Political Posturing

Our wacky pals to the south have a new man at the helm.

Barack Obama’s inauguration surpassed any ordinary bureaucratic ceremony, to become one of the grandest events in United States history.

There were likely thousands of Obama parties across Canada, just wanting to be part of this huge moment in history.

Having recently spent time in the US during this election, it’s easy to see how much pomp that country invests in its politicians. Major elected representatives literally become avatars for their nation. These aren’t your standard politicians; if anything, the last eight years have shown us that.

We all raised an eyebrow with the whole Jesse “The Body” Ventura thing. And let’s face it, there was a tsunami of spit-takes when Schwarzenegger was chosen to run California.

(Both of whom starred in Predator … hmmmm … what’s Carl Weathers doing these days?)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone else in the rest of the world. Being the main progenitors of the celebrity-manic world we live in, it makes perfect sense how much equal amounts of passion and vitriol Americans reserve for their politicians.

The line between celebrity and elected official is pretty darn thin, so much so that I’d be willing to wager that there’s a good number of people in the States who literally believe that Keifer Sutherland goes around shooting people in the leg to protect their country from terrorists.

Don’t get me wrong. All this deifying of their politicians is a whole lot of fun.

I’d say Jon Stewart is going to have a job for a very long time, at least until they give him a Senate seat. I’ll go ahead and make that an actual prediction.

Now with all that said, I do like how we handle our politics.

We like our politicians to be accessible, humble and to just not run the country into the ground.

These people aren’t greater beings than ourselves; they’re our neighbours. It could likely be due to the simple fact of our small population, but the degrees of separation between our politicians and the people they represent is small.

I’m not saying that we should all proudly bound up the stairs in Parliament Hill to catch the latest Question Period, but the very fact that we can bound (or walk, saunter, prance …) into our seat of government, without much hassle, is pretty cool.

But, it is boring.

There’s no way around it. We like our politics to be basically just that – the daily bureaucratic affairs that make the wheels spin.

No pomp and circumstance. I mean, who actually tunes into the swearing in of the Prime Minister? Do we even broadcast that sorta thing? Someone watches C-Span, I guess.

This is just my own blathering here, but I think it’s something that says so much of what makes us Canadian.

Now, if anyone’s feeling insecure, I have a little idea to jazz up the Hill.

I’ve got five words for ya: William Shatner for Governor General.

Who’s with me?

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