If you come at Rodger Cuzner, you best not miss.
In what has become a holiday tradition richer than rum and egg nog, the veteran Liberal MP rose in question period Wednesday to deliver his annual political re-write of “Twas The Night Before Christmas.”
Rodger Cuzner brings the funny before question period on Dec. 14. (Photo: Screengrab)
This year’s version was something of a response to a Conservative MP who, days earlier, delivered his own poem poking fun at the Liberal government.
But Cuzner is the undisputed master of the form. So much so that he drew applause just by being called by House Speaker Geoff Regan.
“Manage your expectations, Mr. Speaker,” the Nova Scotia MP joshed.
Just as he did in 2015, Cuzner had plenty of jabs for Conservatives and New Democrats who are looking for new leaders next year.
“In their letter to Santa, they each had one ask,” he said. “To find a new leader who was up to the task.”
Rough joke at Mulcair's expense
Cuzner pulled no punches by saying NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair looked like a “force that was spent” because “all he could muster was 47 per cent.” The reference to the results of Mulcair’s leadership review last April drew some uncomfortable chuckles from Liberals. (Mulcair actually received the support of 48 per cent of NDP delegates).
Since nobody has formally applied to lead the orange team, Cuzner offered an idea.
“They may turn to the Internet to help fill their wish and place a Help Wanted ad on Plenty of Fish,” he said.
But Cuzner arguably saved his best stuff for the Tories, who boast 14 leadership candidates with “credentials to tout.”
Tory leadership race a 'game of out-Donalding Trump'
“Their values-based screening knocked none of them out,” he said. The jab, of course, was for controversial leadership contender Kellie Leitch.
“They’ve gone coast to coast, speaking right from the stump. It’s evolved to a game of out-Donalding Trump.”
After noting how popular former minister Peter MacKay took a pass on the race, Cuzner suggested the results of the United States election have given then “far-right” a theory.
“To heck with them all, let’s draft Kevin O’Leary!”
He ended with a call for holiday love, peace, and joy.
“But when it comes to the next election, I’d still be on our boy,” he said.
The kicker, predictably, sent Liberals to their feet.
Alberta Tory John Barlow also referenced the next election in his rendition. Barlow promised the 2019 election will be one for the books, as the “Liberals won’t win on their leader’s good looks.”
Cuzner told The Huffington Post Canada Monday that he was impressed by Barlow’s Conservative-themed version, adding that it isn’t easy to work in rhymes that make sense and score laughs.
"He's an excellent member of Parliament and we've got a bit of a friendship so he told me he was coming with something today," Cuzner said Monday. "We had a good giggle at it."
Cuzner’s full poem:
'Twas the week before Christmas and one thing’s for certain,
Both opposition parties are definitely hurtin’;
In their letter to Santa, they each had one ask,
To find a new leader who was up for the task;
The orange leader looked beaten, a force that was spent,
When all he could muster was 47 per cent;
The Dippers were nervous ‘cause they tried and they tried,
They posted the job and no one applied;
They may turn to the Internet to help fulfill their wish,
And place a Help Wanted ad on Plenty of Fish;
Now the Tories have 14, with credentials to tout,
And their value-based screenings knocked none of them out;
They’ve gone coast-to-coast, speaking right from the stump,
It’s evolved to a game of out- Donalding Trump;
Of course, word on the street without Peter MacKay,
They hope the interim leader chooses to stay;
But with the wind down south, the far right have a theory,
To heck with them all, let’s draft Kevin O’Leary;
To all candidates I offer Christmas love, peace and joy,
But when it comes to the next election, I’d still bet on our boy.
His 2015 version:
Also on HuffPost