2012 Parliamentarians of the Year - Macleans.ca

2012 Parliamentarians of the Year

Elizabeth May named Maclean’s Parliamentarian of the Year.


And the POTY goes to …

Related photo galleries:
The 2012 Parliamentarian of the Year Awards
Spotted at the POTYs
Parliamentarians in conversation with Paul Wells: A video series.

And … even more coverage here.

Members of Parliament voted. Ipsos Reid tallied the numbers. And 2012s’s best of the best emerged. Just like that, Maclean’s and L’actualité named seven parliamentarians who accomplished an outstanding feat—they got colleagues from across party lines to, yes, vote for them. Indeed, they couldn’t win without impressing some of their fiercest opponents in the House of Commons. Here are the winners.

Parliamentarian of the Year

Elizabeth May, Saanich-Gulf Islands

First Runner-up: Hon. Bob Rae, Toronto Centre
Second Runner-up: Rodger Cuzner, Cape Breton—Canso

Hardest working

Kirsty Duncan, Etobicoke North

First Runner-up: Olivia Chow, Trinity-Spadina
Second Runner-up: Jason Kenney, Calgary Southeast

Best Orator

Hon. Bob Rae, Toronto Centre

First Runner-up: Charlie Angus, Timmins-James Bay
Second Runner-up: John Baird, Ottawa-West Nepean

Most Collegial

Peter Stoffer, Sackville—Eastern Shore

First Runner-up: Rodger Cuzner, Cape Breton—Canso
Second Runner-up: Kirsty Duncan, Etobicoke North

Most Knowledgeable

Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Calgary Southwest

First Runner-up: Peter Julian, Burnaby-New Westminister
Second Runner-up: Joe Comartin, Windsor-Tecumseh

Rising Star

Michelle Rempel, Calgary Centre-North

First Runner-up: Ted Hsu, Kingston and the Islands
Second Runner-up: Alexandre Boulerice, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie

Best Represents Constituents

Niki Ashton, Churchill

First Runner-up: Cheryl Gallant, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Second Runner-up: Bruce Hyer, Thunder Bay-Superior North

How did voting work? Ipsos Reid asked all members of Parliament to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. MPs cast votes for members both in and outside their parties. The votes were converted to a point system to ensure that larger parties did not have an advantage. The MP who received the most points in each category won. The MP who earned the highest number of total points was named Parliamentarian of the Year.

Maclean’s and L’actualité also recognized an eighth (former) parliamentarian this year.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Preston Manning, former MP for Calgary Southwest

By the way, here’s our formerly live blog of the proceedings:


2012 Parliamentarians of the Year

  1. Most Knowledgeable – Right Hon. Stephen Harper, Calgary Southwest – congrats!

    (MPs cast votes for members both in and outside their parties. The votes
    were converted to a point system to ensure that larger parties did not
    have an advantage. The MP who received the most points in each category

    No wonder EmilyOne isn’t the first to comment…….here… :)

    • I happen to think Harper is the smartest politician in Canada, but his political style is not one I admire – or even condone.

      • You have every right to think that Harper is the smartest politician in Canada.

        And there was no award for style.

        I happen to think he is most knowledgeable, and apparently the majority of his colleagues agree.

        • My understanding of the vote is that it has nothing to do with a majority. If you get two or three who have split the vote, then all the Conservatives voting en-mass could probably swing it. So let me put my objection as a question: If he is so knowledgeable, why is he always wrong on the economy?

          • So, if we question the result which lead to Harper being the most knowledgeable, then all other results are in question too. What then would be the purpose of the contest?

            In any case, your objection is not really relevant. You can think of Harper whatever you want. No one is stopping you. We are all entitled to our own opinions.

            Same with opinions on the economy. You may not agree with his dealings on the economy; you may even think that he is always wrong on the economy. But there are many opinions out there.

            Btw: Harper wasn’t crowned on being the most knowledgeable on the economy; just that he was voted on to be the most knowledgeable.

          • “So, if we question the result which lead to Harper being the most knowledgeable, then all other results are in question too.”

