Singing Politicians

December 10, 2010

Imagine a singing politician. One who sings old standards at a party. We really should be getting used to this kind of thing by now. And yet every time one of our political leaders gets up on a stage and belts out a song ... we seem to look at them a bit differently. It's a high risk move. One false note and you can go from charming to chump. But when it works ... It can work wonders.



Today's Friday host was Piya Chattopadhyay.

PART ONE

It's Friday, December 10th.

Tomorrow night, CBC is offering the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs game in 3D.

Currently, Leafs fans look forward to experiencing defeat like its happening right in their own living rooms.

This is The Current.

Singing Politicians - Panel

We started this segment with a clip from Prime Minister Stephen Harper singing at the Conservative Party's annual Christmas Party earlier this week. Prime Minister Harper surprised the party faithful by singing four songs, including Sweet Caroline, and Jumping Jack Flash. He also played a few bars of Imagine by John Lennon, but more on that in a moment. The event was a private party for Conservative Party staffers. But as you can hear, the footage has been made public.

And so, because nothing that happens in Ottawa happens by accident, we're taking stock of a high-risk political maneuver ... singing for your supporters. For their thoughts on the risks and rewards, we were joined by three guests.

Robin Elliott is professor and Chair of Canadian Music in the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. He was in Toronto.

Charlie Angus is an NDP MP from Timmins-James Bay. Before he entered politics he played in punk and folk bands. He was in our Ottawa studio.

And Barbara McDougall is a former Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister and is an adviser with the law firm Aird and Berlis. She was in Toronto.

And we let the leader of Canada's Green Party, Elizabeth May connect the dots. She's at the talks in Cancun. And she agreed to sing us to the end of this half hour.

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