Promoting the mother corp!

Mercer, former PMs, to host political star search on CBC
Comedian Rick Mercer will host a televised search for aspiring politicians featuring a judging panel composed of former prime ministers Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Kim Campbell and Joe Clark, the CBC announced Wednesday.
The Next Great Prime Minister, set to air in the spring, pits five young Canadians in a question period with Canada’s former leaders on how they would make Canada a better, stronger nation, with a winner chosen at the end of the show.
“This hunt for our future leader will engage our youth while providing our audiences with an early glimpse at the political leaders of tomorrow,” said Kirstine Layfield, executive director of network programming for CBC Television.
“And having Rick Mercer as host guarantees the whole process will be engaging, provocative and entertaining.î
Canadians aged 18 to 25 wishing to enter must submit a three to five minute videotaped speech with their prime ministerial message. The judges will narrow the field to 20 applicants, who must then complete an interview process.
Five contenders will make the one-hour finale, to air Sunday, March 18, at 7 p.m.
The special is based on a popular nationwide competition started in 1995 by Frank Stronach, founder and chairman of Magna International. Originally contestants were required to submit an essay for review, but last year the contest was changed to the video format.
This is the second season on television for the annual award. Last year’s broadcast on CTV was hosted by Seamus O’Regan.
Mercer, host of the Rick Mercer Report, takes over the hosting duties and is no stranger to politics. The comedian’s popular show often features interviews with politicians in unusual circumstances, like skinny-dipping with Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae or harness racing with Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.
The panel of past prime ministers Clark, Turner, Mulroney and Campbell is returning for a second year.
The winner of the award will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a six-month Dominion, Magna, Fulbright (DMF) Fair Enterprise and Public Policy Internship. The remaining four finalists each receive $5,000 and three-month internships.
The deadline for applicants is Dec. 8, 2006.
Last year’s winner was Montreal resident Deirdra McCracken, a political science graduate student at Laval University.