            Puts every election since the beginning of time as questionable.

            It’s a lousy argument, Francine.

          • looove your cat site. I will go read there for a while. :)

          • Thanks.

            samu press store _ cartoon life blog _ samu press blog

          • Maybe people were thinking hockey trivia. Or Tim Horton locations.

          • Dude you are so excited, as though this all means anything. You ask about the purpose of the contest: well, just what do you think it was? I think it was so they had a fun reason to hold a big all-party party. You seem to think winners are automatically granted entrance into heaven or something.

            It’s a fun thing, not a serious one. Calm the fuck down.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Don’t let me stop your fun, Francien. Your giddiness is ridiculous, but have at it. Usually, you seem much angrier, so the over the top giddy Francien is preferable.

          • Thank you, patchouli, for now not wanting to stop me while having fun! Much appreciated.

            Parties can vary so much, don’t you think?. Just was at this party http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/21/andrew-coyne-when-it-comes-to-trade-with-china-we-are-all-hypocrites-now/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter and I thought it would turn out to be or become a most serious one.

            But upon visiting the comment room there shortly after, it was obvious that Coyne’s party theme had been completely lost. And so there too they’re having a good old time by celebrating the lower intellect.

            Harper – most knowledgable!


          • And if he is so knowledgeable why is he always lying.

          • He’s knowledgeable about how Parliament works. It’s like being the smartest politician. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a decent person or fair minded – it can mean you’re the best at gaming the system, and gts is something I think SH is the very best at.

    • How did I get dragged into your media nonsense??

      Macleans is now into the ‘best’ universities and the ‘best’ restaurants and the ‘best’ MPs etc…..does this strike you as serious?

      Which is why I ignored the item.

      • But the most knowledgeable! Emily, I’m sure you have spoken about the importance of being knowledgeable on posts here on Macleans. Now you are saying that being most knowledgeable is not serious enough? I like you EmilyOne. Not because you are so inconsistent ,but because you are, well, you are so indescribable. When I’m bored I turn to you (quick now, get your buddies to come out of the woodworks!)

        • Wooden shoes, wooden head.

  2. No way Harper is more knowledgeable than Cotler or Garneau.

    • Harper’s colleagues say he is the most knowledgeable. What, you don’t trust any of them? That says more about you than it does about them.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • la vie est un combat. For all of us, I would say.

          De massa mens vind je overal. Ook daar!

          • P.S.

            I like Harper…

      • Oh, I trust them. And I think what’s most interesting to note is among the 21 spots (7 awards, 1st 2nd and 3rd place), my tally is as follows:
        NDP – 8 placed
        Liberal – 7 placed
        CPC – 5 placed
        So CPC MPs, with a majority of the votes, don’t appear to think highly enough of their fellow party MPs to capture their share of the awards (less than a quarter!), including, as you note, only able to catch 1 of 7 first place votes, which went to Harper.

        • Oh, you forgot to include the Green Party. LAST place, according to your tally! Ignoring the Green Party and Lizzy. And no one here on site objects? That’s a first.

          • My omission of the Greens was not purposeful – I identified where 20 of the 21 spots went, it’s quite obvious where #21 was allocated (hint: she won the top award and there’s a big long article published about her posted the exact same day).
            My personal congratulations to Ms. May, who I think is more than deserving of the award.
            I also note you ducked my point entirely.

          • Of course, your omission of the Greens wasn’t purposeful; it’s just a fact that you made the omission.

            Thank you for stating the obvious though: must be a serious event – I mean, if there’s a big long article published……..

            As to ducking your point? Your point being that you can come up with an other tally all together? What’s the point in that? When the contest is about which party won the most awards, well then we will discuss such a contest.

