A Nation Worth Ranting About

anationWhile I was up north over the holidays I got my hands on this lovely little book and devoured the first third.

I’ve liked Rick Mercer for a long time – I enjoy his combination of political knowledge and sharp wit.  How can you resist his trip to the Harvey’s drive through with Jean Chretien or the visit to Home Depot with Paul Martin?  And his rants were always my favorite bit.

This book is a record of his rants from 2009 to 2012 and some Macleans columns from the same period.  Mostly directed at Stephen Harper and his government, Mercer’s ire also hits apathetic voters, the political parties, drivers who don’t use snow tires and a variety of other subjects.  His rant and follow up article about teenage bullying made me cry, which is something when Mercer normally makes me laugh.

Mercer raises an interesting chicken and egg question of whether the current Canadian political apathy was created by the poor governing (and lack of viable alternatives) or whether the poor governing was facilitated by the political apathy.  Do we get the government we deserve, or has the current near-authoritarian regime set the country up for unprecedented apathy.  Interesting question to ponder.

These rants will hardly solve the ills of the country, but the use of comedy to spotlight issues in the political realm that few others dare name is part of a long tradition of change in politics.  Here’s hoping.

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