May 26, 2005


Uh, no, they're saying "Boo-urns!"

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the ceremony for Queen Elizabeth at the Saddledome yesterday. It was a great performance, with a wide variety of talented singers and dancers.

However, I have to comment on an incident that happened at the beginning, before the guests of honour arrived and the broadcast began. Dave Kelly, a local TV personality, was charged with warming up the crowd, doing a quick review of royal protocol, and making sure everyone knew the words to "God Save the Queen." He also listed the some of the guests who would join the Queen on stage: Mayor Dave Bronconnier, Premier Ralph Klein, Lieutenant Governor Norman Kwong, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, and Prime Minister Paul Martin. All of the names were greeted with polite applause...

...except Paul, whose name was loudly booed. And it wasn't just a few noisy malcontents, either; this was a widespread booing coming from throughout the audience. (Martin did get some clapping, but it was significantly weaker than the other reaction.)

Kelly (who seemed to have fully expected this reaction) responded with a short speech on how this would be an internationally televised ceremony and that we should respect the dignity of the event and not "cross the floor to ask him about Belinda." When Martin followed the Queen out during the actual ceremony, he got the same applause as everyone else.

Granted, this did take place in the most Liberal-unfriendly city in the country, but it still surprised me that people would react that strongly.


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