Mitchel Raphael on three very important political wives

Harper draws the line, The Conservatives’ secret weapon, She’s pregnant! Is an election due?

Mitchel Raphael on three very important political wivesHarper draws the line
As the press gathered at 24 Sussex for Stephen Harper’s media Christmas party, there was buzz about whether the PM would perform as he did at the recent Conservative Christmas party (where he sang the Rolling StonesJumpin’ Jack Flash and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline). In one of the living rooms was a piano and a set of drums that had a red and white plastic popcorn box (available at Dollarama) attached to the side. When Capital Diary suggested Paparazzi by Lady Gaga might be an appropriate song, one bright PMO staffer jumped in with, “Yeah, in the meat dress,” referring to Lady Gaga’s infamous outfit at the MTV Video Music Awards. In the end, the PM just mingled. Laureen Harper noted there’s been pressure put on the PM to do more modern songs, but he’s resisted, preferring to keep it old school.

Mitchel Raphael on three very important political wivesThe Conservatives’ secret weapon
One of the Conservatives’ top cabinet ministers has called Laureen Harper “the secret weapon.” In the past Mrs. Harper has done photo ops and attended events but resisted formal media interviews and speeches. That changed in 2010: the Prime Minister’s wife spoke at a variety of events, including a reception held by the Historica-Dominion Institute, which brought together Second World War veterans and high school students as part of the institute’s Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War. She also spoke at the What a Girl Wants charity dinner for the Canadian Liver Foundation, an event at which male firefighters took their shirts off to help raise money. And late last month she joined her husband for a rare TV interview, on CTV with Lloyd Robertson and Bob Fife. Asked if she would ever consider pulling a Hillary Rodham Clinton by going into politics, she noted that even though, when it comes to politics, one should never say never, she was saying, “never.”

She’s pregnant! Is an election due?
Some Conservatives are looking at “the pregnancy test” and forecasting an early 2011 election. They point to Conservative MP and deputy speaker Andrew Scheer, whose children have all been conceived or born around elections. Jill Scheer gave birth to their first child nine months after the Saskatchewan MP won his first election in 2004. She got pregnant just after the 2006 election and was pregnant during the 2008 election. The Scheers are expecting their fourth child in February. The couple is hoping for a majority government.

But what about redheads?
Gay men and lesbians are about to be able to serve openly in the U.S. military after the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy introduced by president Bill Clinton was repealed. Canada lifted its ban on gays in the military in 1992 under then-PM Brian Mulroney. One soldier who recently served in Afghanistan said Canada’s gay soldiers are treated just like everyone else. There is one group of soldiers who do get teased though: redheads.

Mitchel Raphael on three very important political wivesThank goodness his wife arrived
As the House was winding down for 2010, NDP MP Malcolm Allen was having a tough time keeping his clothes coordinated. The MP for Welland, Ont., is colour-blind. His wife, Peggy Allen, organized his wardrobe in September but the effects seemed to have worn off. Fortunately, Peggy was back on the Hill for the NDP Christmas party and once again colour-matched her husband’s outfits. Other colour-blind MPs include former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.

Yes, you can say NDP party now
Their Christmas holiday gathering is the “one time of the year we are allowed to say NDP party,” noted Halifax NDP MP Megan Leslie. The NDP always hate it when people use the word “party” after their acronym, which already includes the word.