Saturday, October 4, 2008

The third election campaign

Third? You bet. And this is one that might involve more votes than the federal election October 14. Because, for better or for worse, nothing gets Canadians fired up like hockey.

Today, starting at 8 p.m. Eastern, Canadians from coast to coast to coast will start voting -- by telephone, text and via the Internet -- for their favourite of the five semi-finalists in the Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge.

The briefest of backgrounds: the rights to The Hockey Theme, the song used by CBC's Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) since 1968, and considered by many as "Canada's second national anthem", was purchased by CTV in June, following the CBC's unsuccessful negotiations to renew its contract with the song's copyright holders. Read more about it herehere, here and here. And then you can google for countless blog posts on the drama and national hand-wringing that ensued.

As an example... response to the anger released by hockey fans across the country, the CBC quickly launched the Anthem Challenge to find a new theme song. Almost 15,000 entries flooded in, and they've now been whittled down to five semi-finalists, which were revealed, one each night, on The Hour last week.

Tonight we get to vote -- early and often, as this is not a "one person, one vote" sort of election -- to determine the two finalists. This round of voting ends on Tuesday, October 7, and the final round of voting will kick off on Thursday night, during a HNIC double-header. The winner will be announced next Saturday.

Have a quick listen to the five finalists here, and watch the special tonight at 9 p.m. for a better look and listen. 

Then exercise your right as Canadians and vote, people! 

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