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March 4, 2011 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Public servants from four different departments have confirmed to The Canadian Press that they received a directive late last year that the words "Government of Canada" in federal communications be replaced with "Harper Government."

This latest move adds to previous concerns about the Conservative Party of Canada's branding efforts, such as the addition of their logo to cheques issued by the Federal Government, the previous "Canada's New Government" branding effort, and it's highly visible promotion of it's economic "Action Plan", and has raised questions about potential conflicts with the Federal Identity Program. Canada's Treasury Board President Stockwell Day had this to say to the CBC: "If you think you're on to something that is going to ignite people from coast to coast in a fury of rage, maybe we'll look at it. But this is the first I've heard of it, so good luck with it."
posted by Hoopo (90 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Worthwhile Canadian Initiative?
posted by chavenet at 10:13 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada has its own government?
posted by double block and bleed at 10:15 AM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't know if it was the jet ski or Prayer Force One that did it for me, but everything that Stockwell Day says is treated with grave suspicion. What a tool.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:18 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm okay with this, as long as we get to talk about "Harper's Climate Change" and "Harper's National Debt."
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [52 favorites]


Goddamit, where the hell is an American supposed to go for good government?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Canada has its own government?

No, Harper does
posted by Hoopo at 10:24 AM on March 4, 2011 [15 favorites]


Narcissus much you fucking tool?
posted by Meatbomb at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


So that's Harper in the tiara and makeup on all our money? Or is he the loon?
posted by Kevin Street at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2011 [12 favorites]


Harper is fantastic. Never before has so much ego and bombast been contained within such average vessel. The man is living proof that anyone can do anything. He's inspirational!
posted by Keith Talent at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Surely this...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:30 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


To go out on a limb: the comparisons to North Korea might possibly be a slight exaggeration.
posted by Xezlec at 10:30 AM on March 4, 2011


Stockwell Day? Don't you mean Doris Day?

(Sorry, it's the only Canadian politics joke I know. Outside the NDP's chances of winning a national election.)
posted by djlynch at 10:32 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I say this with all seriousness ... that is the most bizarre fucking thing I've ever seen come out of Canada.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:33 AM on March 4, 2011


This will help them further cement the authoritarian vote. Watch for "the Harper Government" to be used on good news, and "The Government of Canada" for bad news. Or, perhaps "NOT the Government of Canada".
posted by anthill at 10:33 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's the Alberta Advantage writ large: take every opportunity to use government and taxpayer resources to further your party's goals, if possible while stroking the voters' ego. While it hasn't been all bad having a Conservative government dynasty in Alberta these last 40 years, I can't see how it's going to be a positive for Canada, especially with the Harper Reform/Alliance "Conservatives" at the helm.
posted by sneebler at 10:35 AM on March 4, 2011


You know who didn't try to do this? Silvio Berlusconi. Think about that.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:36 AM on March 4, 2011 [32 favorites]


Reposted comments from the Globe and Mail:

"Good to know that 146 soldiers have died in Afghanistan serving the Harper Government"

"Will they still accept income tax cheques made out to 'the Government of Canada'?"
posted by anthill at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know who didn't try to do this? Silvio Berlusconi. Think about that.

You know, I was just about to say the exact same thing.

I hate Harper. Not for his political positions, which I don't agree with, but for his outright contempt for the institution of government. He's a contemptible man.
posted by GuyZero at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


The article about this in The Globe & Mail the PM's spokesperson defended the move by pointing to previous press releases from the Paul Martin & Jean Chrétien governments that use similar wording.

The comparison is a little disingenuous, since those were isolated press releases and not directives to replace all instances of 'Government of Canada'. Besides, just because the Liberals did it, doesn't mean it was right for them to do it.

Also, shouldn't the Governor General have something to say about this? It is technically Her Majesty's Government.
posted by papercrane at 10:42 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, Stephen, why stop at The Harper Government?
Why not get our data from Statistics Harper?
And get our weather forecasts from Environment Harper?
And run our elections via Elections Harper?!??

