FÉDÉRATION CO-OPÉRATIVE DE COMMONWEALTH
国 民 合 作 联 邦 会
Text Version Online “Original Script” Text Version Below
Narrated by Kiefer
Sutherland, Tommy’s Grandson
Douglas Mouseland speech
Michael Therriault as Tommy Douglas, from the mini-series Prairie
Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story.
Mouseland – A Political fable told by Tommy
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 strange that mice should elect a government made up of
cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and
maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.
Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. 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 mouseholes had to be big enough so a
cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at
certain speeds--so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much
All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice.
And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up
with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they
went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the
Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that
Mouseland needs is more vision." They said: "The trouble with
Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish
square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice
as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in.
And life was tougher than ever.
And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and
put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to
the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they
called that 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 on 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.
The Moral of the Story "Mouseland"
is a political fable, originally told by Clare Gillis, a friend of Tommy
Douglas. Tommy has used this story many times to show in a humorous way how
Canadians fail to recognize that neither the Liberals or Conservatives are
truly interested in what matters to ordinary citizens; yet Canadians continue
to vote for them.
The story cleverly deals with the false assumption by some people that
CCF'ers (NDP'ers) are Communists. The ending shows Tommy Douglas has faith
that someday socialism, which recognizes human rights and dignity, will win
over capitalism and the mere pursuit of wealth and power.