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Liberal deep thinkers
While visiting England recently, Jean Chretien is invited to have tea with
the Queen. Given his recent political problems, he decides to take advantage of
her years of leadership experience and asks her what her leadership philosophy
She responds that it is to surround herself with the most intelligent people she
can find and let them do their jobs. Intrigued with this novel theory, Chretien
asks her how she is able to tell if the people are intelligent.
"I do so by asking them a test question," responds the Queen.
"Allow me to demonstrate." The Queen then dials 10 Downing Street and
asks to speak to Tony Blair. "Mr. Prime Minister, please answer a
hypothetical question for me." "I'll do my best, Your Majesty"
"Your mother has a child and your father has a child," says the Queen.
"The child is not your brother or your sister. Who is the child?"
Tony Blair hesitates momentarily and then confidently replies, "Well, Your
Majesty, I guess it would have to be me."
"Correct" says the Queen. "Thank you and good day to you
sir." The Queen hangs up and says, "Did you hear that Mr. Chretien?
See how clever he is!"
Impressed, Chretien replies, "I certainly did. I'll definitely be using
that one when I conduct my next Cabinet shuffle back in Canada."
Upon returning to Ottawa, Chretien decides he'd better put some of his senior
Cabinet Ministers to the test. He summons Sheila Copps to his office and says,
"Madame Minister, I wonder if you could answer a question for me?"
"Why of course Sir," Copps responds eagerly, impressed that the Prime
Minister was actually seeking her input on something.
"Well, uh, let's say your mother has a child and your father too has a
child. This child is not your brother and also is not your sister. Who is
Somewhat surprised at this odd question, Copps hems and haws and finally asks if
she can have some time to think about it.
"Certainly," responds Chretien.
Copps immediately calls a meeting of other senior Liberals and they puzzle over
the question for several hours. Totally baffled, they decide to conduct some
research and contact a loyal Quebec consulting firm. A budget of $10 milliion is
provided and intensive research is carried out over the next two weeks.
Unfortunately, the consultants are unable to come up with an answer.
Desperate to impress her boss, Copps decides to take a chance and calls Stephen
Harper, the leader of the Alliance Party, who just happens to be in his office
on Parliament Hill.
"I realize you are just an Alberta redneck and are not all that wise in the
ways of the world, but maybe you can help me out with a problem I have. I will
certainly make it worth your while. I can guarantee your constituency at least a
couple of hundred million in government spending over the next year."
Harper is naturally sceptical about Liberal promises, but in the spirit of
political co-operation he agrees to do what he can to help out.
"O.K., here goes" says Copps. "Your mother has a child and your
father has a child. The child is not your brother or your sister. Who is the
Without hesitating, Harper responds "It would be me, of course."
Impressed at the Albertan's quick response, Copps quickly brushes off Harper and
rushes to the Prime Minister's office.
" I know the answer to your question Sir! I know who the child is!"
Chretien, who was privately becoming a bit concerned at the delay in hearing
back from Copps, is delighted.
"Who is it Sheila?" he asks.
With obvious pride, Copps replies, "Its Stephen Harper, Sir - its Stephen
Stunned, Chretien shouts in disgust, "Wrong you idiot - its Tony
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