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Rick Mercer's Last Rant Before Election Nails Politics' Biggest Problem

“It’s like the notion of nation-building is gone.”

“Wow. Completely underwhelming.”

That’s Rick Mercer’s pithy takeaway from looking at the great collage of promises Canada’s major parties have presented voters with during the last two-and-a-half months of election fever.

“If you strung all the promises together in the form of a final Jeopardy! question, the answer would be, ‘What is a lack of vision?’” said the CBC comedian in his latest rant on Tuesday.

He poked some fun at one particular promise made by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper to protect wild turkey habitats as the latest in a 10-year series of exciting pledges.

"It’s like the notion of nation-building is gone,” said Mercer. “We are in the middle of an election campaign. There’s no talk of making Canada better or fairer.”

He moved on to ridicule the government’s penchant for using small issues — in this case the niqab — to throw a wedge between Canadians and create the opposite of nation-building.

“Instead we have a prime minister promising to stop anyone from wearing a niqab in the civil service,” Mercer said, "even though nobody has ever asked to do so, ever."

Harper took his controversial stance on the niqab issue further last week after suggesting a re-elected Conservative government would explore a ban on federal workers wearing the niqab.

But it’s a sideshow, said Mercer, based on a woman “who doesn’t even exist.”

“Governing Canada has always meant creating a big tent. Suddenly we’re a small tent with a dress code. They call this boutique politics. Perfect word,” he said.

“Boutiques are small and for certain people only. Nation-building is for everyone and means thinking big.”

Voters head to the polls on Monday.

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