Bill Blaikie is Canada's best MP: Maclean's

    The results of Maclean's second-annual "Parliamentarian of the Year"
    awards. Also in this week's issue: How the world sees Canada - they like
    us, they really like us! Even if we don't like ourselves so much. And,
    the sexiest men alive: 'old' is the new 'young' when it comes to
    bachelors. On newsstands starting today.

    TORONTO, Nov. 22 /CNW/ - Bill Blaikie is such a huge man that it's
strange to think of him as a microcosm of anything. Yet after nearly three
decades in politics, this single MP embodies the perennial frustrations, and
occasional small triumphs, of the NDP in particular, and old-school
parliamentarians in general. He's held his Winnipeg riding since 1979, though
he has never tasted real power in all those years, as his party has had to
settle for influencing policy instead of forming governments. He's emerged as
a House icon, but as an example of what Parliament might be, while more unruly
MPs define what it more often is. "Parliament has been ugly before," Blaikie
says, "but people have never been so consistently rude to each other as they
are now."
    "Still," reports Maclean's Ottawa Bureau Chief John Geddes, "the winner
of the second annual Maclean's Parliamentarian of the Year award could never
be written off as the sort who merely scolds from the sidelines." He's been in
the thick of things, playing a role in shaping laws as historic as the Canada
Health Act and the Clarity Act. Now deputy speaker of the House, he brings
unquestioned credibility to the job of keeping order and setting a civil tone.
    By voting him the best among them, his peers recognized both what he's
done and what he reminds them they should be doing.

    Winners from this year's "Parliamentarian of the Year" survey:

    -   Bill Blaikie, "Best Overall"
        Riding: Elmwood-Transcona (Manitoba), NDP

    -   Paul Szabo, "Hardest Working"
        Riding: Mississauga South (Ontario), Liberal

    -   Peter Stoffer, "Most Collegial"
        Riding: Sackville-Eastern Shore (Nova Scotia), NDP

    -   Joe Comartin, "Most Knowledgeable"
        Riding: Windsor-Tecumseh (Ontario), NDP

    -   Charlie Angus, "Best Constituent Representative"
        Riding: Timmins-James Bay (Ontario), NDP

    -   Michael Ignatieff, "Best Orator"
        Riding: Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Ontario), Liberal

    How the winners were selected:
    Each MP was given the opportunity to evaluate MPs within their own Party
and within each of the other Parties against six criteria including: hardest
working; best orator; best at representing constituents; most collegial; most
knowledgeable about the issues of the day; and best overall. To ensure that
parties with more elected MPs or those parties with higher participation rates
in the study would not dominate the selection process a scoring system based
on the ordinal rank within each category was used.

    Everybody loves us!

    Maclean's annual How the World Sees Canada poll shows deep admiration for
a country we don't seem to like so much ourselves. Canadians, however, have a
host of misgivings about their country: its lack of independence from
America's influence, the compromised integrity of its government systems, its
limited impact on world affairs. Simply put, the world is in love with a
country that doubts its own worth. Maclean's Ken McQueen asks, "What gives?"

    The sexiest men alive

    Behold the hot new property in the dating market: decades older than
George Clooney, craggier than Brad Pitt, infinitely more seasoned than Orlando
Bloom. We're talking the freshly single senior man who, if popular culture is
an indicator, is hunted down with the kind of predatory precision typically
reserved for wildlife. Maclean's Anne Kingston writes, "Suddenly the trophy
catch in the dating market is the newly single older guy."

    About Maclean's:

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Jacqueline Segal,

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