Canadians view Egyptian revelry with skepticism

Unbridled joy in Cairo doesn’t make the trip overseas


(Hassan Ammar/AP)

Usually, when a mass of people is celebrating, shooting fireworks into the night sky, and waving countless flags that blanket an entire public square, there’s no reason to question their enthusiasm. Usually, when so many people are so happy, it’s for good reason. Today, as deliriously joyful Egyptians fill the world’s front pages, the Canadian view isn’t so celebratory.

The Globe and Mail‘s Patrick Martin writes that Egypt, once a “crucible of hope” for world leaders, is now simply a failed democracy. The National Post‘s banner headline warns that Democracy is “in doubt,” a not unfair assessment of a country ruled in the interim by a constitutional jurist sworn in after the army forced out former president Mohamed Morsi. The Toronto Star‘s editorialists caution that Egyptians “have little cause to celebrate,” and that the hope sprung from the Arab spring was “sadly wasted.”

Sombre words from a skeptical press, unconvinced that Egyptians have chosen the right path.

Maclean’s senior writer Michael Petrou is among the skeptics. “Until this week it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for me to conceive of a situation in which I found myself siding with the Muslim Brotherhood,” he writes, before laying out exactly why he opposes the ouster of Mohamed Morsi.

Join Petrou for a live chat today at noon, when he’ll talk about the unrest and uncertainty in Egypt. If you have questions, don’t wait until noon. Head over to the chat and post your questions now.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster. The National Post fronts democracy’s uncertain future in Egypt. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Morsi’s rejection of his removal as a “complete military coup.” The Ottawa Citizen leads with the unbridled joy in the streets of Cairo. iPolitics fronts negotiations between Canada and the United States related to an American law that forces foreign banks to disclose information about American accounts. CBC.ca leads with Adly Mansour, the leader of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, being sworn in as interim president. CTV News leads with Mansour’s praise for mass protests. National Newswatch showcases a CTV News poll that says 30 per cent of Canadian voters want to re-elect the Conservative government.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Hassan Diab. Human rights groups are intervening in the extradition of the man accused of bombing a Paris synagogue, arguing evidence against him may have been obtained via torture. 2. Housing. The market for homes priced just under $1 million is booming, thanks to federal rules that make it impossible to acquire mortgage-backed insurance for seven-figure homes.
3. Abuse. The federal NDP wants the government to release a ream of documents related to abuse at a northern Ontario residential school—files that are key to ongoing claims by former residents. 4. Guns. The RCMP handed confiscated guns over to their owners in High River, Alta., the flood-ravaged town where police collected hundreds of gnus that weren’t properly secured inside homes.
5. Sochi. Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov urged his militant followers to “do their utmost to derail” the Sochi Olympics, a reversal of his previous calls to avoid civilian casualties. 6. Belgium. King Albert II will give up the throne to his son, Prince Philippe, on July 21. The 79-year-old is in ill health and also dogged by claims that he fathered an illegitimate daughter.


Canadians view Egyptian revelry with skepticism

  1. “skepticism” ? who is macleans.ca you to speak for the Canadians?

  2. Edmund Burke – To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.

    It would be great if Petrou, or any other Canadian pundit, can point to successful Islam democracy that Westerners would approve of. It is amazing the amount of whitewashing of Muslim Brotherhood record is going on to make it look like democracy is in peril when the people overthrow a religious theocracy that’s being imposed on them. Democracy is much more than voting and then being passive for 4 or 5 years while rulers run amok.

    What’s happening now in Egypt is inspiring and will lead to a version of democracy Egyptians can tolerate. This Canadian does not view Egyptian revelry with skepticism, Egyptians have every reason to be happy – what Taylor-Vaisey means is witless Canadian pundits are skeptical and they don’t remotely represent breadth of thought.

    • I agree that their elected government was attempting to mutate into an Islamic theocracy and needed to be overthrown. The eventual outcome is still a wide open question though. Will the military hold proper elections and allow another democratic government to take power? Will the Egyptians elect ANOTHER Islamic party?

      I believe that what is happening right now was the only choice they had at a having a real government. I just hope that they have learned enough to not vote in whomever their religious leaders tell them to. This isn’t going to be over for at least another year or two.

      • gmOn3y is right- elect another Islamic party: what about the same one? The part everyone seems to be missing is that the rural, conservative population voted Morsi in; the educated, urban population lost the election, but then took to the streets and got him thrown out. But the rural people are still there, and the government he was constructing may still prove to be the government they intended. They are still the majority of Egypt.

        So far we haven’t heard that Morsi did anything illegal; just incompetent. And unless Morsi and his party are accused of some conveniently invented crimes, and thereby sidelined, they could easily go into a new round of elections and win. What then?

  3. Very well said Hester!

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