dear LA Times: the leader of Canada is the prime minister

I get the L.A. Times headline e-mails.

Today, they made a small gaffe:

    Another Blow for Canada’s Premier

    TORONTO-Prime Minister Paul Martin faces a shaky future after a Canadian Parliament vote Tuesday in which two opposition parties teamed up to win passage of a recommendation that Martin’s ruling Liberal Party resign. By Andrew van Velzen and Maggie Farley.

Please, L.A. Times – do your damn homework. The leader of the country north of you is the Prime Minister, not the Premier. Premier’s are provincial leaders. Like governors. Or, as we call them here, “governators.”


24 responses to “dear LA Times: the leader of Canada is the prime minister

  1. Hmmm, you might want to consult Eaton on this one actually. I think “prime minister” and “premier” as generic nouns (note the lower case) are actually synonymous, and it’s only when used as a title that either one is specific to the federal or provincial government. So Paul Martin, the Prime Minister, is Canada’s premier, and Gordon Campbell, the Premier, is British Columbia’s prime minister. Since almost every word in a headline is capitalized, that L.A. Times article may be technically correct.

    – Andrew

  2. Regardless of technical correctness, let’s take into account the audience it’s aimed at, which is the general population of Los Angeles. Without familiarity of the British-based ministerial system, the term “Prime Minister” is a noun, not a description of a position. It refers to the national leader of Canada, and when being referenced in a headline in a foreign country, should be used appropriately for consistency with that leader’s title as it’s known worldwide.

    Besides, the point here is really that the LA Times is apparently just as ignorant of Canadian government (or just as lazy in proofreading) as the rest of the States. For one of the top newspapers in the USA, that’s a little sad.

  3. In a near-recent series of articles the LATimes translated a spanish slang word for lil’ boy into the english “bitch”! Grrrr’

  4. 1) Andrew is correct, Primier and Prime Minister are interchangeable.

    2) It is the LA Times, if they can’t get their facts right when talking about Israel which is arguably a bigger news producer than Canada, why should they get things right for Canada?

  5. I would think that something as big as the title of the national leader would at least be correct. I can see getting the the number of ministers wrong, but getting prime minister & premier confused?

    I’m going to get Eaton to weigh in on that PM/Premier discussion.

  6. I want to know why they are reporting on how often he gets “a blow.”

  7. After Pierre Trudeau died, the BBC also did the same thing. I emailed them, got a response similar to what Andrew said, and I told them that while that was all well and good, in the vernacular they were not the same. They didn’t respond, but whatever. I’m with Jill on this one.

  8. Where is Eaton? How can I get in contact with him?

  9. try anywhere that has strongbow on special….he’ll be close by.

    ps. hi ziv! how’s married life?

  10. Married life is good, we are trying for a baby. We are hoping to move to UBC Campus for September though more likely January. Liba is going to Law school so we applied for family housing. An orthodox synagogue is being opened on campus in Sept/Oct.

    What about you? What are you up to?

  11. About the “don’t eat me!” pig t-shirts….AWESOME!

    the scoop on me is that I’m bored in coquitlam, waiting to get into broadcasting school. dating chris barrington of FM systems fame (shea and I broke up a few years ago), and seemingly doomed to work in the pharmacy until I’m a famous broadcaster. yeah, that’s it.

    baby? already? yikes! I mean….good luck with that?

  12. He’s right…

    Premier and Prime Minister mean the same thing.

    For an example, think of French, in where provincial premiers are known as “Premier ministre.” (and no, it’s not a quebec nationalist thing, all premiers are known as PM in French and have been for centuries). Both are simply dumb way of saying “first minister” and go back to times where the PM was a first among equals amongst other cabinet members and was usually the minister of (secretary of) foreign affairs, leader of the house of commons, and/or minister of finance (chancellor of the exchequer).

    As another interesting note, the title “Prime Minister” has no constitutional basis, and wasn’t even used before the 20th century, although it was always easy to tell who the “first minister” was as they were either the leader of the majority party, or the person whom the Monarch requested form a government if a minority.

    To this day, Great Britain has no legal office of “Prime Minister.” Tony’s actual title is “First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service.” Canada’s 1867 Constitution also does not mention the office, and it is only mentioned in a very limited sense in the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    And no, I was not having a Strongbow (although I am now). I was at Feenies enjoying a calamari sandwich.

  13. Hey Ziv…. I’m not about to post my email on a blog, but I’m in Eaton

  14. Baby yes, we, Jews, like Catholics, aren’t allowed to use birth control so there really isn’t any way around having a baby quickly.

    As for the boyfriend, I don’t believe I know the person. What is FM Systems?

    Want one of the T’s when they are made?

  15. Hey Chris, I just friended you

  16. thanks for the offer ziv, but I have WAY more than enough pig things. one of these days I’m going to look around at my collection and think, “what the hell was wrong with me?!”

    I think you know chris…he’s the sound guy from FM systems and he was the stage manager for ACF and other AMSy type events for years and years?..spiky hair…kinda chubby…facial hair?

  17. I just friended you so that Jilly won’t have to deal with this conversation.

  18. Oh, I was enjoying listening in on it though 😉

  19. Ok Jilly, which former AUS’ers are on livejournal?

  20. Hmmmm….Naf and Graham are the only ones you’d remember. Dan Anderson’s still on Deadjournal. Spencer and a bunch of the younguns are on here. Eaton’s got his – but never updates it. Melissa is . That’s all I can think of offhand…

  21. Dan Anderson?

    Ex AUS’ers not your Ex boys or SUS

  22. He was around the AUSffice so much in recent years that he might as well have been one.

  23. I must have left by then.

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