A Game of Thrones Primer for Canadian Politics

Who holds the power north of the border? Which up-and-coming Canadian politician would win in a fight to the death? Who heralds the coming of winter, and who ignores the cries to our peril?

Politics is one of the topics I plan to occasionally tackle here, and I’ve noticed many of my readers so far seem to be from south of the border, so in this interlude between Canada Day and Independence Day, I thought it would be fitting to bring you all up to speed and fulfill today’s list challenge.

  • The Queen: Technically the queen is our head-of-state, as a commonwealth country, but though she used to hold a lot of sway at present her power is largely symbolic. We much prefer having her face on our money, though, to the prime ministerial alternatives.
Cersei from Game of Thrones and the Queen of England.
Cersei Lannister & The Queen of England. Thankfully our queen is much kinder and less evil than her Game of Thrones counterpart.

  • The Governor General: The queen’s agent in Canada, who acts as a sort of political guardian to Parliament. All the big decisions go through him, and while he technically can say no, he typically doesn’t as this might cause the person holding actual power to cut him out of the picture entirely.
Tywin Lannister and G.G. David Johnston
Patriarch of the Lannister family, Tywin, and our own (significantly less terrifying-looking) Governor General David Johnston.
Joffrey and Stephen Harper
The evil boy-king Joffrey & Canada’s Stephen Harper. For all the bad things people say about Harps, though, I still feel kinda bad putting his face next to this creep.
  • The former leader-in-waiting: Jack Layton worked hard for years behind the scenes as prophet of impending climate change, and the leader of a distant-third-place party, the NDP. Until the last federal election, that is, where largely on the force of his personality he usurped second place and gave ol’ Harps a run for his money. Tragically, he died (of cancer) shortly thereafter and the whole country, supporters or not, mourned the loss.
Ned Stark and Jack Layton
Men with good hearts and terrible luck: Ned Stark & Jack Layton
  • The up-and-coming heartthrob: Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau spent a lot of time living the wild life and avoiding following in his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s, footsteps. But after knocking out a Conservative Senator in a fight (for charity), he’s been waiting in the wings for his chance to steal the hearts and throne of the nation.
John Snow and Justin Trudeau.
These reluctant heroes even look alike: John Snow & Justin Trudeau.
  • The smart, funny guy who should rule but probably never will: Rick Mercer is a Canadian culture promoter and political satirist, like the Jon Stewart of Canada, but nicer. He has been known to hang out with the different political leaders who come and go, and has even stayed over at the Prime Minister’s house for a sleepover. His political rants are usually right on point, it’s a shame the people in power don’t seem to listen.
Tyrion Lannister and Rick Mercer
They would make infinitely better leaders than what we’ve got, but are too smart to try: Tyrion Lannister & Rick Mercer.
  • The woman who would rule us all: Elizabeth May, a Canadian born in exile (in America), is the leader of the Green Party of Canada, and has a very, very long shot at power. But if the environmental tides change and threaten to bury us in the eternal winter of a second ice age, we might just need her fiery, in-tune-with-nature will to lead us out of the darkness.
Daenerys Targaryen and Elizabeth May
Women of fiery wills (although one looks significantly happier about it than the other): Daenerys Targaryen & Elizabeth May.
Game of Thrones zombies.
Zombies are not welcome north of the border on this continent, sorry.

I hope you are all more enlightened about the who’s who in Canadian politics now. Any more GoT / Canadian political comparisons you’d make? Before you comment, though…

IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT COMMENTS: I currently live in a faraway land and have unfortunately NOT yet been able to watch Season 3 of GoT, so please, please no spoilers! I know everyone I care about probably dies gruesomely, but if you guys spoil it for me I’ll have to stop reading my own blog comments and cry a lot. Thanks for your consideration!

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29 thoughts on “A Game of Thrones Primer for Canadian Politics

  1. I’m not up on Canadian politics, but I still got a really good laugh out of this. I wish Tyrion Lannister could get the U.S. back on track, too.

    And even in Westeros, there is just no escaping the Zombie Apocalypse.

  2. Yes, I echo the comments that I probably learned more in this post about both Game of Thrones and Canadian politics than I have known in my entire life. That’s saying a lot for you — or not so much for me. A very funny read.

  3. This really was a great post…I remember going over the border into Canada years ago and I had a canister of mace (with a permit) on my keychain. They wouldn’t let me cross until “I surrendered it to the Queen.” I asked the guard “Who the hell is the Queen of Canada?” Needless to say he laughed and took my mace.

  4. This is the best political blog post ever written. And, since I am half Canadian, it was probably good for me to read it, and learn more about the political situation up there.

  5. As one Canadian who follows the political turmoil closely, I have to congratulate you on this fine comparison to a series especially close to my heart. I’ve not missed one episode and will save you from despair by not telling you of season 3. Having said that, let me be very clear: I was disappointed in not seeing John Baird and Tony Clements coupled with their equals in GoT. πŸ˜‰

  6. The truth: you hear more about what Obama is up to over what Parliament Hill is doing. I learn a lot of what is happening with Canadian politics from Rick Mercer’s rants! (And as an aside – stopped watching GoT after first season, so no spoilers from me!)

  7. Last night I had a customer come in from Quebec. I was quite surprised that this was the case because she spoke English and was in no way an asshole, something I told her surprised me and something we both laughed about and agreed upon. In my five years of working there and working with customers from Quebec on, at least, a weekly basis it’s been made clear to me that Canadians aren’t a fan of those from Quebec and for the same reasons. So…Quebec is House Lannister, just without the money? ^^

    1. Hahaha… yeah. Most of us don’t hate Quebec, I mean I know a few cool people from there and I love me some poutine and Montreal Smoked Meat, but politically they can be… yeah. I don’t think they could be House Lannister though, mainly for the lack of money and power… is there another house that specializes in wanting to secede from the kingdom while still getting cash handouts? πŸ˜‰

  8. Haha I loved this! I have to say, as a Brit, I know next to nothing about Canadian politics, so this was very interesting

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