A Classless Display of Canadian Class

The top ten highest viewed television shows in this country come from below the 49 parallel. Our largest retailers are imported from down South. There’s a North American Union on its way. Every piece of our culture seems to be focussed on our connection to the U.S., or our adamant denial of similarity to the superpower.
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Unfortunately, with every international comparison we fail to admit the fact that Americans just do some things better. (Put down the knife. Close the email program and delete the angry letter. Let’s all take a moment for the rage to dissipate. Deep breaths.) Maybe they don’t do war or education better, and sure, they aren’t the most understanding of countries when it comes to universal healthcare, but they do honour their achievements unapologetically with gigantic, gaudy monuments and sculptures. Grandstanding is surely an attribute Canadians could do with some more of, but being proud of our heritage or the leaders who helped meld it, is not embedded in the Canadian psyche like it on the other side of Niagara. I have an easy way to change that. Our very own Canadian Mount Rushmore.

Americans steal many of our ideas so let’s honour our Southern Brother, while at the same time paying homage to our nation’s pioneers, by carving the biggest monument the world has seen. We’ve got a better tower; now let’s make a better mountain. Obviously we’ll have to leech many of Rushmore’s more successful attributes, but we’ll also be adding in a few modern upgrades as well.

First and foremost the mountain should be composed of five Prime Ministers, one more than Rushmore. The extra sculpture serves to fully honour another dedicated patriot, who, through his tireless effort, was able to transform this nation. Another esteemed man of historical and social significance that was lucky enough to grace this beautiful land and.. ...ah forget it. I’m lying. The extra serves no purpose besides sticking it to the yanks. We’ve got one more. Ours is better. Unapologetic people. It’s the new way. A second area that will differ between the two egotistical super sculptures, will occur literally in the hands of the P.M.’s. Each will be holding financially endorsed product placements. Multinational corporations already influence extraordinary control over our government so why not honour this modern tradition by showcasing it on our biggest national monument? In the long run our government ends up making tons of dough off of this symbol of Canadian pride, while at the same time, being completely honest with who hands are pulling the puppet strings. Furthermore, the increased revenue will form another avenue in which party members can continue the traditional patronage cycle that helped develop this country into the juggernaut of wink-handshake-nod wheeling and dealing it has become. Following with tradition, and sticking with the previously modeled American practice of using a few of the founding fathers, the first and most notable sculpture should be that of Sir. John A Macdonald. Macdonald, the only Prime Minster to win six Majority Governments making him the second longest running P.M. of all time, is an easy choice to lead the pact. As previously referenced, he is the Father of Confederation, writing the biggest part of the British North American act, and was a major proponent of the railroad, which linked and strengthened this country from “outside influence” (You know who I’m talking about. Those other guys. Wink wink). Basically if it wasn’t for John A. there likely wouldn’t be a Canada but instead a bunch of states. Unfortunately he was also one of the main factors in the death of Louis Riel, but luckily for him, I’m willing to look past that. (Who’s Louis Riel? Famous Canadian folk hero? Didn’t want the Canadian government expanding into the West and taking over native lands destroying Metis culture?

