Conservative candidate Monte Solberg recently blogged about life with his Ottawa roommate, fellow Conservative Chuck Strahl. Which got us thinking� if you had to pick a politician as a roommate, who would it be and why?
The question brought some thoughtful replies in the first round, and now more Canadians have weighed in. Here are some of the responses:
I would pick Jim Harris. We could order pizza and watch the leadership debates on CBC. (Ouch.)
– Mike Bradford, Ottawa
If I were to pick one of the leaders as my roommate, it would have to be Jim Harris. You'd get all the fun and excitement of having a quasi-famous roommate, but you wouldn't have to go through the hassle of finding another roommate after your old one moved into 24 Sussex Drive! The Greens are also fairly moderate, and are fairly closely aligned with my own liberal values.
With Jack comes Olivia. Duceppe would threaten to leave every time you asked him to do something that promoted house solidarity, like helping with dinner. Harper's hair (a la John Kerry) looks like he would want to take a lot of time in the bathroom in the morning; this is a misallocation of resources and that simply can't be tolerated.
I would love to live with Mr. Martin -- he has great taste in Christmas wreaths and he has a festive spirit. But since he will be returning as PM this January, my ultimate choice would be Harris.
– Brittany Traynor, Scots Bay, N.S.
It would be a tough call. It certainly wouldn't be Paul Martin. I am really not up to having to hide the beer and popcorn whenever his friends come over to watch the hockey game.
– Andrew, Ottawa
Stephen Harper (CP Photo/Jonathan Hayward)
I would certainly not live with Stephen Harper. His "Lego hair" and the vast number of hair products he needs to maintain it would be just too much. And besides, if he were to get the master bedroom, he would try and build a firewall around to keep me and my other roommates away. I can't imagine he'd be willing to pay more of the rent based on his possession of the master bedroom and bathroom, either.
Jack Layton is out, too. He would have far too many portraits of himself in the house and would be constantly practising his poses, as he seems convinced of his destiny to put that mug 'n' mustache on currency, even if it means a three-dollar bill has to be invented. Furthermore, he would always try to pit the more popular roommates against each other in an attempt to make others hate them and love him -- all the while not realizing his game simply causes others to pick sides between the two popular roommates and forget all about him.
Paul Martin is a tough call. Although the promise of getting rich from hanging out with his crowd is tempting, I still have to say no. I could see him wanting to ban all kitchen knife sets from the house in an attempt to curb the gang violence happening within a totally different social, economic and illegal kitchen. He wouldn't understand my argument: "Paul, don't you think that if we take away their knife sets, they will still be left with a need and desire to prepare their meals, and will find a way to do so, even if it means breaking out the safety scissors?"
This leaves me with Gilles Duceppe. He would agree to move in with me and then seek more privileged terms. Upon my refusal he would threaten to move out, even though both he and I know that he cannot afford to. If he stays, great, the roommates can walk from the front yard to the back without having to carry a passport. If he leaves, just as good. The roommates could now wear T-shirts anywhere in the house without hearing complaints that "Fruit of the Loom" is not twice as large in French as it is in English.
– Marc Matras, Edmonton
Anyone but Harper. With Harper as a roommate, I would have Dubya sneaking around the apartment conspiring to make non-Christians and their beliefs unconstitutional.
– Jay Healey, a misplaced Canadian living in Fresno, Calif.
I would invite Georgie-boy Bush to crash on my couch for a while. It would be grand. He could pretend to hold an indepth opinion on the greatness of Canada, and I would attempt to be as honest as hell in my rebuttals, because everyone else seems to suck up to him. Then he'd get a little sour with my non-flattering attitude, give me that golden Dubya facial squint, and then we would drink a Bud and he could at least show me how to hunt. After a day or so, I think that I would sell my couch.
– Mike Bryant, Newmarket, Ont.
I think that Duceppe would make for the most interesting late-night conversationalist. I've met him before and he can convince even the most die-hard federalist that maybe Quebec has good reason to separate. Stephen Harper is just plain creepy.
– Rob Smith, Fort Erie, Ont.
