Sunday 10 July 2016

CCPS Miscellany: Beware the punk vote, Joe Clark! (1983)

Here's something fun from the Muretich archives: a not-so-serious interview with Warren Kinsella about his early political ambitions after leaving Calgary to pursue higher education. And, in this specific case, the Liberal party leadership 

Beware the punk vote, Joe Clark! 
James Muretich
Calgary Herald, May 10, 1983

Punk-rockers of Calgary unite!

If you’ve been doing nothing politically but voting for the Rhinoceros Party in recent elections, now’s your chance to put a man in Ottawa who shares your interests.

All you have to do is disguise yourself as a nine-year-old Conservative party member and flood the Tory leadership convention in June.

Now, why would any self-respecting wearer of leather jackets and biker boots want to attend the ho-hum meeting of three-piece suit politicians?

Well, quite simply, one of the activists from the Calgary punk scene in the late ’70s is actually in the running for the leadership!

In case you missed it, last week The Herald ran a story stating that Warren Kinsella president of the Carleton University Student Association and a former vice-president of the university’s Liberal Association had become a candidate for Joe Clark’s job.

Now, before Kinsella headed out east in the pursuit of higher learning, he was the leather-clad bassist and lead singer of one of Calgary’s early punk bands: The Hot Nasties.

Kinsella entered the race to draw attention to some of the problems facing education (such as higher fees) and youth (the fact that one out of five Canadians under 25 are unemployed).

However, the sarcastic wit which marked Kinsella’s days as a punk-rocker hasn’t disappeared entirely while he’s been studying journalism. He told the assembled press last week that one of his greatest attributes in seeking the mantle of leadership was that “I sort of look like Brian Mulroney.”

Just consider the scenario: Several thousand “nine-year-old” delegates from Calgary (the key is to shave off all facial hair and dress innocently) invade the Kinsella vote.

Presto, a landslide victory for the 22-year-old candidate and former founder of Calgary’s Social Blemish Records.

Yes, instead of Joe Clark or the wise-cracking former finance minister John Crosbie doing battle with King Pierre, we’d have a political leader who once wrote such tunes as Kill Me If You Can and Teenage Lament.

Based on his platform of making the leadership race a little more absurd, we could expect punky decision-making if Kinsella then went on to defeat Trudeau and become Prime Minister.

“1 would definitely create a ministry of punk-rock,” says Kinsella in a interview with his favorite Calgary newspaper.

“I would also appoint The Ramones ministers of youth.”

Now, before you write Kinsella off as another Well-intentioned weirdo, keep in mind that his entering the race for the leadership of the Conservative Party has been noted by other candidates.

“Crosbie’s people have been phoning us to see what kind of support we have,” says Kinsella.

“They want to know if I’d support his candidacy, too. I told them if they say something about education then they may get my support.

“I mean, I already have three committed delegates to the convention - and they’ve all heard the Hot Nasties, by the way.”

Prime Minister Warren Kinsella . . . who knows, maybe God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols might become our new national anthem?

No comments: