Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fulfilling Canadian Content Requirements

Like Beachcombers, only better

With Harper at the wheel, we’ve got about six weeks before the CBC ceases to exist. With that in mind, allow me to present my pitch for a CBC TV series before it’s too late:


The Prime Minister


The Rt. Hon. Maximilian Mackenzie – Leader of the governing Liberals, Maximilian Mackenzie (or “Max”, to his friends) is, at 25, the youngest person to serve as Prime Minister of Canada. To his supporters, he is affable, even-handed and extremely capable. His critics, however, view him as a cocky demagogue who has sought office to boost his ego. This view is not tempered by the assorted women Mackenzie keeps as company around Ottawa, nor the fact that he was, at one time, an MP representing the NDP.

Maximilian is single, and lives at 24 Sussex Drive with his two cats, Sir John A. and Victoria. He represents his constituents in the city of London, Ontario.

Her Excellency, Miriam Forsythe – Miriam Forsythe was installed as the Queen’s representative in Canada by Jonathan Proctor, the previous PM. She is a wealthy philanthropist, patron of the arts and widow of a famous real estate magnate (he died after her investiture). Her conservative viewpoints often put her at odds with Mackenzie, though both are inclined to work together and respect the office.

The Hon. Jonathan Proctor – The man credited with uniting the right and creating a single right-wing Canadian political party, Proctor is definitely more “conservative” than “progressive”. As leader of the Conservative Party, he is Leader of the Official Opposition, though, for a period of 8 months directly before Mackenzie’s time in office, Proctor had been the PM of a minority government. He blames Mackenzie for derailing his conservative plan for Canada and is biding his time until the day he will once again inhabit 24 Sussex and finish the job.

His riding is in Calgary, Alberta.

The Hon. Alexis Dubois – As leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Alexis Dubois’ sole goal in Ottawa is to obtain sovereignty for Quebec. At 38, she is also comparatively young, and, like all Quebecoises, she keeps up appearances. Though her politics are entirely incompatible with Mackenzie’s, she has recently been rumoured to have had a number of private, one-on-one meetings in the Prime Minister’s Office…

Dubois’ riding can be found in the Eastern Townships area of Quebec.

The Hon. Morgan Baxter – Morgan Baxter is the leader of the small but vocal NDP presence in the House of Commons. As a former colleague of Mackenzie’s while he himself was a member of the NDP, Baxter believes that the PM has sacrificed his beliefs and the NDP in order to gain power. The fact that the NDP does not hold the balance of power in this parliament is also a matter of concern.

His riding is in Vancouver. Oh, and he’s black.

Zachary David – Zachary David is the PM’s chief of staff, closest advisor, and friend. Being older and more experienced than Mackenzie, however, David cannot help but shake the suspicion that he might be better suited to run the country.

The Hon. Spencer Agnew – Member of the Official Opposition, and former head of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Agnew was sidelined by the merger of his party and the former Reform Party, and works behind the scenes so that Canada might one day have a true compassionate conservative party in government (or opposition). He loathes Jonathan Proctor, and has an ally in Maximilian Mackenzie.

His riding is in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Leanne Cunningham – On-air reporter for the CBC, Leanne Cunningham is an ambitious young woman who works tirelessly to unearth everything she can about the Mackenzie administration as a means to achieve success. All the same, she is not above trading damaging information for exclusive access to the PMO, should the trade work in her favour.


Much of the action takes place in Ottawa – in the PMO, the halls of Parliament and in the House of Commons. Various locations throughout the town, including 24 Sussex, Rideau Hall, various landmarks and even bars are also frequented by our characters.

Situation: The pilot episode opens shortly after the last federal election, in which Mackenzie’s Liberals achieved a minority government. Prior to this, Jonathan Proctor’s Conservative Party had been in power for 8 months, and, before this, Paul Martin was just finishing off his first term as PM.

Mackenzie is young and inexperienced, but voters are willing to give him a chance provided that the confidence, charm, and intelligence he showed on the campaign trail manifests itself in office. In a minority position, however, and without the NDP holding the balance of power, will Mackenzie be able to achieve his goals while keeping the other parties at bay?

NEXT: The pilot episode!


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