No? Here’s a tip; go burn your Che shirt and get a Louis Riel one. That way, even though you’ll still be politically and historically naive, you’ll at least be fashionably hip in a more Nationalistic way. Also it’s a good conversation starter for those uncomfortable dates.) The second in line, but number one in this Province’s heart (ha!), Pierre Elliot Trudeau . Easily the most flamboyant and excessively discussed Prime Minster of the last 25 years, Pierre’s monument will be the only one with colour. Each Province will be allowed a chunk of the famous mug to spray paint whatever they desire on it. No profanity allowed but delicate references and subtle double-entendres encouraged. Mr. Trudeau’s favourite hand and corresponding finger should be included in the mammoth sculpture if only to allow more room for us BC’ers to paint on and/or vandalize. (Huh? What finger you ask? Sigh... “In Canada, showing the middle finger is sometimes called the "Trudeau salute" (or "Salmon Arm salute") after Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was alleged to have given the finger to protesters in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_(gesture)#In_politics) As mentioned earlier, our mountain will be uniquely Canadian and completely modernized compared to that of Rushmore. Our third representative, Brian Mulroney, will be added in the spirit of this modernity. Unfortunately, he will not be included for his accomplishments as leader, but instead for his vastly superior jaw. We will use this famous facial feature to create a ski resort that will not only turn the mountain into a popular international attraction, but further ease the burden on tax payers. The bottom of Mulroney’s smooth and distinguished chin could easily be transformed into a bunny hill for winter tubing while the rest of his elongated bottom half could be artistically split into many runs for skiers and snowboarders alike. I’m sure we could even add in some restaurants in the eyes and a snow hotel in the nose. Mulroney’s replica, much like the man himself, will forever have numerous channels of income. Upon further review, maybe its bests to build this one last in the hopes that a famous offspring, who is genetically graced with the gift of beauty made for entertainment television, will find his way into the leadership sometime in the next 20 years. And it’s not that Brian isn’t attractive. It’s just that Ben posses a golden smile that makes even the most alpha of males take a second look.

Being part of the commonwealth we couldn’t justify building our mountain without having at least one member of royalty on it. That is why Mackenzie King, the longest serving Prime Minster of Canada, is our fourth selectee. Sadly we won’t be able to represent the power of his famous consulting partner, his dog Pat, who, Mackenzie is rumoured to have believed, was the reincarnation of his mother.

The sculpting of his mother, err mutt, is a little beyond the means of this project as the expenses would be too high(and god knows this country doesn’t like to waste tax payers money on under-budgeted, over blown projects), but there might be a chance we could slide a crystal ball or ouija board into his hands. Fantasy novels and movies are both big right now and if the trend holds, a little

historical pop culture would only enhance the popularity of the monument. (Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? Check out this bubble of wackiness that is our longest serving P.M. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/primeministers/h42316-e.html) As this is such a large project, and will be done on the behest of the Canadian taxpayers, there’s no telling when it will be finished. That is why I have decided to leave the last candidate blank in case a promising young writer turned politician turned superhero of the masses, happens to come around in the next 20 years.

The Leftovers
Many across this great nation will disagree with my choices and I can already feel uproar on its way, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in this province since the ‘94 Stanely Cup Final. So in order to cover my tracks I will wimp out and give honourable mention to some P.M.’s that were just on the edge of making my esteemed list. Diefenbaker- Why the honourable mention? One of the few P.M.’s to come out of our side of Canada, Diefenbaker to this day represents an earnest, old-school conservatism that rings true and honourable to many citizens the far side of 50, especially if they live anywhere west of Ontario.

Reason for not making the list? His face is creeping a bit. It’s something to do with his eyes and smile. I couldn’t imagine that disturbing mug looming over us, scaring children and tourists alike while we tried to go about our daily routines.

(Oh no you didn’t)

Pearson – Introduced Universal Health Care, Students loans, the Canadian Pension Plan and this beauty

Reason for not making the list? His middle name is Bowles. This is a public monument and... Yeah. We don’t need that.

Kim Campbell – The first female P.M., Kim would have added a gorgeous female ascetic to the otherwise patriarchal monument.

Reason for not making the list? She was brought in as a sacrificial lamb for the disintegrating conservative party and was promptly defeated by Jean Chretien. She really has no achievements besides reaching the highest level of office as a woman, and then promptly being voted out of that office.

Jean Chretien – The exact opposite reasons as the Campbell argument but with the same result. Successful run as majority leader, Chretien opposed Canada’s involvement in the Iraq war, eliminated a 42 billion dollar deficit while recording five straight budget surpluses, and help prevent the separation of Canada. Reason for not making the list? A face that will scare children. Sadly when it comes to beauty, the Shwinigan kid falls short.

Poll What should we name our Mountain? 1) Keep the name of the mountain it was built on 2) Big Daddy Canuck 3) Mount Rushmorer 4)Other____________

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