Eddie Goldenberg ran into Prime Minister Jean Crouton’s office shortly after the federal election had been announced.

Eddie screamed excitedly: “Denis Vincent is here! Denis says that he doesn’t want to run against you this year!”

Crouton is shocked. “What kind of a friend is he?! Does Denis want to see me defeated?! Show him in.”

Eddie darts out and Denis enters the room reluctantly. Denis is a pleasant looking man with a cherubic countenance.

Crouton screams: “Denis! What is this I hear?! You don’t want to run against me this time? Running as a Tory in the past two elections you are the vote blotter that keeps me in the prime minister’s chair. Without you, the PQ candidate would get in. You wouldn’t want that, Denis?”

“No, Jean.”

“Your Tory nomination is all settled.”

“Nobody wants the Tory nomination in Shawinigan. It is not like the Liberal nomination in Westmount.”

“I know. But if there is no Tory candidate in Shawinigan the Tory vote will go to the PQ. You wouldn’t want to see that? You wouldn’t want that Stockwell Day getting in as the prime minister. Why, his French is not much better than Diefenbaker’s!”

“Yes, Mr. Day has asked me to help him out with it.”

“He has?!” screamed Crouton, rising from his chair behind the desk.

“Don’t worry, Jean. I turned him down. It’s my wife, Madeleine, who is crazy about him. She has a bad case of Stockwell Daymania.”

“Madeleine should see a doctor.”

“She has, and her doctor is crazy about Stockwell Day, too. Do you remember, Jean, when she had pictures of you all over the house?”

“Don’t tell me!”

“Now it’s all pictures of Stockwell Day. Even pictures of her mother are gone.”

“I see, Denis, we have a real problem here.”

“Madeleine, she doesn’t like me not voting for myself in the election. She asks what kind of a man am I? She also doesn’t like the Tory party putting up a stooge candidate. She doesn’t think it’s right.”

“It’s done all the time.”

“Madeleine has just read the Auditor-General’s Report.”

“The Auditor-General’s Report?!” screamed Crouton.

“Yes, she said that she agrees with Mr. Desautels, the Auditor-General, that the 6.3 million dollar contract that the Canadian Industrial Development Bank gave to Transelec to install hydro poles in Mali smells like a ton of rotten fish to her.”

“Tell her to stop reading the National Post!”

“Madeleine said that Transelec should have been disqualified because the president Claude Gauthier donated $10,000 dollars to your campaign.”

“What has got into that wife of yours – saying those horrible things about me?”

“Yeah, and she also told me to ask you how that Gauthier bought land from a company for a half a million that you had an interest in. Madeleine said that you bent every rule in the book to see that Gauthier’s company got the CIDA work. She said that Transelec was a French-based company and wasn’t eligible to bid on it.”

“What’s the matter with French TV – nothing worth watching?”

“And she wants to know about Gauthier’s other company that was going bankrupt and still got a million bucks.”

“You’ll have to tear up her pictures of Stockwell Day – she’s going crazy!”

“Madeleine also wants to know how you can announce a $600,000 grant for Pierre Thibault’s Auberge des Gouverneurs hotel project before it even gets government approval? And Thibault is up for fraud in Belgium!”

“I must get Madeleine a government job. She seems to have too much time on her hands. How would she like to be the ambassador to Luxembourg?”

“No, she likes to sit by the window and watch the Liberal government vehicles drive by throwing our money out the windows.”

“You know yourself, Denis, that pork-barrelling is as Canadian as the maple leaf.”

“True, but Madeleine wants to know how when that patron saint of Liberals, Pierre Trudeau, got in the national debt was 17 billion and when he left 16 years later it had reached $200 billion?!”

“Now she’s reading that Report magazine! Has that woman not heard of lawn bowling?!”

“Madeleine, she also wants to know when you really intend to scrap the GST?”

“She should be running for the Alliance!”

“She is.”

“She is?!” cried Crouton.

“Yeah, and I’m her campaign manager. And Jean, as the president of the St. Maurice Conservative Riding Association in Shawinigan, after an executive meeting this morning in our garage, we have decided not to run a Tory candidate. We don’t want to split Madeleine’s vote. So long, Jean. Best of luck!”

Denis could hear Jean Crouton’s voice yelling as he went out the door. “Eddie! We’re in deep trouble in Shawinigan!”