All I know is I wouldn't want Paul Martin because he would probably frame me for one of his crimes. Maybe Gilles Duceppe, only because he seems like the only one with a real sense of humour. And then I could learn enough French to pass it this year!
– Lisa McLennan, Ottawa
Rona Ambrose. Need I say more?
Well, if I had to live with one I'd probably choose Paul Martin. If for no other reason than the easy availability of envelopes of cash left scattered all over the place. – Richard Davis
Duceppe would always complain about wanting to move out, Harris would be neat-obsessed, Layton would want me to share all my stuff, and Martin might steal rent money. I guess it would be Harper; he would do anything to get on your good side, and probably wouldn't have many friends calling for him. – Stephen Marlin, Ottawa
Living with a politician sounds like a dream come true. So many advantages immediately flash before my eyes. Having access to the tour bus to take you and a group of lackeys up to Whistler for weekend excursions. Access to jets to fly you off to exotic places, interns, expense accounts and crazy political parties. Politicians are hilarious, too, their ability to deliver blatant lies to the public while holding a straight face is astonishing. Even better is a politician's ability to lie his way out of his original lie later. Living with a politician would be like living in a frat house, with the advantage of unlimited access to taxpayer dollars. Where do I sign up? Politicalroommates.com? – Colin Ryan, Vancouver
I would like Jack Layton as my roommate. Being a closet communist, he can hardly refuse letting a good comrade like myself from using his toothbrush. – Dave Rickson, Dunsmore, Alta.
In answer to your question "which roommate" – None. I'd rather live in a tent. – Lincoln, Ont.
Ed Broadbent. I remember watching an interview Rick Mercer did with Ed before the last election. The guy is so cool. I can't see heading out for a pint with any other politician. – Chris Porter, Winnipeg
Oh easy question. It would be Belinda Stonach. I mean, she is rich, and a hottie. – Neil Williams, Surrey, B.C.
If I had to choose a political roommate, it would not be Layton because he would give my shirt and his shirt off his back to anyone in need, without checking out if the guy honestly required a shirt!
It would not be Duceppe because the room would have to be painted blue, blue, blue with the Quebec provincial flag. If I did not co-operate the room would be split down the centre.
It would not be Harper because one minute he is a Liberal, NDP and a Tory. Anything to cherry pick his way to the top. My biggest fear is his slanderous tongue which could call me a Mafia hitman or a pedophile.
Lastly, it would have to be Martin! This country has attained goals never thought possible! Our economy is surpassing the Americans. Interest, mortgage, unemployment and inflation rates are the lowest in a quarter of a century. Like the Britons, unhappy with Tony Blair but they re-elected him because of wisdom and common sense. Why change the Captain and risk in competency and flashbacks of the early '90s? – Gerry Barber, Kingston, Ont.
I would pick Ken Dryden, because I could handle listening to all of his stories of his years in professional hockey. All others need not apply, I could not stomach the baloney coming out of their mouths. – Jay Roth, Winnipeg
Okay, I'd pick Peter MacKay. He doesn't seem too stuffy (hard to call a politician "cool"), and he's up near the top so I'd be in the know of all the latest happenings. As long as he's not into late night horror movies or I'm outta there. They give me nightmares! – Gordon Robideau, Sherwood Park, Alta.
Who in their right mind would want a politician as a roommate anyway!! (except another politician, maybe.) You would never hear the end of their views!! Thus, leaving you exhausted as you face yet another day of politics!!! – Rose Anna Campbell, Timmins, Ont.
I might not choose any current politician. However, given the run of Canada's leaders from past and present, I would have to choose Pierre Trudeau. By far the most interesting of Canada's politicians, Mr. Trudeau would expand my social circle to include the who's who of the late 20th century social and political elite. Furthermore, unlike the socially stunted and awkward politicians of today, Trudeau would be happy to kick back and and engage in an evening of drinking and debauchery without concern for the next day's poll numbers. Me: "Pierre, I dare you to polish off a sixpack, and moon Martin and Harper over in the corner." Mr. Trudeau: "Just watch me." – Jason Hildebrandt, Winnipeg
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