            But in the meantime – Harper: most knowledgeable! :)

          • My point is CPC MPs can’t be bothered to vote for their own party members. I think that implies what they think of each other.
            Other than that, let’s just leave it at:
            Elizabeth May – Parliamentarian of the Year! :)
            Kirsty Duncan – Hardest Working! :)
            Best Orator – Bob Rae! :)
            Most Collegial – Peter Stoffer! :)
            Rising Star – Michelle Rempel! :)
            Best Represents Constituents – Niki Ashton! :)

          • did you bother reading the article to the end Math-lock…”how did the voting work” It was non-partisan voting which without such a stipulation would make this article totally useless. Your misguided point AND what you misguidedly think that implies has NO basis or relevance in this article.

    • Harper is easily the most knowledgeable – he keeps so much information under wraps, even from his own caucas, that he’s a shoo-in for that award

    • I don’t believe when they say “knowlegeable’ they are talking about intellect. They are saying that Harper has the ability to keep on top of alot of information in many different areas so that he always is able to respond to questions from the oppostion himself. He rarely is forced by a lack of knowledge on an issue to differ to someone else is his cabinet. I think he has a really good memory and ability to organize his talking points.

      • defer

      • That’s an incredibly kind interpretation but there is a remote possibility it was the prevailing one. Each of 308 MPs may have interpreted the question in 208 ways, but if they were closer than yours than each one distorted the most common meaning of knowledgeable.

        • Is the most common meaning of knowledgeable “intellectual”, however? Maybe it’s just me, but the word to me strikes more of “encyclopedic”, and on those grounds, I’d be willing to wager Harper certainly qualifies. He strikes me as the type who knows a fair bit about a lot of things, and is comfortable enough with BS that people are generally unable to tell when he doesn’t know about something.

          • But Thwiim what brings Harper down to a he’s full of it level is his lack of conviction and horrid orator skills.

          • This is an easy one: the vote was by MPs. Harper has told his gov MPs that “he knows” what they are up because of his army of twenty-something partisan spies hired throughout the caucus. He just fixes them with that pale, fishy stare and says, “I know all about you.”

            Thus in their eyes, he is the most knowledgeable. Bet he won that by a slim majority of his own MPs, quaking in their brogues.

    • I think Bob Rae, a Rhodes Scholar, would give Harper (or anyone) a significant challenge on being “knowledgeable.”

  3. A little bit for every one…. I imagine some readers had heads that were about to explode upon seeing Liz get the top prize, and then you gave them SH.

    ps Don’t strongly disagree with any of the picks.

    • I wonder if Ms. May was helped by MPs thinking “I can be non-partisan and still not support any enemy parties with this one”, but on the other hand she put together a big chunk of amendments to the omnibus bill without a party research budget and stayed in the house as long as anyone for the voting.

  4. No way Harper is more knowledgeable than anyone with the exception of his own backbenchers, who are out to lunch. The guy has never made a correct economic prediction in living memory, and that is supposed to be his speciality. However, I have always been impressed by Bob Rae’s speaking abilities.

    • I think perhaps the members of parliament are talking about a different kind of “knowledgeable” than you are. What I believe they are saying is that SH can respond to pretty much any question on any subject put to him by members of the opposition. He is well versed in many areas. Perhaps he has a photographic memory and it is easy for him to hold onto alot of facts.

      • “let me be clear…”

      • I’ll rephrase that for you Healthcare Insider. “Perhaps he has a photographic memory and it is easy for him to hold onto a lot of lies.

    • Richard I agree and the reason Bob Rae can speak off the cuff the way he does is because he’s not a liar. He’s not trying to sift through his lies to make sure he doesn’t uncover deceit with his next statement.

      • You’ve got to be joking. Bob Rae doesn’t lie? Let me preface this by saying I think they ALL lie but Bob Rae is one of a few that’s known best for lying. Also, I typically find the best orators make the best liars.

  5. Just a tad biased there with the Conservative majority… the only one I can take seriously is Liz May.

    • To be fair though, both the Liberals and the NDP had more top three finishers (7 each) than the Conservatives did(5), and all major parties had the same number of first place finishers. Not a single Conservative member placed in the top 3 for the Parliamentarian of the Year or Most Collegial MP categories, though you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone outside the CPC that is opposed to this.

