Democracy by YouTube - Macleans.ca

Democracy by YouTube

What the popularity of a Lady Gaga cover says about Canadian politics

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An anonymous Conservative MP posits one way a little girl singing a Lady Gaga song might be considered more relevant than the basic tenets of parliamentary democracy.

“The public outside of blind partisans is not listening – 22,000 people have signed [the Liberals’] little petition while 10 million have listened to the little girl from Winnipeg cover a Lady Gaga song over a shorter period of time (she’s very good by the way),” the Tory argued. “It’s a sad statement when joining a petition is a click and they point to 22,000 people signing up as something significant,” the MP added. “People calling the office or sending an e-mail, that indicates a groundswell and support, like the [usage-based Internet billing] issue which flooded the office a couple of weeks ago.”

The Prime Minister’s Office uploads Mr. Harper’s speeches to YouTube as well and the most watched of those—with 10,198 views—is his address to the nation when his government was nearly toppled in December 2008. For the sake of comparison, and using the same math, all of the following videos are immensely more relevant than whatever the Prime Minister had to say that night.

Cat wrestling watermelon. 9,313,118 views.

Surfing mice. 2,780,521 views.

Man gets hit in crotch during pole vault. 18,143,343.

Bryan Adams’ video for (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. 32,224,204 views.