John Oliver, Mike Myers Lobby Canadians to Not Vote Stephen Harper - Rolling Stone
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John Oliver, Mike Myers Lobby Canadians to Not Vote Stephen Harper

‘Last Week Tonight’ host risks $5,000 fine and six months in Canadian prison to sway prime minister election

Unbeknownst to most Americans, Monday marks Election Day in Canada. So John Oliver devoted a large portion of Last Week Tonight to a crash course on Canadian politics and an examination of their race for prime minister. After a historically long 78-day campaign, three real candidates have emerged: New Democratic Party’s Tom Mulcair, Liberal Party’s Justin Trudeau and the incumbent Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party.

While none of the candidates are palatable – Mulcair for his lack of public speaking skills, Trudeau for his poor fashion choices and inexperience – Oliver saves most of his vitriol for Harper. “Don’t be deceived by his bland exterior; where there is banality, there is evil,” Oliver warns, highlighting Harper’s efforts to scale back environmental protections and health care, as well as a series of Islamophobic laws including one that briefly banned the wearing of burkas. (The Canadian government ultimately repealed that law.)

On top of that, Harper plays keyboard in “a terrible, terrible band,” Oliver says. “I would love to tell the people of Canada right now to vote Stephen Harper out of office, but unfortunately, and this is amazing, it’s against Canadian law.” Under Section 331 of the Canadian Elections act, non-Canadian citizens are not allowed to persuade voters “to vote for or refrain from voting for a particular candidate.”

Faced with a $5,000 fine (in Canadian money, so roughly $3,800) and six months in a Canadian prison for flouting Section 331, Oliver puts on his dancing shoes and recruits Toronto native Mike Myers – dressed as a Mountie and driving a mini-Zamboni – to implore Canadian voters to not elect Harper. “I love Canada, but the fact that it has a law banning outsiders from telling Canadians how to vote is one of the least Canadian things possible,” Myers said. “Oh, and don’t vote for Stephen Harper.”

Oliver then proclaims, “Stephen Harper doesn’t care about black people!,” a nod to Kanye West’s live TV statement about then-President George W. Bush in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Myers, who stood shell-shocked next to West at that moment, is briefly taken aback again before Oliver corrects himself, “Stephen Harper doesn’t care about Muslim people!”

In This Article: Canada, John Oliver, Late-Night TV


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