The landscape of Canadian podcasts that tackle homegrown politics and power is pretty dry. We have Canadaland and a few produced by CBC and prominent magazines like Macleans, but they are either focused on federal and mediascape stories or like most things on CBC, excruciatingly boring. An oasis for politics junkies for the past few years was undoubtedly Calgary-based The Strategists, three hosts from across the spectrum who provided insight into both federal and provincial politics. However after their recent cancellation (SAD) a new player has come up to the plate.
Politicoast is looking to fill the gap in provincial coverage, and being based in B.C. this is a much-needed service considering the upcoming elections. Now there are only four episodes as of me writing this, but I’ve given them a listen and I believe there is great potential in this podcast. The hosts Ian and Terry might not have the resumes of The Strategists (although Ian is the executive director of the B.C. Humanist Association and has engaged in lobbying), but although they don’t have as much behind-the-scenes experience they are both well informed and give reasoned insight. Content wise, they address the implications of stories both small (B.C. Green Party’s Donor Policy) and current (obligatory but entertaining coverage of the American fiasco). Podcasts are a weird format, and it often takes a while for hosts to find their footing and develop engaging rapport, and so while I don’t fault them for it, it is a dull step back from the 500-episode-deep catalogue of their late competitors.
Hopefully with the right guest booking and continued skill and experience building, Ian and Terry can provide a stage for critical examination of how politics plays on west of the Rockies. My generation has proven itself reluctant to rely on traditional outlets, so it will be platforms and projects like Politicoast that can engage with and inspire that audience.