Archive for May, 2009

18
May
09

3rd Annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards: Rona, Liz & Bo Derek

The 3rd annual MacLean’s Parliamentarian Awards started much the same as the others – after working both the first two, this is becoming old hat. One major difference this year was the addition of a martini bar, as if we weren’t getting sauced enough at previous editions on the free beer & wine. No roast beef this year, but the ordeurves were suitably opulent, so we managed.

Best mini burgers EVER!!

Best mini burgers EVER!!

First big celeb through the door was Green Party leader Elizabeth May. As in previous years, I was assisting a professional photographer, taking names. We shot a picture of Elizabeth with an unknown bystander, & I swooped in to get her name, at which time Liz said that she was not to be confused with Bo Derek. Good thing too, because if she’d had corn rolls I never would’ve been able to tell the difference. Apparently she’d just attended an event at the ROM where Bo was a guest speaker, so she had Bo on the brain. Who doesn’t, really. Liz was very friendly, chatty & personable – she’s got my vote!

Elizabeth (not Bo Derek) May

Elizabeth (not Bo Derek) May

Next through the door -beyond all the Parliamentary minions looking for posh free food & drink (like me, and some of the press)- was Bloc Quebecoise leader Gilles Duceppe, who cuts a swath like a rock star. If only we could actually vote for him in Ontario… & he wasn’t a separatist – that’d be perfect.

Happy to be here!

Happy to be here!

Global First National anchorperson Kevin Newman was next through the turnstiles, and this man is built like a freight train. No lack of self-assuredness there, although -at first blush- I think I’d rather ‘have a beer’ with Peter Mansbridge… or even ‘Count Floyd’ Lloyd Robertson.

The national anthem was sung beautifully & poignantly a capella by a lone female singer, but as she was singing the final strains a few antsy dudes in the back of the hall -who’d evidently found the martini bar- began hooting and grunting like it was a boxing match… or a burlesque show. It was at this point -right off the bat- that the MC’s lost the crowd (before they’d even begun). The proceeding speeches and introductions were largely inaudible due to the din of the crowd.

Conservative Jason Kenney won Parliamentarian of the Year, and had a healthy contingent of hooters & hollerers in the crowd to harken his win. (Possibly some of the same dudes who grunted at the national anthem.) They all broke into a chant of “Ke-nney! Ke-nney!” as Jason took the stage to accept & nearly did a face plant, tumbling hard. It was a lowlight that was also a highlight. No pictures of me with celebs from this year, so I’m recycling my picture with Jason from last year. As we took it he asked if it was going to pop up on some left wing blog. I guess his instincts are pretty good.

Jason Kenney

Ke-nney! Ke-nney!

Full disclosure: I have a slight bias against the house band that was hired, because I tried for that gig myself. Perhaps I should’ve taken “I’ll Do Ya” & “Nurturenature” (sample lyric: “the revolution is in your mind”) off my Myspace site before I applied. Lesson learned. The jazz band that got the gig were tasteful, and subtle… but I was going to cover Colin James’ “Why Do Ya Lie?”, which obviously would have been way hipper, more apt, & tres more sophisticated.

Jack Layton was present, and radiant as ever. He was kind enough to pose for a picture with Nyree, who, while working the door @ last years awards, didn’t recognize him and did everything short of frisking him on the way in. She counts that as one of her most embarrassing moments.

Nyree knows weho Jack Layton is now. As for Gilles Duceppe, it's anyone's guess.

Nyree knows who Jack Layton is now. As for Gilles Duceppe, it's anyone's guess.

At Parliamentarian of the Year Awards past I’ve pined for appearances by Belinda Stronach (well documented) and Rona Ambrose. Belinda, of course, has left the political fray, leaving Rona as the sole Hill hottie. Well, to my delighted surprise who should show up early (but not too early), but Rona herself! I was immediately struck by her teeny tiny size. She’s clearly camera friendly, and looks somewhat different in person. Regardless, as a stern looking conservative, it’s pretty hard not to imagine her in leather… & brandishing a whip! (Hey, I’m just saying what everyone is thinking.) Ouch! I’ll be more fiscally responsible, I swear!

Geez, get out of the frame, Jason!

Geez, get out of the frame, Jason!