Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summer in the City

It's that time of the year again. Two summers ago, I ran the "Greatest Prime Minister" contest, with Laurier knocking off John A. in the final. Last summer, it was "The Greatest Prime Minister...we never had", with Preston benefiting from a strong get out the vote campaign to score a touchdown against Robert Stanfield.

So...let's hear some suggestions. Greatest Premier? Best political book? Biggest gaffe? Something election related? Greatest special advisor to South Caucasus and Middle East?


  • How about "best canadian political ad" with a parallel contest "worst political ad"?

    Get people to put ads up on youtube ( i think people would be able to dig them up) to nominate, and then bracket voting.

    By Blogger Concerned Albertan, at 7:00 p.m.  

  • What about something like, "Best political outburst"? John Turner's "I've inherited an unbelievable bag of shit," his "I had no option," things like that...

    By Blogger Jarrett, at 7:00 p.m.  

  • Best Senator...not named Kirby.

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 7:28 p.m.  

  • How about best Canadian female politician?

    By Blogger uncorrectedproofs, at 7:34 p.m.  

  • Best Canadian Landmark or Icon?

    Is it the CN Tower? Does Parliament Hill do a better job at capturing Canadiana? Perhaps the Bay of Fundy, or Stanley Park? Open skies and flat prairie landscapes? The bright lights of Hollywood (Los Angeles containing more Canadians than many Cdn cities)? The city of London, Ontario for not being particularly special?

    By Blogger Paul, at 7:40 p.m.  

  • As a spin-off of Kyle's excellent idea, what about "Best/Most Important/Most Interesting/etc... Canadian election campaign" al la John Duffy "Fights of Our Lives"?

    You could include provincial campaigns too if you wanted to add to the variety and scope of issues that would be covered. And certainly there are provincial campaigns that had national repercussions (rise of the PQ, introduction of Medicare in SK, to name but two).

    By Blogger Prairie Fire, at 9:45 p.m.  

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    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 10:05 p.m.  

  • I like Best Female Politician, Biggest Political Gaffe, and Most Important Election.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 10:07 p.m.  

  • I'm thinking "biggest political lie still believed by people in Canadian politics."

    Some options:

    "Conservatives are fiscally prudent."
    "The NEP killed Alberta's Economy."
    "The equalization program takes money from some provinces to give to other provinces."

    It would be an interesting opportunity to 'put the lie' to some things that people still think are true.

    By Blogger Gauntlet, at 2:27 a.m.  

  • gauntlet - too partisan.

    Why do we need to look for the best - there is plenty of space in the worst. Worst Prime Minister. Worst prime minister who never was - this is also an educational exercise... we know far too little about such PM's as Mackenzie Bowell or... Trudeau (while I think Trudeau was bad he isn't a failure, in that he arguably succeeded on his own terms).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 2:53 a.m.  

  • I like the "most important / significant election" idea. Hopefully if it gets chosen CG can do a bit of alternative history about what would've changed in the election had gone the other way (much like he did, for instance, when he described how Preston M became Prime Minister in the last contest).

    The other idea would be "biggest upset/surprise/shock election result". With modern polling being what it is, there are relatively few shockers on E-day itself, but there have been some election where the result would never have been anticipated before the writ dropped (Rae's ON win in '90 *and* Harris's ON win in '95 both come to mind)

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 9:55 a.m.  

  • i like the biggest gaffe or most important election. Worst PM is a good idea, but all you'd get is every conservative saying trudeau and every liberal saying mulrouney or dief.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:17 a.m.  

  • Yeah, my sense is you'd need something that isn't 100% partisan, and I can see how "Worst PM" would turn into that really quickly.

    I'm keen on the gaffe idea, although it would be harder to find good historical mess-ups. Greatest Premier certainly is the easiest from a logistical sense.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:42 a.m.  

  • How about "Worst PM"? We can just declair Deceivin' Stephen the winner and take the summer off.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 12:28 p.m.  

  • (Above posted without reading all previous comments, obviously).

    On the other hand, it is something Liberals, NDPers and and increasing number of social conservatives can agree on.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 12:31 p.m.  

  • How about Best (worst) statement that came back to bite the politician in the ass? Example: The Olympics can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby from Jean Drapeau. Can't be something that just had negative career consequences like Carolyn Parrish's comments about Bush. It has to be absolutely, 100% the opposite of what eventually happened.

    To get the ball rolling, I nominate everything ever said by Peter MacKay. ;)

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 12:37 p.m.  

  • What about best or most influential or most successful Premier? I like 'successful' because we could vote on whether or not the Premiers achieved their objectives (instead of whether or not we like(d) them).

    By Blogger Kelly, at 3:34 p.m.  

  • I like the idea of the best Premiers because of the wildly varying criteria that could be used. The best Premier because of what of what he or she did for the Province or because of what he or she did for Canada as a whole.

    By Blogger Ames Way, at 4:22 p.m.  

  • I think the Best Premier idea is a bit limited because most of us, I'd wager, don't spend a lot of time reading about the premiers of other provinces. I know I don't. I could do it for Ontario's premiers, and maybe a few from Quebec and Alberta, but that's about it. I know next to nothing about the rest.

