worse, it serves as an indication of how perhaps nobody bothered to read my cartoon. I don't remember any complaints, afterall. I like the little blurb from David Suzuki who explains the activities of the Diefenbeaver, and the reference to Pierre Trudeau who at the time was speaking out against the Meech Lake Accord is a nice touch to a bygone period of Canadian history.


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I'm guessing Jesse from the Beachcombers, or even the long running CBC series is becoming more and more forgotten from the collective memory banks of Canadians. Pierre Trudeau was a featured fixture in this 1990 strip. It just goes to show how influencial the former Prime Minister was even as Mulroney's term was winding down. Trudeau had been out of office over 6 years when he was campaigning against the Meech Lake Accord. It was just the beginning of Jean Chretien's reign as Liberal leader.


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And there is a nice segue between Trudeau and Chretien, with David Suzuki presiding over.


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The late Governor-General Ray Hnatyshyn featured here. While living in Ottawa I had the opportunity to see some of these characters in real life. Parliament Hill was only a 10 to 15 minute walk from my residence so occasionally I would venture down and sit in on Question period to see them in action -- if you want to call it action. With Ray Hnatyshyn I witnessed some aspect of his coronation or induction or swearing in or whatever they call it when you become Governor-General. Admittedly, I don't remember much except for him wearing a top hat and being lead on and off Parliament Hill in a horse drawn landau on a dreary overcast day and only a few people interested enough to watch the events. A few other guys in this cartoon continued on to other functions of administration. Michael Wilson, portrayed as Minister of Pelf and Dirty Lucre, is now Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. He holds the severed head of Jean Charest, (I guess he was demoted while in Mulroney's cabinet). He went on to become Tory leader and is now Premier of Quebec.


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A couple international cartoons done in 1990. Above with Saddam Hussein, and below around the time Margaret Thatcher was hoisted out of office.


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Posted at 09:59 am by Graeme_MacKay

 

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