Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Take me to your leader (Are Canada's politicians full of foreigners and space-aliens?)
Posted on 12/19/2005 5:36:43 PM PST by NZerFromHK
Who says the next Liberal prime minister needs to be a Canadian? Or an earthling?
I see the Hon. Paul Hellyer, privy councillor and veteran of the Pearson/Trudeau cabinets, is calling on Canada to reach out to "ethical EU societies."
Well, good luck finding any.
Whoops, my mistake. The former minister of national defence is, in fact, calling on Canada to reach out to "ethical ET societies"--as in Extra Terrestrial. "UFOs," he says, "are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head." And, given that it's mostly Air Canada flying over our heads, they've probably got a better business plan, too. They're almost certainly more real than the Hellyer-era Sea Kings, at least when it comes to flying over your head rather than nosediving into it.
Anyway, as the Edmonton Sun put it, "Hellyer said he is concerned the United States is preparing weapons for use against the aliens and could get the whole world into an 'intergalactic war.'"
"The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning," the former deputy prime minister told an audience at the University of Toronto. "The Bush Administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."
Maybe they're already doing it. Maybe Bush has already conquered space and given Halliburton a massive multigazillion-dollar catering contract for Planet Zongo. Maybe Rumsfeld is already operating a vast internment camp in some distant solar system, where hapless aliens are being denied their rights by having the Céline Dion Christmas album played to them really loud until they fall to the ground covering their seven ears in agony.
Or maybe an uneasy truce has been negotiated between the space insurgents and the U.S. imperialists. Maybe UN peacekeepers are already on the ground, and that's where the Canadian military's been for the last 20 years. We may never know.
At any rate, Mr. Hellyer thinks it's implausible that the universe is simply a vast empty wilderness of which only one tiny part is inhabited. Of course not. That's Canada. So the question is not whether there's something out there but whether the something out there is like Saddam and Iran and North Korea--just another friendly power whose legitimate grievances the Bush Administration refuses to address. "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war," says Canada's elder statesman, "that I just think I had to say something."
As a Canadian, I'm relatively unconcerned about the prospect of an intergalactic war. I doubt Canada would participate without a UN Security Council resolution and, even if we did our Kosovo/Afghanistan nominal participation routine, I'm not sure HMCS Shawinigan could get out that far. On the other hand, the distant galaxies may be the one place the Sea Kings are operational.
Now it would be easy to dismiss Paul Hellyer as a fringe whacko. But, in fact, he's a mainstream whacko: as defence minister, he committed the single greatest act of Liberal vandalism in its entire Khmer Rouge Lite dismantling of Canada, abolishing the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force (at that time the most famous air force in the world) and the Royal Canadian Navy (in 1945, the third largest surface fleet in the world) and merging them into the "Canadian Armed Forces." Nothing Mr. Hellyer does now could be as crazy as what he did then. Indeed, the likeliest explanation for his recent public conversion to Roswellian conspiracy theories is that the alleged "Canadian" is himself an alien, part of an advance guard with which the Dark Lords of the Grits from Planet Trudeaupia seeded our hapless Dominion in preparation for taking over the planet.
That might also account for the Liberal party's latest cockamamie scheme to rejuvenate itself. Usually, when we speak of "parachuting in" a candidate to some riding or other, we're referring to some favoured apparatchik from central office. But despite a virtual monopoly of the upper reaches of power and influence in the deranged Dominion, talent is so thin in the regime that they're having to parachute in to Etobicoke-Lakeshore fellows from Harvard. Actually, that makes Michael Ignatieff sound more local than he is. He's not from another planet but he might as well be. He's spent most of the last couple of decades at the BBC in London. We may have "matured as a nation" sufficiently that we no longer need to get our governors general shipped out from the mother country. Instead, they ship us our prime ministers.
When you think about it, that's surely as weird as Hellyer's assumption that space aliens are our natural allies against the overbearing Yanks. I wouldn't mind were it not for the fact that in Maclean's a couple of years back Anthony Wilson-Smith bemoaned the way so many Canadian media figures "have spent years living out of the country." Who's he thinking of, eh? Not Ignatieff. "Mark Steyn and David Frum affect a know-it all, blustering tone about Canadian politics despite the fact they spend much of their time in the United States." But Michael Ignatieff has spent his entire adult life outside Canada--and it turns out, as the Liberal party sees it, he really does know it all!
