Mouseland

The land where mice elect black or white cats. Why not elect some mice for a change?

Mouseland
picture from verdocumentalesonline.com

My contribution for the U.S.A. electioneering (November 6) is to share this video from internet, with Tommy Douglas speech: Mouseland. Mr. Douglas (1904-1986) did it a lot of years ago, in 1944, but what he says continue being totally suitable nowdays, in U.S., in Canada (Tommy Douglas was Canadian), in Europe and almost in the whole world.

 

Why mice continue voting for cats? If one thinks about it, it’s difficult to understand why this happens. Anyway, I’m Spanish, so I’ll not vote for white cat Romney nor black cat Obama. But I haven’t voted for cats neither in Spanish elections for a long tine. I’m a Bolshevik mouse.

 

           

Click on ‘read more’ to read the complete speech. It’s useful for people, like me, who aren’t English native speakers, and find easier to read than to listen.

This is the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards, too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government.

A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it’s strange that mice should elect a government of cats, look at the history of Canada for the last 90 years and maybe you’ll see they weren’t any stupider then us.

Now I’m not saying anything against the cats. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws – that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren’t very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouse holes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only run at certain speeds – so a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn’t put up with it any more, they decided that something had to be done. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said, “All Mouseland needs is more vision.” They said, “The trouble with Mouseland is the round mouse holes. If you put us in we’ll make square mouse holes.” And they did. And the square mouse holes were twice as big as the round ones, and now a cat could get both paws in.

And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn’t take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and black ones in again. Then they went back to white cats. Then to black cats. They even tried half black and half white cats. And they called that a coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: They were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, “Look fellows, why do we keep electing a government made up of cats? Why don’t we elect a government made up of mice?” “Oh,” they said, “he’s a Bolshevik. Lock him up!”

So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: That you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can’t lock up an idea.

– Tommy Douglas, 1944

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