After the vote on the National Council and on Stephen Harper’s leadership had concluded, a leader’s cocktail party reception was held on the 7th floor of the convention hall. Most of the 2,900 delegates must have been there as the hall was absolutely packed.
The food consisted of cold cut platters with bread, while the drinks were $5.75 per bottle of beer / glass of wine. I also met a couple more MPs including two members of the young caucus of tories. Helena Guergis is the MP from Simcoe Grey and is very nice to talk with in-person. I asked her if she had heard of Blogging Tories. She had. Helena told me somewhat wryly that “It had been brought to [her] attention”. Of course, I thought this was great until I later ran the incident over in my head and speculated that she might have been referring to Anthony’s posting on the Meatriarchy. Uh oh.
The other member of the young Tory caucus that I met at the leader’s reception was MP for Desnethé, Missinippi and Churchill River, Jeremy Harrison. Jeremy also blogs, however, he complained that he hasn’t updated in about a month. I’ve added him to the Blogging Tories blogroll and encouraged him to keep it up.
Since the party was winding down, since there wasn’t any free booze and since Mr. Harper was still absent from his own ‘reception’, we decided to go to the Western Standard party at the Intercontinental Hotel and tear it up with Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant. With drink names like “Harper Collins”, “Stronach and Tonic”, “Same Sex on the Beach” and “Rona, I wanna”, you knew it was going to be a good party. The festivities were held on an ‘indoor street’ where the alley between two buildings was completely closed off by a glass ceiling and walls at either end. I circled the party a couple of times and met Ezra. “Stephen! Love the blog so much that we linked you a couple of times from the Shotgun!”. Ezra was having a blast as he was working the room greeting everyone at his party. Word is Laureen Harper stopped by to tell Ezra how much she loves the magazine. Good job Ezra! I also met David Frum and MP from Essex Jeff Watson whose business card includes Braille impressions.
Stockwell Day (who I met at Thursdays CIJA hospitality suite), Monte Solberg and James Moore were also in attendence. I joked with James that had read once that he’s still trying to drop Simpsons references into House debate. He admitted he’s tried but that it’s difficult to do. (I can’t help but think of this Simpsons exchange)
The other fete that everyone was looking forward to was Belinda Stronach’s “Cool Blue” party. It was held a short cab-ride away at the Godin Hotel. The party was very much of what you might expect from Belinda. Very hip and trendy. A cool… um… blue light permeated the reception area where revelers feasted on mini-hamburgers, french fries and chicken wings served in single serving cartons. The drinks were citrus martinis served with flashy blue LED ice cubes which were enjoyed by those who donated to the ‘Yes to Youth’ campaign. Next to the reception area there was a large heavy door that led into the other half of the party, the dance club.
I walk up onto the balcony of the club to survey the crowd below only to realize that Tom Cochrane is playing a set below and that the crowd is loving it. I enjoy the music for a couple of minutes and then go back to the reception area to get my friends and tell them Cochrane is playing in the dance club that I had just discovered. By the time we get back into the club, Tom’s done his set and the Belinda dance party is underway.
Working my way through the crowd is a somewhat surreal experience as hill staffers, MPs, members of the press, young delegates and Preston Manning are all hanging out, dancing to Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot. So, this is where I meet, for the first time, one of our most influential political minds and greatest democratic reformers in Canadian history, Preston Manning.
I met Preston Manning in a dance club.
CTV’s Craig Oliver is hanging out in the lounge area flanked by some young Tory women engaged in conversation, and I hear that Don Martin was at the bar tearing off drink tickets.
Kiss’ I want to rock all night (and party ev-er-y day) blasts over the club’s speakers and I look over and see Tony Clement. I call over and get his attention “Hey Tony!”. He looks over, with a big smile and throws up the horns. I laugh, and do the same and then work my way over to the stage area.
Belinda Stronach and Peter Mackay were hanging out on the floor as well, chatting with people as they passed by.
It was getting late and the party started to thin out but that didn’t stop the most dedicated of us from keeping the party going. However, when it was time to call it a night — when the club owners were ushering us out — MPs that closed the club with us included Rahim Jaffer and Monte Solberg. These two guys were partying all night.
Three o’clock rolls by and my friends and I decide to wrap up the evening and I head back to the hotel to get some sleep before the dreaded wake-up call that would come at 7am.
Best. Party. Ever.