Sure, Stephen Colbert didn’t get to become the American president, but our neighbors to the North might be able to make him the next best thing–King of Canada.
The Canadian group, Democracy Watch, has launched the “Colbert for King Campaign,” asking folks to sign an online petition calling for Colbert to replace Canada’s current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II of England.
“A lot of people don’t really understand that we still have the Queen of Canada,” Democracy Watch’s Tyler Sommers told Yeas & Nays. “So it’s a fun, satirical campaign, really just meant to get the conversation started.”
Democracy Watch hopes to use the Colbert campaign to get Canadians talking about replacing the queen, the current head of state, with a democratically elected Canadian. “It…highlights the reality of our system,” Sommers said. “It’s no different to have an American as our head of state than it is to have the queen as our head of state–they’re both foreigners.”
Right now the Canadian prime minister doesn’t have the same kinds of checks and balances on his power that an American president encounters. “So one of the solutions to limit the power that prime ministers and premiers have available to them is to move to an elected head of state,” Sommers explained.
Colbert was chosen because he has a following in Canada and has brought up the country several times on the “Colbert Report.”
“He gets us. Buys his milk in bags,” the Colbert for King website advertises. “He’s truthy, and he lives right next door,” it continues.
Since last week’s launch, only around 1,700 people have signed the petition. (Its progress is being charted using an oh-so Canadian maple syrup graphic.) But Sommers hopes the campaign will gain traction and reach a goal of 100,000 signatures, giving Colbert “no choice” but to be king. And if Colbert agrees? He’s invited to Ottawa later this summer for a crowning ceremony.