I’m going to ask our readers to vote for the stupidest thing done by either a living member of Parliament, senator, politician, bureaucrat, lawyer or judge in 2002. I calculate that we should have some 3,000 submissions, so it is not going to be easy picking the stupidest thing – but it should be a lot of fun.

To aid readers, I will single out stupid things done recently by the above-mentioned group that might refresh their memories. I will send a turnip collect to the person who is judged by readers to have done the stupidest thing.

We have Spanish and U.S. forces recently intercepting a ship carrying a cargo of 12 scud missiles (worth $4 million (US) each) from North Korea, your friendly atomic bomb-maker and neighbour of South Korea, to Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden.

The manifest specified cement but the cement served only to hide the scuds. According to U.S. intelligence sources, the Yemeni government has repeatedly promised not to buy missiles or parts but, “We have been catching them with their hand in the cookie jar.”

What do you think the U.S. would do with those scuds on the basis of the intelligence information? Dump them in the ocean? Offer to sell them to Canada to enhance our military presence? Send them back to North Korea with a nasty note?

No, none of these things. They let the ship with the scuds go on its merry way. You forgot that the U.S. is friendly with Yemen! They also don’t want to strain an already-tense relationship with North Korea. It’s called sacrificing global safety to make friends. Does it warrant a turnip?

New Democrats and the Bloc helped the Liberals pass the Koyoto accord (I thought it was a city in Japan) recently. Alliance leader Stephen Harper condemned the plan as “a gross mistake for Canada that could end up costing billions. It’s an incredibly stupid decision and without precedent to adopt an international accord with potentially enormous ramifications and to do so without a plan.” Eight provinces and a solid majority of businesses oppose the accord because it will hurt business. Thank God that Jean Crouton hasn’t been approached by a killer bee franchiser. Another tough competitor for the turnip.

Bad news for prisoners in the minimum security Ferndale Jail in British Columbia. They may not be able to play any longer on their nine-hole, par-three golf course. Warden Brian Lang said: “We had finally concluded that the kind of attention the golf course attracted was, overall, negative from a correctional point of view. We’ve got a jail to run.” He added: “We don’t run golf courses.”

Ferndale was in the news in 1999 when convicted wife killer and former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, Colin Thatcher, was allowed to bring his horse from his Saskatchewan ranch to the jail in order to ride. Thatcher’s horseback riding was eventually cancelled. A strong contender for the turnip.

Maybe Crouton’s communications director, Francoise Ducros, who called the president of the United States a “moron,” is eligible?

In politics and in the media – even in your sleep – and especially while you’re in the United States – and especially before witnesses. The 11th Commandment is: don’t publicly call the president of the United States a moron. Crouton admits he doesn’t mind being called a moron, but that’s because he’s got used to being called one. That’s different. A turnip for Francoise?

The federal Liberals are planning to give jail birds the right to vote. Can you imagine politicians running all over the country promising inmates Club Med vacations? This might win the turnip.

Legalizing pot in Canada – even possession of five grams – is on the horizon. This is just the thin edge of the wedge. The U.S. has cautioned us about “reefer-madness madness.” American officials dismissed claims that marijuana is not addictive or a serious drug, saying the level of psychoactive THC is much higher than it used to be. They estimated that the bulk of marijuana is heading for the States and they are worried. The U.S. says that our stupid pot plan would clog the border. (It’s tough enough getting across there now.) That gets my vote.

Remember, I’ve left out a lot of good, stupid things, like a gun-control law that was supposed to cost $2 million ended up siphoning $1 billion! And the government wants another $72 million! Who can we pin that one on?