Canada's spying bill: be very afraid

Canadian comedy hero Rick Mercer nails the new Canadian spying bill and the political tactics that gave rise to it. Bravo!

Rick Mercer: Rant: Be Afraid (Thanks, James!)


  1. I feel like an old fogey saying this, but I almost feel freakin motion sick after watching that.  What’s with the damn 40 degree camera angle?  And the need to switch it from left to right after every damn sentence.  

    1. This is nothing new. I recommend you do not ever watch The Third Man.

      BTW. How come Rick Mercer still looks so young? Hardly looks older than the glory days  of Made in Canada AKA The Industry,  which was the best comedy series ever recorded. 

  2. I know nothing of this guy, but Hero?  Did he save someone?  He’s saving me the effort of looking for other videos he might have done.  And why was this video shot like some sort of MTV/Reality Bites AIDS P.S.A circa 1994?  This whole thing made me cringe.  *Bleck*

    1. I feel it always works in the greater context of his show. I think these little bits are supposed to be jarring.

        1. Perhaps at something else, but certainly not that. I kept waiting for it to be funny (real funny, not canned funny). And yeah, that joggy camera thing is just annoying.

          1.  I’m not sure it’s supposed to be funny; it’s like Jon Stewart – most of the show is satire, but for the really important things Stewart feels strongly about he lays it all out without comedy.

          2. Exactly, penguinchris…
            I don’t think this is supposed to be funny at all. Mainly the reason I don’t think this is supposed to be funny is because in the cold light of reality it isn’t funny, it’s truth. And the truth right now is actually pretty scary.

            If people laugh at this (and I chuckled at bits) it’s because your brain is telling you that this is so preposterous that it must not be real and therefore it is funny like the function of a non-sequitur punch line to a joke.

            Tragically our brain’s natural ability to mold perception and anticipate what happens next (one aspect of what makes jokes funny) is being increasingly broken because the world is becoming increasingly broken. Up is down, black is white, left is right, right is wrong, horrid reality is happy surreality, basically mass hysteria. Inching toward complete madness where we will laugh at everything as the only defense mechanism we can muster to quiet our brains screams that things are not as they seem. And that things really aren’t funny at all.

            About the camera angles; they are being used to upset you, to make you jumpy, to make you unsettled possibly to instill some motivation to do something about the upsetting words and camera work. Some will laugh, some will turn it off, some will analyze, and some -as I suspect is the creator’s intention- will get up and go do something about it.

    2. Yup, Hero. He was one of very few high profile Canadians who spoke out on the G20 ridiculousness, and called out Bill Blair. He was instrumental in pulling together the Canadian “It Gets Better” contingent. He chairs “Spread the Net,” an anti-malaria initiative (for which he may be compensated, I don’t know). He’s a big supporter of a local AIDS hospice. I think that qualifies.

      1. Is this a shot at Americans?  If so, I’m sure Canadians won’t benefit from this since everyone in Canada rides bikes and can fly only using solar power (?).

  3. I’ve thought from the day he got elected…Stephen Harper scares me.
    No, not the big bad boogie-man that Harper & (in his heyday) George Bush tried to scare the populace with…you know, the Islamist terrorists, the pot-smokers, the atheists, the gays, those women who want to have say over their own bodies….no no no, Stephen Harper, he who wants to be ‘F*ck of the North’….that’s who is the one to be very afraid of.
    Shame on you Canadians who kept voting for this man…unless you’re one of the 1%, you will forever regret the ballot you cast.

    1. Yes.  Shame on the 41% of Canadians voters who went for the Conservatives.  That was enough to give him a majority in Parliament.  The screwed up electoral system here makes the US one look fair.

      1. Correction : only 25% of the total Canadian electorate voted Conservative. That a majority government can result from the support of only 1 out 4 Canadians is indeed screwed up.

          1.  39% of the people who voted checked off Harper.  25% of the total Canadian electorate voted Harper. 

            Not all of the Canadian electorate voted. 

            For Americans, imagine 1 rebuplican party that got 39%  of the vote and two democratic partys who split the democrat vote but had a combined 49%.

            In essence, Canadians votes 49% leftwing and 39% right wing and we end up with a right wing government that in effect, controls both houses, and can pass any law they want as long as it’s constitutional…..

          2.  You can get a majority government with much less than 25% of the vote, if there are enough parties running:

          3. Hello morgaine – thank you for your reply.

            The link you provided provides the data to prove my point when the 61% voter turn-out is factored in; that is, the amount of popular support of the entire electorate, including those chose to abstain.


            To discount 39% of voting public is to misrepresent popular support.


      2. Correction : less than 25% of the total Canadian electorate voted Conservative. When a majority goverment can result from the support of only 1 in 4 Canadians, the electoral system is indeed screwed up.

        1. I chose my words very carefully.  I said “41% of Canadian voters”. I was not talking about the ones who chose not to vote (they don’t count and they shouldn’t).

          However, I was wrong and the correct percentage is somewhere between 39% and 40%.

          But, your point still stands.

          1. Hello Andrew, thank you for your reply.

            While you might personally chose to discount abstentions as a means to disingenuously inflate the illusion of popular support, abstentions are indeed counted and a well accepted voting practice. 39% of Canadians abstained from voting.



    2. In Canada, almost no one gets to choose the Prime Minister.

      In the American system, it would be as if Boehner ran the United States simply because his party holds the majority in the House, not because Americans (outside of his constituency) voted for him to lead the country. Not only that, but if Boehner lost his seat, his party could still make him Prime Minister just because he leads the party, so it’s only up to the majority party to choose the leader and no one else.

      As Prime Minister Boehner also gets to appoint anyone he wants (with not so much as a House vote) to the U.S. Senate whenever there’s a vacancy, and Senators serve for life. And Boehner also gets to appoint whomever he wants as President, a role that mostly serves as a figurehead with no real power.

      That’s pretty much the equivalent of the Canadian system.

  4. I had no problem with the camera work.  And the rant was fine.

    But… he never, not once, mentioned any “Canadian Spying Bill” did he?

    1. It looks like the video was posted in October 2011, so he’s not talking about the latest version of the Spying Bill, but perhaps an earlier version of the same bill. Or, really, anything The Harper Government is doing — it’s all shrouded in fear. They’ve taken the page right out of Dick Cheney’s playbook. 

  5. Mercer, just proves how screwed up we are, He talks reason and we laugh.  I say Mercer for PM and Maher for President.  Then maybe just maybe we can turn this mess around : )

  6. Mercer won my undying gratitude when he torpedoed the (terrifying) prospect of Stockwell Day becoming Prime Minister about 12 years ago with the million signature petition to have a referendum to change Day’s first name to Doris. 

    (For those without background, one of Day’s platforms was to allow a referendum on women’s rights if there were enough signatures on a petition – human rights subject to the will of the majority is rarely a good idea).

  7. Unreported crimes isn’t a joke. There are many problems with crime statistics, starting with the fact that police forces collect them and bad statistics make them look bad.

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