I've met Professor Ignatieff just once--a decade or more back, when he was hosting The Late Show on BBC television. It was a party for Canadian expats in London and he left early telling me he found all this talk of Canada frankly rather tedious and parochial. And perhaps it is. Which may be why so many of our most eminent figures prefer to strut about pretending, like Mr. Martin, to solve the planet's problems or, like Mr. Hellyer, the universe's. By those admittedly minimal standards, Ignatieff is an impressive figure--a "liberal imperialist" who was the most enthusiastic Canadian "public intellectual" to support the Iraq war. I'd love to be proved wrong, but I'd be very surprised if that support were to survive prolonged contact with the Liberal rank and file.
But, more broadly, isn't there something a little odd about the prodigal son coming home to be given the fatted calf of the Liberal party leadership? If the Conservative party were to propose parachuting in me or Frum or Charles Krauthammer or Barbara Amiel or some other know-it-all blusterer who'd spent time out of the country, it would be taken as a sign of desperation. In, say, Iraq, those factions long excluded from power wound up in London and Washington, like Allawi and Chalabi, plotting their return from afar. Same thing with King Simeon in Bulgaria. But doesn't it say something that a party that's held all the levers of power both formal and informal--the CBC, etc.--for generations is unable to find a leadership candidate from within the country?
If the Trudeaupian Liberals do turn out to be space monsters, I'd find it rather depressing. On balance, an alien invasion was the last best hope for those of us pining for liberation from the one-party state. The Bush Administration seems to have no inclination to invade, but one always imagined that somewhere out there there might be some little green men who believe in non-confiscatory taxation, fewer taxpayer-funded "cultural" grandees, freedom of speech to comment on Svend Robinson's trousers, etc., and one day they'd send their flying saucers to hover over Rideau Hall and see how long before Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond come running out whimpering that they're willing to surrender everything except the Telefilm Canada grants. And Ignatieff would shrug and go back to co-hosting "Soccer Yob Idol" with Elizabeth Hurley on the BBC.
The funniest line in the Hellyer stories is that one I quoted up above: "They could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning." The former defence minister apparently thinks intergalactic warfare is the sort of thing the Great Satan should embark on only after consultation with Canadian opposite numbers in the NORAD command or perhaps at the UN, where Canada could join with Belgium and Guinea to craft some suitable compromise. It can be our newest excuse: we punch below our weight in NATO, because unlike our earthbound allies we're focused on the big picture.
I mentioned the other week how curious it was for such a comparatively ancient constitutional order that immigrants should now be the default source of our viceregal personages. But tomorrow's prime minister who's barely set foot in Canada in decades and yesterday's deputy prime minister who's been floating in orbit for years encompass the even stranger reality of our "national" "identity." Immigrants for governor general, sure, but expatriates for prime minister and space aliens for allies? "The world needs more Canada"? Right now, Canada could use some.
Mark Steyn on Canada ping!
Just so long as I can be stationed up there with Lt. Ellis . . .
Ain't that the whacko country where CNN is considered an incendiery right wing news channel??
This is a bizzare Steyn article.
Did Paul Hellyer (former head of Canadian defense) really say these things?
Yep it is real. The news is here:
I LOVE your tagline!
I think Hellyer's been watching a little too much Stargate SG-1. It IS filmed in Canada, after all.
> Did Paul Hellyer (former head of Canadian defense) really say these things?
How about a radical mufti for Canadian PM?
I should have said, how about a radical mufti to lead the Canadian Liberal Party. Then what is the difference? The Liberal leader seems to invariably become PM.
Please post a health warning in future when you post a Steyn article like this. I bust a gut laughing so hard. Oh Canada !
Perhaps the following article should be revived now that there is an election:
Charles R. Smith "The Oil-for-Food Scandal - the Canadian Connection" available at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/1/17/133225.shtml
They have collectively lost their frost-bitten minds!?!?!
Bush is building a military moon base?
"...there are ethical Extraterrestrial civilizations visiting Earth". Ethical??? Aliens that are PC??
Bush is going to get us into an intergallactic war???
Thanks for the link. The comments on the article in the link are equally ausing.
Er...yes... (Backing away slowly) To be sure... (Reaching for the doorknob) I'll, ah, just hop the next saucer for D.C. and tell Bush myself. Gotta go now...
After this line, ""Hellyer said he is concerned the United States is preparing weapons for use against the aliens and could get the whole world into an 'intergalactic war.'" our homegrown Dimlycraps seem almost preferable.
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