Monday, October 29, 2007

What does Stephen Colbert mean for Canadians?

images.jpgWhat are we to make of Stephen Colbert's campaign for president?

If you're a fan of The Daily Show, you're aware of Colbert (the "t" is silent), who first gained fame for his reporting skills on that esteemed fake news show.

More recently, he's been the star of his own show, and it was there a couple of weeks ago, that he announced he was going to be a candidate in South Carolina on both the Democratic and Republic ballots. He says he's running on the favourite son ticket, since he was born there.

OK, so he's not for real, right? It is a phony campaign, put on by a comedian. And it's not unique. Anyone remember Pat Paulsen, who ran for President six times?

But while Colbert's campaign may be a comedy skit, there's no denying that he's starting to have an effect. Some people think his campaign might even be illegal.

Last weekend, he was a guest on Meet the Press. This week we learned that a Facebook group called 1,000,000 Strong for Stephen J. Colbert has racked up more than 1 million members in less than a week.

This campaign has caught the public's imagination and it's going to be fun to watch it unfold.

Unfortunately, it could all come crashing to a halt in just a few days, since the deadline for getting Colbert's name onto the ballots in South Carolina is looming in early November.

For those of us here in Canada, we can only look at what's happening in the Presidential campaign with envy. While we might be poised for a federal election here, there's no sign of any levity around the battle of wits (?) between between the politicos up here.

What we are in desperate need of is more fun in politics. Remember how much fun the Rhinoceros Party of Canada used to give us with promises like these?
Repealing the law of gravity
Paving Manitoba to create the world's largest parking lot
Providing higher education by building taller schools
Instituting English, French and illiteracy as Canada's three official languages
Tearing down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the Pacific sunset
Making Montreal the Venice of North America by damming the St. Lawrence River
Abolishing the environment because it's too hard to keep clean and it takes up so much space
Annexing the United States, which would take its place as the third territory, after the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (Nunavut did not yet exist) in Canada's backyard, in order to eliminate foreign control of Canada's natural resources

Those were the good old days, weren't they?

And of course, who could forget the Natural Law party? (Disclaimer - I voted for them, along with about 12 others.)

Hmmm...I wonder what it would be like if Rick Mercer ran for PM?

Darn. Looks like even our comedians get all serious at election time. Scratch that Draft Rick movement.

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