She’s the perfect woman—beautiful and smart, funny and compassionate. She’s blonde (or a redhead, depending on her mood), tall and has trademark “100% great legs.” She is also a politician who wants not only to address poverty, health care, post-secondary education and human rights issues but also to throw a fabulous party for people who do great work in this country. And, boys, you can stop crossing your fingers: she’s single.
Her only problem is her shoes—she has to mail order her size thirteen heels from the States, a small price to pay for being beautiful.
She is Enza “Supermodel” Anderson, the drag queen who is the key to rescuing the imploding Canadian Alliance. Yes, she is the same Enza who ran against Mel in the last Toronto mayoral election, placing third out of 26 candidates with 13,585 votes. Enza is now in the Alliance leadership race, a race that started with a press release and a drag queen with a dream.
“When talk began about the Canadian Alliance finding an interim leader, I sent out a press release saying that I would offer myself as interim leader while Day figures out what to do. The Toronto Sun ran a story on it and people started suggesting that I run for leadership of the Alliance, so I decided to,” Enza explains.
The first thing she believes the party needs to do is polish its tarnished reputation. “If the Alliance wants to be a national party it really has to start opening its door and lose this reputation for being a bunch of racist and homophobic bigots.
“Then, after we make sure that all these MPs get makeovers, we need to revamp the party and open it up to … various communities and organizations.
“And now that I’ve embraced the Alliance by becoming a member, let’s see if they’ll embrace me.”
So far it doesn’t look like it. Stockwell Day’s only comment on Enza’s candidacy has been, “Well, we’re an open party.”
At an all-candidates meeting in Chatham, Ontario on Saturday, Enza met Day for the first time.
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to him. He didn’t want to talk to me, and when I went up to him to shake his hand he just sort of pushed me away. And when I got up to talk, one particular table of Stockwell Day supporters walked out of the room.”
But Enza holds no grudges. “My philosophy is that a supermodel helps people, she doesn’t hurt people. I think that he’s a very gutsy man to resign and run again. I think it’s funny that someone under all that pressure before he resigned stuck it right through. He seems to be determined to make a point, but at what cost?”
The gay community has responded well to Enza’s candidacy, revelling in the fact that a drag queen is running for leadership of a party that has consistently demonized them. “The gay community…loves that I’m doing this. But when I go up to them to sign up as a member they always tell me that they want to support me, but they don’t want to support the Alliance, and I’m saying that the only way I can be on the ballot is if they become members and sign my nomination papers.”
The reluctance is not difficult to understand. “The Canadian Alliance…has been seen as the most racist, most bigoted and most homophobic party ever, which has been shown by comments like ‘[storeowners should] put gays in the back of the store when they come out,’ comments from Dr. Grant Hill [Deputy Opposition Leader under Day who equates homosexuality with smoking] that homosexuals lead an unhealthy lifestyle,” says Enza. “So I say to them to look at it as supporting me, and it’s really cheap—it’s only $10.”
Enza points out that it costs the Alliance more than $10 to process the nominations. Currently Enza is gathering support to file her nomination. She needs to sign up 500 members supporting her nomination on the ballot from 30 different ridings from five different provinces. She has the ridings and provinces covered, but not the 500 members. Enza notes that the drag queen attitude is perfect for politics. “You have to have the right attitude: not the bitchy attitude, but the more sensitive attitude. You don’t want to lower yourself to being a rude, aggressive, dirty politician. You want to be a respectable politician with great policies that people will listen to and take seriously.
“Drag queens perform well on stage and the world is a stage…. When a drag queen is onstage they’re very vocal, proud and confident—they’re the centre of attention—and politics is the same way.
“If I had run for mayor as a guy, I would have been like all the other fringe candidates, but being someone different, it made people wake up and listen to you and this is what drag queens do best.”
As for the six dissidents whose memberships the National Council suspended last month, Enza invites them to join her team. “I would invite them back. I think they did it because they really care about their party. I think there was probably room for compromise and I think that it got to the point where it was so hard to work with each other, things just blew up and they left. “It really shows that the Canadian Alliance doesn’t tolerate diverse opinions.”
Who knows, Enza and Deborah Grey might be exactly what the Alliance needs to become a viable alternative to the Liberal party. Enza points out that such a partnership could also be mutually beneficial for Grey and herself.
“If she gives me political advice, I’ll give her makeup tips.”
Now that could really make the perfect woman.