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Federal Politics

The Emperor’s New Clothes

A fable of a northern land, and its fashionable Emperor.

Andrew Nikiforuk 7 Mar

Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about the energy industry for two decades and is a contributing editor to The Tyee. Find his previous stories here.

Once upon a time in a far away northern country, there lived a Liberal Emperor who was very fond of clothes.

In truth the Emperor, born into wealth and privilege, cared nothing about policy, principle, obligations or justice.

But the peacock always looked good and strove to fool his fawning subjects by wearing the finest political camouflage.

Other nations might say the Emperor is in council, but in Canada people now say “The Emperor is in the dressing room.”

The Emperor’s sense of fashion was so cunning that the scribes and reporters in other lands — especially the kingdom’s powerful southern neighbour — could never see that the Emperor only dressed for power.

When the Emperor went to the Paris talks on climate change, he dressed in the finest greens.

When he talked to oil men in Houston about bitumen, he dressed in the most elegant carbons.

When he talked to First Nations, he wore colonial colours with streaks of apology.

When he addressed women, he performed in fabric woven of promises of equal pay for equal work.

But when he negotiated with the Chinese Emperor about trade and pipelines he made sure not to wear any democratic apparel at all.

Power should not upset power, thought the Emperor.

When the Canadian sat down with the Caudillo Trump from the neighbouring kingdom, he gaily wore orange and behaved as though everything was normal.

And when he spoke to his subjects in engineered town halls, his clothes bedazzled everyone with different shades and diverse colours.

As a result everyone thought the Emperor wore clothes just for them, and wanted to be his friend.

One day several Liberal weavers approached the Emperor and said “it is time to garner Indo-Canadian votes for the next election.” The weavers, highly political scoundrels, explained that 1.4 million people of Indian origin now live in Canada.

If the Emperor wanted to remain the Emperor and hold the reins of power, he would have to travel 12,000 kilometres to India and dress up. The fashions of globalism — and God Bless Its Name — desired it, said the weavers.

So they wove the best for the Emperor, his wife and their children, including a festive and resplendent red kurta.

Enchanting, said the weavers. Just look your majesty. What colours! What design!

Everywhere the Canadian Emperor went in India he looked more fashionable than an Indian prince.

Soon his carefully attired procession attracted more and more attention.

Until an Indian child noticed the deception.

“Why is this white man dressing like a Bollywood star?”

“Is it just me or is this choreographed cuteness all just a bit too much?” asked another.

“The man dresses like a bridegroom at a Bombay wedding,” wrote another.

The chorus grew.

“I can’t laugh anymore,” said a man in Amritsar. “Who dresses like that?”

The Emperor shivered and changed into suits for Liberal politicians.

His weavers argued, “This procession has got to go on,” and so he walked more proudly than ever.

But in Canada his subjects now clearly saw the Emperor for what he was — a naked imposter.  [Tyee]

Read more: Federal Politics

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