'Twas the night before Christmas on Parliament Hill

And the House and the Senate were dormant and still .... CBC poll analyst Eric Grenier offers his political take on a Christmas classic.

A Canadian politics re-imagining of Clement C. Moore's 'A Visit from St. Nicholas'

Twas the Night Before Christmas on Parliament Hill


5 years ago
CBC poll analyst Eric Grenier with something completely different: his political take on Clement C. Moore's beloved Christmas classic. 2:56

And now for something completely different...

Polls are few and far between around the holidays, particularly on the heels of an election campaign.

So what else is a poll analyst to do on Christmas Eve in Canada's lonely national capital, abandoned by its parliamentarians, other than re-write a 192-year-old Christmas poem?

The Night Before Christmas on Parliament Hill

(An adaptation of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore.)

'Twas the night before Christmas on Parliament Hill,
And the House and the Senate were dormant and still;
The Mace had been placed by the Sergeant with care,
In hopes that the MPs soon would be there;

The pages were nestled all snug in their beds,
While echoes of Hansards rang in their heads;
And Press Gallery members, inquiring and firm,
Had just settled their brains for a long four-year term.

When now on Twitter there arose such a clatter,
I rushed to the Hill to see what was the matter.
Away to the Precinct I flew like a bolt;
Prorogation? A coup? A People's Revolt?

The light in the Commons was muted and dim,
Obscuring the seats and the Clerk's Table within;
When sitting there — quite a surprise I admit —
Was Justin Trudeau, and his entire cabinet!

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples: how merry,
His cheek bones quite sculpted; attractive? yes, very;
But critics how often did they like to crow:
He lacked the talented mind of elder Trudeau.

Wearing shirt, tie and suit, his hair a jet black,
He stood at his seat, and said: "Canada's back!"
Then turn'd to the government benches, reclaimed,
Beseeching his ministers, he call'd them by name:

"Now! Goodale, now! Dion, now! Brison and Garneau,
"On! Freeland, on! Joly, on! Bennett and Morneau;
"Elected on change, let's respond to the call!
"With sunny ways! Sunny ways! Sunny ways all!"

"The census, assessment, the TFSA,
"Procurement, tax brackets, a new tone to convey,
"Renewed faith in science, more growth to pursue;
"After ten years of Tories — there is much to undo."

The Lib'rals, excited, to write brand new laws,
Erupted — with feeling — in a round of applause.
Then the doors were flung open, and all turn'd around,
To glimpse the Conservatives come in with a bound.

They took up their seats on the opposite benches,
Prepared for a fight, a real war in the trenches;
"Oh, it won't be that easy," said Rona Ambrose;
"And in us you will find your most obstinate foes."

Then in his new role (he now felt with regret),
The NDP leader reminded, "Don't forget,
"All those in most need," said Thomas Mulcair,
"Please keep all your ideas progressive and fair."

"I think the environment will carry the day,"
Cried out Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
And from the far corner: "N'oubliez pas moi!"
Said Rhéal Fortin of the Bloc Québécois.

Then Trudeau, now nodding, he said "My dear friends,
"Our methods may differ, but we want the same ends.
"So why not, consid'ring goodwill of the season,
"Together we govern with wisdom and reason."

In peace MPs work'd through the holiday break,
Then away they all went and I, in bed, was awake.
For to think our MPs could all work as one team —
'Twas a naive Christmas wish, and all but a dream!


Éric Grenier

Politics and polls

Éric Grenier is a senior writer and the CBC's polls analyst. He was the founder of ThreeHundredEight.com and has written for The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post Canada, The Hill Times, Le Devoir, and L’actualité.