Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mars Needs Canadians!

Technically, it doesn't say
anything about pants...
Thinking about moving to Mars so you can live a lawless, air-less, radiation-bathed existence 35 million miles away from the Earth and its many restrictive 'must wear pants' policies? Well tough shit because a bunch of geniuses from a variety of academic fields are right now sitting in a room somewhere in London, coming up with a government for the Red Planet. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Can they do that?" Well it turns out they-huh? How do I know what you're thinking? I'm a goddamn psychic, that's how. Stop interrupting.

As I was about to say, it turns out that they probably can't. I mean, if Total Recall has taught us anything, it's that Mars is going to be ruled by some evil business guy (played by Ronny Cox) who owns all the air. But leaving that unavoidable fact aside for a moment, the International Extraterrestrial Liberty Conference's goal of creating a framework for governance before we start sending Dutch contest winners to die on Mars, is a smart move.
On Mars, not only will your boss control your air supply,
but he'll also be in charge of your contraceptive options.
Way to go Supreme Court.
Interestingly, on average, the actual
Land Rush of the 1800's had fewer
fatalities than Black Friday.
Why? Because Canada, that's why. Essayist Sarah Vowell once suggested that a key difference between Canada and the United States lies in how governance in our respective wests was first established. The American West in the 19th century was awash in chaos and violence because white settlers grabbed their guns, loaded up their wagons and headed west shooting anyone and anything in their way. You know how we Americans lose our shit over 40% off name brand appliances on Black Friday? Picture that with free acreage and guns. Ok, not as many guns, but still...

In Canada meanwhile, Ottawa had the foresight to send mounties out first to establish law and order. The result, says Vowell, is that Americans tend to take a me first, individual over the group approach while Canadians opt for teamwork and mayonnaise on their hamburgers.
"Hello there and welcome to Canada!
Can we offer you a pet ferret?"

-Mounties: the polite red line 
between order and chaos 
Above: Richard Branson, First Emperor
of Mars, and the naked woman he paid
to cling to his back while he kite-surfed.
So what if we're a bunch of gun-toting land-grabbers and our neighbors to the north spell color with a 'u?' Let's go back to Mars and the evil business-guy-ocracy. There's not really much danger of cowboys slapping truck-nuts onto their Ares rockets and setting off to claim a few thousand acres of Martian land for themselves, but there is a decent chance that the first Martians will work for Virgin or Space-X or something. Unless we all agree on some kind of plan now, Mars will belong to whatever billionaire can land a space plane on it first.

Do we really want Mars to be owned by some company who will cover the rust-colored soil in ads like some kind of planetary NASCAR racer? Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon doesn't think so:

Pictured: polls indicate that Aldrin has
already locked in the Autobot vote.
"...that should not be one private company at all, it should be a collection of the best from all the countries on Earth, and the leader of the nation or the groups who makes a commitment to do that in 2 decades will be remembered throughout history, hundreds and thousands of years in the future of the history of humanity, beginning, commencing a human occupation of the solar system."

-Buzz Aldrin, candidate
for President of Mars 
(totally has my vote)

"Pfft...good luck Mars!"
Anyway, I think this whole thing is a great idea, but what's the Martian government going to look like? We'll have to wait until they're done to find out for sure, but according to the article, the conference attendees will be modeling their proposal for the Martian constitution on successful forms of government on Earth, including, among others, the U.S. Constitution and that's, um, wow...yikes. Like, is that really the best option out there? I mean, have they seen CSPAN?

Not to worry though, the Conference does seem open to suggestions, and we're not colonizing anytime soon, so there's still time to pass along some pro-tips regarding our system of government. Being British they might not fully appreciate some of our Constitution's, uh...shortcomings. Specifically they might want to take a close look at the Electoral College and the 2nd Amendment before copy/pasting them into Martian law. You're welcome, future Martian generations.
"I'll give you my Explosive Space Modulator 
when you pry it out of my cold dead hands!"
-Marvin the Martian

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