- Chretien Wins 'Stupidest Person in Canada" Honor
Chretien wins dubious honour as stupidest person in Canada
Saturday, June 07, 2003
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Jean Chretien earned the dubious distinction of the stupidest person in Canada at the World Stupidity Awards on Friday night, beating out B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and new Tory Leader Peter MacKay.
More than 400 people helped decide the winner of the Golden Dunce Cap - the dumbest of the dumb - by applauding and cheering for their favourite candidate. The audience was gunning for MacKay, but a man dressed in a fish costume on stage cast the deciding vote for the prime minister.
"We can do this in Canada because it's generally a place where you can call the head of state stupid and not face the firing squad," awards organizer Albert Nerenberg told the crowd.
The awards show was organized by an offbeat group of Toronto filmmakers called the Main Organization Revealing Obvious Numbskulls - or MORON, for short.
Organizers themselves showed some signs of stupidity during the show - a microphone broke two minutes into the event and a dunce cap presenter tripped on the stairs.
"You may have noticed that we're stupid," Nerenberg said.
U.S. President George W. Bush was by far the most popular contender for several awards, including the stupidest person in the world and the lifetime achievement award in stupidity.
But Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman was given the latter award, despite boos and chants of "Bush, Bush, Bush"
Former Iraqi information minister, Saeed al-Sahaf, who became known as "Baghdad Bob" for his imaginative statements, like, "There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!" and Britain "is not worth an old shoe" got the dubious title of stupidest person in the world.
Nerenberg said he got the idea for the awards while researching his new documentary, Stupidity, which was screened after the show.
"There's all this hype about the Darwin Awards, but they have this sadistic quality," Nerenberg said, referring to the annual awards given to people who die while doing stupid things.
"I realized that the most dangerous stupidity is elected stupidity. I thought, hey, why isn't there an award show for the living stupid?"
The top four contenders in each of the eight categories of stupidity were compiled from more than 1,000 nominations e-mailed from around the world.
MORON decided a few of the winners prior to Friday night.
U.S. President George W. Bush won the stupidity award for reckless endangerment of the planet, and North Korea beat out the governments of China, Canada, United States and France for the stupidest government in the world award.
"They earned it," Nerenberg said, citing the North Korean government's preoccupation with nuclear weapons despite the country's desperate living conditions.
Kangaroo Jack - starring a walking, talking kangaroo - beat out J-Lo's Maid in Manhattan and Britney Spears' Crossroads to earn the illustrious title of stupidest film of the year. But Nerenberg said MORON felt pretty dumb for forgetting to put Jackass: The Movie on the list of nominees.
Nerenberg said the awards attracted attention from the United States and Britain.
"Now it has escalated into this monstrous thing," Nerenberg said, adding that a few MORON members got "scared" about being identified with a show calling world leaders stupid.
Most of the nominees - even Bush - were sent official invitations to the event.
None showed up, but Toronto Coun. Tom Jakobek - who was up for the stupidest person in Toronto award for lying about his spending of public funds - sent an apology to organizers saying he wasn't able to make it.
"We were impressed with that," Nerenberg said.
The list of winners at the first ever World Stupidity Awards on Friday night:
Stupidest Person in the World - Former Iraqi Information Minster Saeed al-Sahaf.
Stupidest Government in the World - People's Republic of North Korea
Media Outlet which has made greatest Contribution to Furthering Ignorance Worldwide - CNN
Stupidity Award for Reckless Endangerment of the Planet - U.S. President George W. Bush
Stupidest Trend or form of Mass Hysteria - Humans destroying the planet
Stupidest Film of the Year - Kangaroo Jack
Stupidest Person in Canada - Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Stupidest Person in Toronto - The person who drove her car backwards up a telephone pole.