The Cape Breton Post’s editorial cartoon by Sean Casey of Cape Breton Ink is brilliant because it lends itself to interpretation.
I hope that when people see this cartoon they see beyond the hipster facial hair, piercings, sneakers and slang and notice what the t-shirt says, because the character with the “creative alternatives” is not a composite of a couple of punk kids with too much idealism and too little common sense. It is a composite of all Cape Bretoners young and old who worry about the future, feel helpless at times, and are looking for a way to join in a collective, collaborative effort to rebuild (an effort that is underway).
The “creative alternatives” we refer to are not meant to supplant, but to supplement, an equalization fairness campaign: to consider other means of achieving prosperity in addition to equalization; and to consider other means of pursuing equalization fairness itself.
For me, the real meaning of this cartoon lies in the question it poses: namely, what happens next? Will we have a mayor who engages more of the community? Or will we have a mayor who continues to “cast himself as a lonely but heroic crusader“? In which case, the cartoon may not be portraying Mayor Morgan as using the lawsuit “sword” to fight off the beast of economic ruin, in fact he may not even be using it to fight the beast at all. He may be feeding it.