Sunday, April 16, 2006

an american comic on baby harper - bush ...

Harper called a 'Bush Baby'Tories' election victory a serious disappointment to comic Williams
TORONTO SUN, April 16, 2006

Canada elected "a Bush Baby" when Stephen Harper became prime minister of Canada, according to U.S. comic Robin Williams.

Lamenting the choice, because he is no fan of U.S. President George W. Bush, the politically active Williams told the Sun in an exclusive interview that: "You basically elected a Bush Baby -- and you did it openly!"

But it is too soon to lampoon Harper, Williams said. "Oh, not yet."

The Oscar-winning actor is a social satirist as well as a slapstick comedian. He is savvy on Canadian politics and does a wicked impression of Jean Chretien.

When the federal election was held in January, Williams was in Toronto shooting an American political satire, Barry Levinson's Man of The Year. Williams paid attention and even watched one of the televised debates.

"No. 1, there was no personality that I could latch on to," he said of the difficulty of sending up Harper.

On a serious level, Williams was concerned about the apathy of many voters. "I talked to a lot of Canadians who said: 'I don't know who to vote for -- and I don't care!' But you have to say: 'In Afghanistan and Iraq, if you vote, you're putting your life in danger. It meant something to them.' "


Williams, of course, knows why many traditional Liberal supporters did not vote -- or turned to the Conservatives, as they did in Quebec.

"The past administration had foibles. They weren't blameless. They had screwed up huge on that and, when you do that, you're going to get smacked. The good news is that you have what we don't have. You have that vote of confidence (to bring down a minority government in a crisis)."

Williams said that if the U.S. had the same system, Bush would be threatened: "Right now, if we had that, he would be gone, you would hope."

The comic, who is seriously critical of Bush's foreign policy since 9/11, is also angry about the White House's failure to act decisively in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and is convinced that the White House is grinding the U.S. down with a staggering debt load. He worries that Canada will follow the same road with Harper.

Canada, Williams said, is too civilized and precious to be messed up.

"You are like in a parallel universe. It's almost like an alternate universe. It's America but not. It's a weird thing to be in Canada. It's like we're two children separated at birth. We left home early. You stayed with Mom.

Williams said unlike the U.S., which fought a War of Independence against Britain, Canada signed the BNA Act and was "still part of the Commonwealth, still part of the family, and it was all good and well, and then eventually you got your nationhood. And we were like: 'F--- you!' "