Playing the Indian Card

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Reasons Canada is Not Ready for Self-Government: #1. John Diefenbaker

Just look deeply in those eyes, and tell me you believe he is sane.

We gave this guy the biggest majority in Canadian electoral history. Does anyone think he was a great prime minister? No; he was a disaster. Even at the time, did we really take his “Northern Vision” seriously? Yet so long as we were given the chance, even after we had seen what he was like in power, we never voted for anyone else in sufficient numbers to clearly defeat him. Let him out on the hustings, and he could always close any gap in the polls.


Because we loved him. We still love him. I still love him. Just as we love Don Cherry, and for all the same reasons. We voted for him because we found his so entertaining. He was fun to watch.

Giving Pearson the finger.

This seems to be a common thing in Canada. We are a nation of comedians, and we see politics primarily as a source of entertainment. It is not Just Diefenbaker. It is a lot of prominent politicians, all the way back to Sir John A. Macdonald, our founding figure. We loved him largely because he was a drunk, and we didn’t know what he might do next to embarrass himself in public. We actually built a country on it.

So, when the video of Rob Ford smoking a crack pipe recently turned up online, his poll ratings-- jumped. We love to watch Rob Ford. Just as we loved Amor de Cosmos, BC’s Father of Confederation, ultimately judged insane; Ralph Klein; Joey Smallwood; John Crosbie; Brian Tobin; Mitch Hepburn; Bill VanderZalm; Real Caouette; Charlotte Whitten; Bryce Mackasey; … there is a pattern emerging here.

This is not how a grown-up nation chooses its leaders. A grown up nation does not elect the funniest guy to be its leader. Especially when he does not know he is being funny.

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