Book store launches candidate for American Presidential election. Eh? Really!

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  August 4, 2012  It was billed as a bit of political theatre – in a bookstore.

What was Ian Elliott over at The Different Drummer up to now?

It was an election rally – sort of.  It was a book launch – sort of.

It was certainly a different play on US-Canadian election processes.

Brian Calvert co-author of  “America, but better”, told an audience that he was sitting with chums in Vancouver with his co-author, Chris Cannon, thinking about the American presidential election and commiserating over the qualities of the different candidates and said to Cannon:   “What America needs is more of us in their lives”.

They run their elections and we run ours.

Calvert wasn’t prepared to leave it at that.  “What, he wondered, if Canada ran as a candidate in the American election for president?”

It was a novel approach – could it work?  Canada would be the candidate

Bumper sticker for the Canada Party candidate in the US presidential elections. Launch of the political party took place in Burlington last week.

And that’s what Calvert’s book is all about.  Written in a light, meant to be a bit of a send up tone, not a word of which is to be taken seriously.  The kind of thing you would read parts of to friends or leave in the outhouse along with an old Eaton’s catalogue for those who find they need a place for some peace and quiet and personal contemplation.

There were definitely some upsides to the proposition and the opportunity for some fresh thinking.

In the introduction the two authors set out the why of what they want to do.

“Hello America, it’s us – Canada

“We’re you’re next door neighbour, and the paper thin border has done little to muffle the sound of your political anguish, so we are pursuing the only option left.  We want you to elect us the next President of the United States.”

“We had a chat with the rest of the world, and everyone agrees your addiction to dangerous, divisive politics has gotten out of hand, and you’re headed for an overdose.”

“We’re offering you the chance to kick back for a while and let a trusted friend cook your meals and fluff your pillow, giving you time to do some healing and generally reevaluate yourr place in the universe.  So this is not an invasion; it’s an intervention.”

“Why are we qualified to lead America?  Because we are America Jr., the little brother who has idolized you since we were baby colonies spitting up in Britain’s lap.  We’ve grown up together, tamed a frontier together, laughed, cried, bled, overeaten at Thanksgiving, and conquered outer space together.”

“We share the same spacious skies and amber waves of grain, the same purple mountain majesties, the same sea to the same shining sea .”

“Which is why it has been with great sadness, and more than a little nausea, that we have witnessed our American brothers and sisters betrayed over the past decade by privately owned politicians who have created franchises out of persecuting the dis-enfranchised, fetishized ignorance at the expense of reason, deprived citizens of their civil liberties in the name of a very profitable notion of security, and driven up tax payers debt to finance solid gold pockets to carry their other gold.”

“We have watched from a distance with the same horrified stare one might impart on a bus load of kittens being carried away by a tornado.  We have watched class warfare committed by classless bourgeoisie.  We have watched as huddled masses yearning to breathe free were told that it is un-American to huddle, mass, yearn or breathe.  We have watched, and for years have asked ourselves, “Isn’t someone going to help those poor folks!?”

“And then we realized: we are a somebody.  And we are not just an “outside the beltway” candidate, we are outside the border.  So we have written this book – translated from Canadian to American English – to explain our platform and convince you that you are better off getting an overhaul from an honest mechanic than being scrapped by China and sold for parts.”

Authors often refer to this table at the Different Drummer as the next best thing to an ATM – it’s the place readers come to have their books signed – which means a purchase has been made. What’s interesting to watch at the Different Drummer is how many people buy multiple copies.
Here Brian Calvert, co-author of America, but better.

That is what the book is about – They call it the Canada Party Manifesto.  The right to bear arms that the Americans are so in love with – it was the second amendment to their Constitution – gets easily solved.   The Americans can have all the weapons they want – they just can’t buy the ammunition – the Canada Party would outlaw bullets.  There – that’s that problem solved.

If the Canada Party were to win the election campaign and become the President of the United States – who would sit in the White Houses?  You, and you and you and you.  Each of us would get our 15 minutes of fame and be President of the United States for a really, really short period of time – that way we wouldn’t do too much damage.

Calvert was pretty sure he was on to something here and he convinced a publisher to produce his book and then convinced Ian Cameron at the Different Drummer  to hold the book launch.

You could buy a copy of the book – but more interesting – you got a bumper sticker instead of a bookmark as your take away.

Calvert expects that at some point he will be a guest on the Colbert Report where he will debate with Stephen Colbert on how Canada can help the Americans solve one of their more significant problems – finding a new President.

You heard about it first in Burlington, Ontario.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.