Mitchel Raphael on NDP hijinks at the xmas party and why some tories boycotted theirs

Jack gets worried, Bloc MP almost loses the farm and Attractive politician arrives

Jack gets worried
The NDP Christmas party featured a moustache showdown between MP Nathan Cullen of B.C. and MP Glenn Thibeault of Sudbury, Ont. The one voted to have the best moustache was supposed to shave off half the loser’s moustache. Thibeault seemed the clear winner (he noted that Cullen had more of a goatee than a moustache), but the equality-minded NDPers suddenly demanded both shave half their moustaches. NDP Leader Jack Layton helped with the proceedings but then quickly withdrew when the clippers approached his ’stache. Other entertainment for the evening included a spoof of CBC’s The National “At Issue” panel. Manitoba MP Niki Ashton dressed up like panellist Andrew Coyne of Maclean’s. She said the key to doing Coyne is to not move your hands. (Coyne actually does move his hands.) Vancouver MP Don Davies played panellist Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star, but with his wig he looked more like his fellow MP Libby Davies. “I thought he was going to do me,” confessed Libby Davies, who is not related to Don. Meanwhile, on the Conservative Christmas front, several MPs boycotted their own party ($50 for no dinner, overpriced drinks, and a Prime Minister out of town wasn’t worth it, they said). At the Liberal Christmas party, there was some griping about Justin Trudeau working the room. One staffer said it was just a long walk to the washroom. If all those camera flashes were any indication, the reality was that most in the room wanted to see Trudeau. This year he sent out 7,000 Christmas cards. Two thousand were personalized.

Bloc MP almost loses the farm
Bloc MP Meili Faille was never big on games, but she is now hooked on FarmVille, a Facebook application that allows users to create virtual farms with their friends. Her foray into FarmVille started after a dinner for senior citizens in her riding. Several asked her if she was on FarmVille, so she joined. She set up her farm and returned two weeks later to find her crops were dead. Farms need a lot of attention, she realized. So Faille got to work on her virtual land and also started working on other farms to the point that she received a prize for helping her FarmVille friends. Faille’s friends have helped her in return by fertilizing her crops, especially when the MP has no time to tend to cyber-eggplants. She now has healthy crops as well as cows, goats, one wild turkey, and a pet turtle.

Attractive politician arrives
It’s a game all party staffers play: “If you had to sleep with an MP in your party, who would it be?” On the male front, the Tories have Peter MacKay as a prospect; the Grits have Justin Trudeau. “We finally have one!” said an NDP MP. The “one” is Fin Donnelly, the MP who won the recent by-election in B.C. A temp staffer accompanying Donnelly says not a day has gone by that folks on the Hill don’t ask with raised eyebrows and a smile, “Who is that?” Reality check: all the top party contenders (including Donnelly) are either married or engaged.

An MP’s dare
NDP MP Megan Leslie promised to participate in “A Dare to Remember,” part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s program to raise African AIDS awareness. Leslie’s dare was to wear a yellow sou’wester rain hat for a day on the Hill. The dare (for which Leslie raised $500) was supposed to be for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 but Leslie got around to it only last week after mustering up the courage. It undoubtedly particularly impressed Capital Xtra! columnist Dale Smith. He attacks Leslie regularly for her wardrobe choices on the gay paper’s website. He calls it the Megan Leslie outfit watch.