Peter MacKay, last leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives, will long be remembered for his role in the party's merger with the Canadian Alliance — and the promises he broke to red Tories in order to "unite the Right."

Others will remember his colourful social life and a few standout moments, from the rumours of a dalliance with Condoleeza Rice (not true) to his soured relationship with Belinda Stronach and the dog that consoled him on the family farm (true).

Recently, his tenure as Minister of National Defence has been anything but smooth. The MP for Central Nova and those under his employ have been in hot water over bungled military procurement contracts and the controversial F-35 joint strike fighter.

His surprise wedding to Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a former Miss Canada and vocal human rights supporter, garnered more positive press. The couple is expecting their first child in the spring.

Formerly the most eligible bachelor on the Hill, MacKay is a likely leadership contender after Stephen Harper bids the leadership of the Conservative Party adieu. So what makes him tick?

11 questions

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I find happiness comes from numerous sources in my life. Most often, the happy moments I cherish most are quiet moments with my wife and family back home in Nova Scotia.

What is your greatest fear?

I'm expecting my first born in the new year and what I want most is a healthy baby who lives a good life.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I'm a workaholic. I feel guilty about spending so much time away from home and loved ones. I am working hard to get better balance in my life.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My love of sports. A group of my friends and I try to get together annually for the Grey Cup.

On what occasion do you lie?

I make it a habit not to. However, if a restaurant server gets my order wrong and delivers something instead of what I order, I always tell them it's fine when they ask me if I'm enjoying it.

What made you decide to run for elected office?

I was a crown attorney in my home town in Nova Scotia and I learned that victims of crime needed better laws to better protect them. I saw politics as a means to improve this protection for them. I am proud of what our government and my friend Rob Nicholson has achieved in this regard.

What is the one thing about politics you would change?

I would change more than one thing, but principally I think too much time is spent bickering with one another instead of fighting for the betterment of Canadians.

When and where were you happiest?

My wedding day.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Personally, I think I will experience that day in early spring with the birth of our child. Professionally, I recently sought out millions of dollars in the DND budget to reallocate support towards the care of ill and injured personnel. This is an issue I personally fought for and I am very happy that I was able to follow through on my commitment to those who need this care.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Aside from my parents and grandparents I've been fortunate to know a number of leaders who have qualities that I admire, most notably Peter Lougheed, Bill Davis and Colin Powell.

How would you like to die?

Surrounded by loved ones.

What other notable Canadians would you like to see answer these 11 questions? Are you interested in taking part? Contact us with your suggestions.

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  • BLACHFORD LAKE, NT - JULY 5: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge eat a lunch of Arctic Char with members of the Canadian Rangers (L) and Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay (C) and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq (R) on July 5, 2011 in Blachford Lake, Canada. The newly married Royal Couple are on the sixth day of their first joint overseas tour. The 12 day visit to North America is taking in some of the more remote areas of the country such as Prince Edward Island, Yellowknife and Calgary. The Royal couple started off their tour by joining millions of Canadians in taking part in Canada Day celebrations which mark Canada's 144th Birthday. (Photo by Andy Clark-Pool/Getty Images)

  • IVANO-FRANKIVSK, UKRAINE: Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay (2nd R) and Ukrain's First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko (C) hold hands with unidentified women during a concert at the children camp of Vorohta, near the western Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk, 17 July 2007. MacKay, on a three-day official visit to Ukraine, visited the camp for orphans which is sponsored by the Ukrainian diaspora of Canada with Canadian students working with the children for the summer. AFP PHOTO/ PRESIDENTIAL PRESS-SERVICE POOL / MYSHKO MARKIV (Photo credit should read MYSHKO MARKIV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, speaks with Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay during a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. NATO's foreign ministers, in a two-day meeting, will review progress in Afghanistan, plans for a missile defense system, and troubles in Kosovo. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

  • VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 11: A member of the British Battle Back athletes (R) looks on while scrimmaging against Peter Mackay, Canadian Minister for National Defence, and teammate on the military personnel from the Wounded Warrior and Soldier On programmes during a Sledge Ice Hockey scrimmage before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games at GM Place on March 11, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/British Paralympic Association via Getty Images)

  • VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 11: Canadian Minister for National Defence Peter Mackay is presented with a Canadian Paralympic Sledge Ice Hockey Jersey to participate in the scrimmage between the British Battle Back athletes and the military personnel from the Wounded Warrior and Soldier On programmes before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games at GM Place on March 11, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/British Paralympic Association via Getty Images)

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian Defence minister Peter Gordon MacKay arrive to attend the NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting on the last day of the NATO summit at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest on April 4, 2008. The decision of NATO leaders to refuse Georgia's and Ukraine's bid for membership shows that the military alliance listened to Moscow's views, Russia's ambassador to NATO said on April 4. AFP PHOTO ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

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    WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 21: Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shake hands at a news conference after a bilateral meeting and working lunch at the State Department December 21, 2006 in Washington, DC. Both officials said they discussed the case of Syrian-Canadian Maher Arar, who has been cleared by a Canadian judiciary inquiry of being a terrorist but continues to be on the American watch list. In 2002 the U.S. handed Arar over to Syria, where he was tortured repeatedly until he was released in 2003. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

  • Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) and Defence Minister Peter MacKay (L) arrive at the Parliament in Bucharest on April 3, 2008 to attend a formal working session on the second day of the Nato Summit. NATO leaders begin negotiations in earnest over Afghanistan on April 3, 2008 after the opening day of their summit in Bucharest saw a successful French offer of more troops, but a public disagreement over the alliance's enlargement. AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Washington, UNITED STATES: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (C), Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay (R) and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano (L) 06 July 2007 make their way to pose for a photo during meetings at the State Department in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, left, speaks with Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. NATO defense ministers will discuss possible changes to the alliance's strategy in Afghanistan after the U.S. and France called for speeding up the handover of combat roles to local forces. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

  • JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JANUARY 10: (ISRAEL OUT) In this handout image supplied by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Canadian Defence Minister Peter McKay during a meeting on January 10, 2011 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo by GPO via Getty Images)

  • RAMALLAH, WEST BANK - JANUARY 12: In this handout photo provided by the Palestinian Press Office (PPO), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greets Canadian Defence Minister Peter McKay, on January 12, 2010 in Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Thaer Ganaim/PPO via Getty Images)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attends a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council as European foreign ministers gather amid concerns that Russia plans countermeasures to NATO's own ballistic missile defense system, in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. From left are British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and Canada's Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened last month to deploy missiles to Kaliningrad and other areas of Russia to be aimed at U.S. and NATO missile defense sites in Europe, unless a deal is reached assuaging Russian concerns. Russia is not a member of NATO. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

  • ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 28: Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) and Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay (R) arrive at a joint news conference at the Pentagon September 28, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. MacKay is on a visit to Washington and had a meeting with Panetta earlier. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

  • ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 28: Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay speaks as he participates during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta at the Pentagon September 28, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia. MacKay is on a visit to Washington and had a meeting with Panetta earlier. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)


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  • Miss Canada, Nazanin Afshin-Jam walks in the Forbidden City on Nov. 20, 2003 in Beijing, China.

  • A toddler looks at Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a contestant in the Miss World beauty contest, as she walks in the Forbidden City on Nov. 20, 2003 in Beijing, China.

  • Miss World 2003 contestant Nazanin Afshin-Jam of Canada (L) answers questions as Valentina Patruno Macero of Venezuela (R) looks on during a press conference on Dec. 4, 2003.

  • Miss World 2003 contestant Nazanin Afshin-Jam of Canada walks on stage on Dec. 5 2003.

  • Miss Canada Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a finalist in this year's Miss World contest, on stage on Dec. 6 2003 in Hainan, China.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Founder of Stop Child Executions, human rights activist and former Miss World Canada, speaks at Cities for Life Against the Death Penalty, an evening of words and music sponsored by Amnesty International, at Toronto's St. James' Cathedral on Nov. 30, 2009.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Founder of Stop Child Executions, human rights activist and former Miss World Canada, holds a candle on the church steps at the end of Cities for Life Against the Death Penalty, an evening of words and music sponsored by Amnesty International, at Toronto's St. James' Cathedral on Nov. 30, 2009.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and Co-Founder of Stop Child Executions, takes part in a news conference in Ottawa on June 22, 2010.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Defence Minister Peter MacKay at Hope Live, held Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre.

  • Peter MacKay arrives with Nazanin Afshin-Jam for a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand).

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam with Defence Minister Peter MacKay at their wedding.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam with Defence Minister Peter MacKay at their wedding.

  • Defence Minister Peter MacKay, left, and his new bride, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, chat with ironworker Matthew Jardine at the Halifax Shipyard in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam displays her baby bump in December, 2012.

  • Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Nazanin Afshin-Jam welcome their first son Kian Alexander to the world.

  • @MinPeterMacKay: "Kian enjoyed meeting @pmharper today and was presented with his first membership card! Thanks PM!"

  • PM Stephen Harper: "Great to meet you, Kian."

  • @MinPeterMacKay: "Leaving the civic hospital. A huge thanks to all on 4A, including Dr Aubin and the birthing unit."

  • MORE NAZANIN AFSHIN-JAM PHOTOS

    Nazanin Afshin-Jam with Prince Charles.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam with the Dalai Lama.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at an Amnesty International rally in Berlin.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest she organized outside the UN in New York called "Ahmadinejad's Wall of Shame Rally."

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest outside Capitol Hill Washington DC on Iran's human rights abuses after 2009 presidential elections.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest on China's human rights abuses.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest on China's human rights abuses.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest outside Capitol Hill Washington DC on Iran's human rights abuses after 2009 presidential elections.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a press conference on the Beijing Olympics and China's human rights abuses.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a cities for life event and speech with Amnesty International in Toronto.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a cities for life event and speech with Amnesty International in Toronto.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a protest against organ harvesting and other human rights abuses in China.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at the Global Youth Assembly in Edmonton.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at MIT rally for Neda and Iran.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at MIT rally for Neda and Iran.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam receives UNWatch Hero for Human Rights award.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam speaks at a rally protesting the Iranian regime with 50,000 people outside the UN in New York.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam speaks at a rally protesting the Iranian regime with 50,000 people outside the UN in New York.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam gives UNWatch human rights speech in Geneva.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam receives UBC Alumni achievement award for global citizenship.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam receives UBC Alumni achievement award for global citizenship.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a Parliamentary talk on Neda's one year anniversary and human rights in Iran.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a Parliamentary talk on Neda's one year anniversary and human rights in Iran.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at roundtable on Iran with Stephen Harper and Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam performs.

  • The album cover for Nazanin Afshin-Jam's "Someday."

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a talk in Taiwan on human rights in China.

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam at a talk in Taiwan on human rights in China.