    By Blogger Ryan Ringer, at 4:33 p.m.  

  • I think Most Significant Election is a good idea (I've read a couple of books on the subject; Duffy's and Ray Argyle's).

    Best Premier would be interesting, given the varying criteria; also, the fact that most people have limited knowledge of premiers outside their province (and major ones) would theoretically mean that there are fewer preconceptions before the cases are presented.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 4:56 p.m.  

  • My two favourites are biggest gaffe and most signifigant election. I think those two are the most interesting and would make for good reading and discussion.

    By Blogger Brandon E. Beasley, at 5:05 p.m.  

  • I like the best Premier idea because it would be a great way to inform people about the history of all the provinces. It could be set up regionally, with the best Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West Premiers meeting in the Final Four.

    Of course the other ideas have a lot of merit too.

    And of course a big thanks to CG for all the work putting these together. I started reading this blog through the PM contest a few years back and now it's a daily stop for me.

    By Blogger Pete, at 10:10 p.m.  

  • I like the best premier idea too (or most influential, successful, etc.). Biggest election upset can't really be anything but the 1993 Tory disaster.

    By Blogger JG, at 11:25 p.m.  

  • Colour me in for "best political ad" with YouTube to provide the evidence.

    By Blogger Cameron, at 11:37 p.m.  

  • What Canadian celebrity would make/have made the best Prime Minister?

    That's my suggestion.

    By Blogger Bailey, at 11:43 p.m.  

  • I like Pete's idea for the best Premier contest. Have regional brackets where we could vote for the best premiers in the four regions with a showdown between them at the end.

    The best part about this idea is that its a great way to educate people about great provincial political leaders we may not previously have known much about.

    By Blogger Noah, at 12:58 a.m.  

  • As a British Columbian, it is my solemn duty to protest in the strongest possible terms the running of a "greatest Premier" contest. It is unconscionable that you would select a topic in which my dear province has no potential entries.

    By Blogger Tom, at 1:41 a.m.  

  • If you want to keep the contest federal, how about "most significant/best piece of federal legislation ever passed". This might take a bit more research, and define 'significant/etc' how you will, but it could make for some interesting matchups...

    By Blogger J. A. MacDuff, at 11:25 a.m.  

  • How about "Most important events in Canadian Political History". The PQ crisis, the King-Byng Affair, conscription, the Riel rebellion - there's got to be a lot out there, and not all focussed on the last 20 years.

    By Blogger Corex, at 1:16 p.m.  

  • The only thing worse than partisanship, is regionalism - and guess what is going to permeate a best premier competition (if only because we tend to have stronger feelings and more knowledge about premiers of provinces we live in - since premiers have tended not to do well in federal politics, as well, most lack a national stature.).

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 6:37 p.m.  

  • Also, if you want non-partisan, what about hottest _____. Possibly with separate male/female categories. I may not be a liberal, but I'd be happy to listen to Ruby Dhalla talk about how interventionist policies might be able to "stimulate" the economy... or is that too low-brow for this site (I mean, personality matters, riiiight...)?

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 6:39 p.m.  

  • I'm liking the election idea, except for the fact that most people seem to be already quoting Duffy's work, so it would most likely come down to those few elections. Instead, how about "Biggest Campaign Gaffe"...or "Campaign Crux-Off!" King's "five percent" blunder in the 1930 campaign, Stanfield missing that catch, etc. There may not be a great number, and it requires much research. Perhaps these could just be incorporated with the regular gaffe section?

    By Blogger Mr.E, at 7:05 p.m.  

  • Tom said ...

    As a British Columbian, it is my solemn duty to protest in the strongest possible terms the running of a "greatest Premier" contest. It is unconscionable that you would select a topic in which my dear province has no potential entries.

    Maybe if we changed it to "Most Entertaining (On Purpose or Otherwise) Premier"?

    I mean, c'mon, how can we leave out a province that was once run by a guy who changed his name to "Amor de Cosmos" - and that's before we even get into WAC, Barrett, Zalm et al

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 10:17 a.m.  

  • I think paul.obeda had the right idea. A greatest landmark contest isn't partisan, yet would generate a lot of healthy competition. "The Seven Wonders of Canada" was a bit of a joke, this could make up for that. "World's Largest Perogie" anyone?

    By Blogger Reg, at 8:25 p.m.  

  • Best political book

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 a.m.  

  • This may be a little late, but I felt like I had to post this here. Mostly because I got the idea from here.

    'Best Political Pet'
    The competition is hot.
    Kyoto (Stephane Dion)
    Cheddar (Stephen Harper)
    Peter Mackay's dog
    Mackenzie King's dog Pat
    Lester Pearson had a dog too
    and it doesn't need to be limited to Canada (but preferably).
    ...come on everyone loves lolcats!

    My stab at it

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:19 p.m.  

  • Sorry, that comment came out dog (and Liberal) heavy, and to clarify: Cheddar is a cat. Stephen Harper also previously owned a cat named Cabot.

    I'm sure Dief had an awesome alpaca or something (to even things up).

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:22 p.m.  

  • By Blogger flora marion, at 5:31 a.m.  

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