The found is lost

Ed Smith
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NDPJack addresses his newly elected troops on the morning after the night before …

Good morning everyone! For those of you who do not know who I am, and I’m guessing that’s most of you, my name is Jack and I’m leader of the NDP.

This will be a very informal meeting as we get to know each other better. You, in the second row in the green dress — I’m sorry, Elizabeth, but you seem to be in the wrong room. Yours is the room with hardly anybody in it. That’s OK. You’re sharing it with the Liberals.

I’ll be happy to answer that question, ma’am. First, what’s your name? … Olivia? Nice name. Olivia who? Chow? Why, that’s the same name as my … Olivia! I thought you looked familiar. I’m really glad you retained your seat, dear. I’ll see you tonight … No? Let’s discuss it later.

Now, let’s get down to business. Does anyone here have a sweet clue about what we do next? Yes, sir, you in the back row wearing the Harvard colours and waving the American flag — you have an idea?

You would like to run for the leadership of the NDP? But I am leader of the NDP. In that case, I should resign? Why is that? Because all the other leaders are doing it? You have anything else you want to say? You’d like to join the NDP? What is your name? Michael … Michael … Sorry, can’t quite get your last name. Sounds foreign to me. Do you have a birth certificate proving you are a Canadian citizen?

Next comment — you, sir, with the grey hair and the funny French accent … And your name is? Sounds to me like Gillette. That would make you a pretty sharp individual … Ha ha ha. Just a little NDP humour there.

What’s that? You don’t think I’m funny? The Bloc thinks you’re hilarious.

OK, let’s get down to business. Ladies and gentlemen of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition — I get shivers up my spine whenever I hear that! If only I knew what we’re supposed to be doing now! I need to talk to Gilles Douceppe. No one knows more about Canada’s loyal opposition than him.

Whatever. I am determined that by Christmas of this year, I will be able to recognize you as fellow NDPers when we meet in the halls of Parliament, and by the next federal election, I should be able to call you by name — hopefully the right one.

Let’s check on a few of our people.  …

Jack Harris, are you here? Yes, of course you are. You were the first one in the hall this morning, right? Right. Do you, by any chance, know what happened to Peter Fenwick? … Really … You don’t say … I have to say I’m surprised. You’re sure about this? … OK, thank you.

And Mr. Cleary. Congratulations and welcome! The Conservatives were spreading a rumour that you were getting votes by handing out seal flippers door-to-door. Is it true, Mr. Cleary? No? That was a Green Party candidate? … Good.

By the way, Mr. Cleary, are you related to the Detroit hockey star, Daniel Cleary? No? I thought perhaps that’s how you got elected. Too bad he isn’t a Leaf, right? … A Toronto Maple Leaf, Mr. Cleary. You know of them? … You haven’t heard of them in a long time? Neither has anyone else, Mr. Cleary.

Who were some of the other NDP candidates in the great province of Newfoundland and … and … What was that, Mr. Harris? Oh yes, Labrador. That’s it, Newfoundland and Labrador. So, who were they?

Matthew who? Could you perhaps pronounce that name for, Mr. Harris? Are you sure? Perhaps, Mr. Cleary, you could spell it … F-u-c-h-s. I see … You say the Conservative Party people insisted on pronouncing it incorrectly and that may have been a factor in the election? Yes, I can see how that might be.

We had a candidate in Alberta at one time named Mr. Shiite, a Muslim gentleman. The Liberals did the same thing to him — mispronounced his name for the whole campaign. But he won anyway because Albertans thought his name was simply a description of him. They thought he was Conservative and they’ll vote for anything Conservative.

Perhaps we should have changed Matthew’s name to Eddie F-u-c-h-s. Something to remember for next time, people. Ruth Ellen, could you make a note of that, please? … Ruth Ellen? … Anyone know where Ruth Ellen is? … Ruth Ellen Brossard, that’s who. Anyone know her?

You do, sir? Good. So do you know where she is?. … Las Vegas? Las Vegas?! … What the hell is she doing in Las Vegas? Did she go there to celebrate her election victory? … No? … She was there for the whole campaign? … She went down hoping to win something?

My God! She went to Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the world, and won a Québec jackpot — $157,000 a year for the next four years! How popular am I, at all?!

Does anyone have a picture of her? … Pass it to me, please. Hmm … quite nice. Someone tell her to come see me immediately on her return. It’s great to be king!

OK, I think I know what we do first. I should appoint a shadow cabinet. These people will no doubt have the inside track on that portfolio when we form the federal government after the election. Yes, Mr. Cleary … You’d like to shadow the propaganda portfolio? I’m sorry, Mr. Cleary, but there is no propaganda portfolio. … The finance minister is the same thing? That just isn’t true. Anything else? … You’d like to be the opposition leader’s close, personal assistant?

‘I’m sorry, Mr. Cleary, but that job is gone, although I admire your ambition. I’m saving it for someone with the proper credentials … Mr. Harris? No. He’s a good man but not him, either … Who? Was there ever any doubt?

Ms. Brossard.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in

Springdale.  His email address is

Organizations: NDP, Harvard, Conservatives Green Party Conservative Party

Geographic location: Las Vegas, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Detroit Toronto Maple Leaf Alberta Springdale

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