Ms Soapbox was trolling through Hansard searching for signs of intelligent life under the Dome when she discovered (sandwiched between the Wildrose Opposition’s accusation that the Premier appointed a Soviet-era communist to serve as her deputy chief of staff and the NDP MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie admires “the worst leftist dictators”) a few glimmers of wit.
This led to the birth of the Soapy Awards.
The Soapys recognize politicians who come up with a clever response in the face of unrelenting tedium, commonly referred to as Question Period.
Here are the Soapy winners in the individual performer category:
The sex-lives-of-giant-mammals award goes to Progressive Conservative MLA Dr Starke who compared the NDP’s announcement of a $10 million grant for a new biofuel production facility to the mating behavior of elephants—“it was done at a high level, there was a lot of trumpeting and stamping of feet, and it will take two years to see if we get any results”. This preamble was in aid of his question, a concern about the availability of sufficient canola feedstock.
Dr Starke is a vet. No doubt he sees a lot of this sort of thing, presumably with cows not elephants.
The lucky leprechaun award goes to Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman who deflected Wildrose leader Brian Jean’s assertion that if the government didn’t denounce BC’s tanker ban it was against Alberta’s energy industry.
Ms Hoffman said the either/or dichotomy showed a lack of diplomacy and respect for other provinces and that Mr Jean’s “plan to address the difficulties that we’re facing is kind of like a four-leaf clover, shrouded in mythology and hard to find”.
Ms Hoffman got extra points for making the quip on St Patrick’s Day.
The Mesozoic-Era-put-down award also goes to Ms Hoffman for her response to Mr Jean who continued to insist she condemn the BC tanker ban or Alberta’s energy industry.
She said “instead of acting like dinosaurs from Drumheller” Albertans needed to develop a reputation for being environmentally responsible. The link to dinosaurs in a comment about fossil fuels was very clever.
An honourable mention goes to Wildrose MLA Mr Nixon who declared “orange is clearly the new blue” in a question concerning the NDP government’s new caucus office in Calgary. We all know “orange is the new black” but Mr Nixon can be forgiven for getting his colours mixed up given that in the last federal election it was unclear whether orange was the new red or red was the new orange and it’s equally confusing on the provincial level where blue will be the new blue/green (teal?) if the Progressive Conservatives and Wildrose merge.
The Soapy for Best Performance by a Political Party is jointly awarded to the NDP and the Liberals for press releases they issued on April Fools Day.
The NDP’s press release announced a plan to float bitumen, oil and natural gas to foreign markets by Zeppelin. The plan would sidestep the NEB and avoid objections from other provinces. The Local Dirigible Manufacturing requirement would kick start “a nascent aerospace industry” thereby furthering the government’s efforts to diversify the economy.
The Liberal’s press release announced the PC party had officially filed for divorce from the Wildrose party citing “irreconcilable differences”.
It included a quote from a Wildrose supporter who said “It’s not like we haven’t tried. When they stole our leadership, we turned the other cheek. When Albertans elected an NDP government we thought that horror would bring us together. We even stood up and voted unanimously for Bill 10.”
The press release said Premier Notley was unavailable for comment but the song “We are the Champions” was heard emanating from her office.
That concludes the Soapy Awards for this year. Ms Soapbox will be accepting nominations for the 2017 Soapy Awards on Jan 1, 2017.
On a more serious note, Ms Soapbox would like to take this opportunity to ask the Official Opposition to pull itself together (there really aren’t any “Soviet-era communists” lurking in the corridors of power) and work with the government and the other members of the Opposition (Sandra Jansen is right, we don’t need Yet Another Recall Act) to help bring Alberta through this difficult downturn.