Today is an incredibly important day for Canadians - it's Election Day. Our incumbent Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, as been in office for nearly a decade and is running yet again. Canada's election laws are a bit different from those in the United States in that local races are exceptionally important because they do determine federal leadership. In addition, there are no limits on the length of time a Prime Minister can remain in office.
John Oliver and the team at Last Week Tonight took the opportunity to educate viewers on the political state of Canada, albeit at the eleventh hour. After giving a brief introduction to the other party leaders, Oliver introduced Harper, who makes watching paint dry seem exciting. He cautioned viewers not to be deceived by the bland exterior, because "where there is banality there is evil". He then listed numerous policies enacted by the Harper government such as those reducing environmental protection laws and the cut back of refugee health care to the point where a federal court ruled it to be "cruel and unusual punishment".
Oliver also highlighted more recent statements and policies which clearly indicate Harper is "pandering to Islmophobes":
Earlier this year his government passed a law called the 'Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act' stiffening penalties for things like honour killings and polygamy, despite the fact that both those things were already illegal in Canada. And then a few weeks ago, the suggested a 'barbaric cultural practices hotline' despite the fact that 911 continues to exist in Canada. And this is on top of the fact that they once banned women from wearing the niqab while taking the oath of citizenship.
Harper guised his excuse for the latter as pseudo-feminism, claiming to make it about women being forced to cover their faces. Instead, it's a narrow ban that affects one particular faith.
Oliver also pointed out another strange quirk of Canada's election laws - the fact that non-Canadians aren't permitted to tell Canadians not to vote for any particular candidate. The maximum penalty for this offence is a $5,000 fine and six months in prison.
This did not deter Oliver, who wrapped up the segment by telling Canadian viewers not to vote for Stephen Harper using a keyboard, a beaver, health care charts, and Mike Myers.
Watch the segment below. If you're Canadian, please go out today and vote. If you're not, encourage your Canadian friends to do so.