The Little Country That Couldn’t: A Canadian Election Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time there was a magical snow-covered land called Canada where the people thought they were better than everyone else.  They thought their schools were better than everyone else’s schools even though the teachers didn’t know on a Sunday whether they would be teaching or striking on Monday.  They thought their health care system was perfect and got very very angry whenever some random American said bad things about it.  They laughed at their neighbours the Americans and their stupid violent racist President with orange skin and told the Americans that they should leave their country and become Canadians just like them.  (For their part, the Americans kept saying they were going to move to Canada but never did, but that’s another fairy tale for another day).

But the Canadians weren’t satisfied with just thinking that they were better than everyone else.  They wanted everyone else to tell them how much better they were.  That way, they could pretend that anybody who had a legitimate beef with Canada was either stupid, crazy or trying to destroy Canada itself.

And so the Canadians decided that the only thing that mattered was keeping up appearances.  If you wanted to be set for life in Canada, all you had to do was make Canada look good.  It didn’t matter if you did your job well, or badly, or if you did nothing at all.  You could be the very best at what you did, but nobody would care unless you also looked good doing it.

Then one day a man named Justin Trudeau decided he was going to be Prime Minister of Canada.  People said Justin Trudeau was a bit light in the thinking department and had a tendency to treat people like they were his own personal playthings.  But because Justin looked good, and because his father had made Canada look good in front of the world once upon a time, people ignored everything that was bad about Justin and decided that he just HAD to be entrusted with ULTIMATE POWER as soon as possible.

Anyway, as soon as Justin became Prime Minister the Canadian tendency to ignore anything that made Canada look bad shifted into overdrive.  Departments blathered about superclusters and promised social media giants the moon so that they would treat Canadian citizens like experimental test subjects.  Ministers showed up to committee hearings waving pieces of paper with math equations on them and came to NAFTA negotiations wearing shirts that said “Mom =/= chopped liver”.  All the while, the Prime Minister continued to say and do so many goofy things that it was hard to understand how anyone still thought he was making Canada look good.

Somewhere between the government railroading MP’s who raised concerns about being overly deferential to SNC-Lavalin and the emergence of actual photos of the Prime Minister in blackface, it became apparent that the Prime Minister wasn’t even as good at looking good as everyone said he was.  But unlike every other fairy tale where the townspeople learn their lesson, the Canadians needed to go on thinking they were better than everyone else because that’s all they had.

And so the Canadians started making up increasingly ridiculous reasons to justify things the government did, and listening to increasingly ridiculous people who made up these reasons, such as retired judges with nothing to do, irrelevant former politicians, or literal sock puppets.  The same Canadians who once treated Justin like a secular saint started challenging anyone who questioned him with, “So?  Are YOU perfect?” while shaking their heads at the dumb Americans who continue to support President Cheeto no matter what he does.

Meanwhile the rest of the world – whose approval the Canadians so desperately craved – rolled their eyes at the silly Canadians who were trying so hard to look good.  The other countries felt kind of sorry for Canada, which is why they never went beyond threatening the Canadians with vague and unspecified retributions after Justin pissed them off somehow.  That is, if they noticed at all, because unlike Canada, they had actual serious issues to deal with.

And the moral of the story is: Canadians knew what they were getting four years ago, and they know what they’ll be getting on Oct. 21, and they’re going to get what they deserve.  The End.

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More from Josh Lieblein.     @JustJoshinYa

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