      On a side note, it speaks volumes about our current parliament when the top 3 overall MPs are the first-term leader of the fifth party, the interim leader of the third party, and a mid-level critic from the third party.

    • She hates being called LIZ.

    • “Ipsos Reid asked all members of Parliament to nominate the best MPs in each of seven categories. MPs cast votes for members both in and outside their parties. The votes were converted to a point system to ensure that larger parties did not have an advantage. The MP who received the most points in each category won. The MP who earned the highest number of total points was named Parliamentarian of the Year.”
      Try reading the article next time.

  6. How is it possible to be the least trusted PM in the western world and the most knowledgeable. He doesnt know what he is doing is more the truth of it.

    • Gladys, where did you get this vitriol? And what’s the truth of it? People are clamouring to garner entry to this last bastion of civility and security. Your comment shows your (lack of) knowledge and the dozen sheeple that voted up here..

  7. I’ll give Harper the ‘knowledge award’ albeit begrudgingly. The reason being, that he has a lot of knowledge on how to allow the rape and pillage of our environment, the best knowledge on how to ‘muzzle’ federal scientists, and how to win elections by the use of voter suppression tactics (ie: RoboCalls).

    However the REAL Kudos go to Elizabeth May, the lone Green Party Member from Victoria Saanich-Gulf Islands. Ms. May is able to cross all party lines to get her point across in a very respectable way. The last politician like her, was the late great Stanley Knowles. She is in good company.

  8. Nice looking cabinet, there.

    If only there was a way…..

  9. Stephen Harper: so much knowledge and so little understanding of the importance of fact-based decision making. How sad!

    But they did get it right for the best parliamentarian: Elizabeth May is my MP and she is fabulous, on national and on local issues.

    • oceanspray and I think Elizabeth is one of the most knowledgeable. She could never have pulled off the Omnibus shakedown she did last budget were she not well informed and on top of her job. I wish there was some way to put her in the top job.

    • I wish I had a fabulous MP. Mine holds the distinction of being the OLDEST. He’s a decrepid old white dude, was a Liberal out here forever until he mysteriously replaced poor Dave Batters, and now collects three pensions, waiting on his MP one; he will die or step down before the next election. I think he’s 74 or something.

  10. There is no way Harper is most knowledgeable! Elizabeth May should have won that hands down.

  11. Hooray for Elizabeth May! Much deserved!

  12. Most missing in action…..

    ……Justin Trudeau, who’s still on summer vacation, while waiting for Christmas holidays.

    • Good one. Not accustomed to such trenchant humour here.

      KIDDING, Lame-O.

  13. Who cares! So much self congratualtions while the public has no use for politicians in general. I guess if they don’t care for themselves nobody else will. Just an excuse to waste more money. Am I cynical? You bet. Until they tell me they paid for this shindig out of their own pockets.

  14. Well done Lizzie May. And well done MPs. As for PM harper being the ‘most knowledgeable’, I guess that depends upon what kind of knowledge one has in mind.

  15. Article in a nut shell: “Yay. Politicians!”

  16. This comment thread is actually the most encouraging for me. It is somewhat promising to see the clear recognition of Ms May’s outstanding abilities. Maybe we will be able to reject the farce they call politics these days such as a preoccupation with attack ads (already airing now). I guess they work, but it really hurts to see such behavior rewarded.

  17. We are very fortunate to have an intelligent statesman-gentleman as our PM – very respected by other world countries – unlike the loud-mouth screamer [Chretien] who
    embarrassed Canada on the international stage – and who lined his own and buddies pockets with his gov’ts many scandals.

    Congrats Mr Harper.

  18. Mr Harper well deserves the most knowledgable member.
    While the rest of the G7 and other groups are struggling with major ongoing economic issues, Mr Harper’s leadership and knowledge has been the envy of the world.
    It won’t be to many years before he will be voted as Canada’s greatest Prime Minister.

  19. Pretty awesome that my MP is parliamentarian of the year; been fairly impressed with her performance in the house so far.

  20. Perhaps God is the most knowledgeable and should get the POTTY award. :-)