Christ what an asshole.
posted by Quiplash at 10:44 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a resident of Illinois I can tell you how this ends. We used to let every governor plaster his name and face at every state entrance, every public works project during his time, every major interstate upgrade. Then came Blagojevich, and when he was impeached the state couldn't move fast enough to wipe his name from public signs.

Now I believe there is a law that says the governor isn't allowed to label things with his name.
posted by sbutler at 10:51 AM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


So.... is Canada having a lot of the same budget battles as the US?

If so, how much is all this new letterhead and other ancillary printing going to cost the Canadian taxpayer?

Because I've been in businesses where the discussion around the table when it came to doing a new logo or even moving the business ended up in a realization that simply getting all new business-related paperwork printed would result in enough of a loss that the business chose not to rebrand or move.
posted by hippybear at 10:54 AM on March 4, 2011


Hey, Stephen, why stop at The Harper Government?
Why not get our data from Statistics Harper?
And get our weather forecasts from Environment Harper?
And run our elections via Elections Harper?!??


Royal Harper Mounted Police makes for a filthy image.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:57 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Harper's Loyal Opposition does have a nice ring to it though.
posted by papercrane at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


You guys sure it isn't The Harper Government™ ?
posted by Thorzdad at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2011


Surely he meant "Harpie Government."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:03 AM on March 4, 2011


I used to get a little inner spark of glee when a Canadian post was made to the blue. All excited to see my home discussed in the world. Like we made it to the popular table in the high school cafeteria. Now I'm just ashamed. I've come to regret becoming interested in politics just in time to see Harper in control. It makes my head explode.
posted by kanata at 11:04 AM on March 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


You know, I used to hate Harper; with his cold, unfeeling robot eyes and his tendency to shake his children's hands on the first day of school instead of giving them a fucking kiss.
But the comforting new TV commercial that shows him working late at night in his office sipping out of a strategically-placed Beatles mug while he takes good care of the country has shown me that he's like everyone's dad. A cool dad, because there's that BEATLES mug right there that he's sipping out of.
posted by chococat at 11:12 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If only that mug weren't filled with blood.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:15 AM on March 4, 2011 [20 favorites]


Canada has its own government?

Indeed, led by this guy (who probably does not eat kittens).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2011


But the comforting new TV commercial that shows him working late at night in his office sipping out of a strategically-placed Beatles mug while he takes good care of the country has shown me that he's like everyone's dad.

I can only assume Stephen Harper is burning the midnight oil to pencil 'not' into stacks and stacks of policy recommendations.
posted by mazola at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Some other blood-pressure-raising stories recently:

Disgraced bureaucrat getting $400,000 in severance
The federal government is paying $400,000 in severance to Christiane Ouimet, the disgraced former public-sector integrity commissioner who resigned in haste last fall, Postmedia News has learned. ...

[Auditor-General Sheila] Fraser's disparaging report slammed Ouimet for failing to properly do her job and found the office — which has an $11-million budget — investigated only five of 228 complaints filed during Ouimet's three-and-a-half-year tenure.

Ouimet also berated, intimidated and yelled and swore at her staff, the report said.

Following the criticism and backlash the report caused, the public accounts committee asked Ouimet to testify and to explain her actions.

Letter-writing, phoning and knocking on doors went unanswered for months before a lawyer for Ouimet, Ivan Whitehall, contacted the chair of the committee....
The Bev Oda affair and the Tories’ scandal-management strategy
Oda told a House committee she didn’t know who inserted the “not,” only to admit later that she had ordered the doctoring of the document. “Any reasonable person confronted with what appears to have transpired would necessarily be extremely concerned, if not shocked,” House Speaker Peter Milliken said after reviewing the facts.
Plus:
[Immigration Minister Jason] Kenney was asked by a reporter with The Canadian Press whether it was acceptable for a cabinet minister to lie and change a document — referring to the controversy surrounding International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda. Kenney responded: "Radio-Canada, they lie all the time. Which media are you with?"
Former Tory MPs speak out against ‘in-and-out’ campaign financing
[Debby] Sorochynski [former campaign manager for MP Inky Mark] said she remembers the issue because it sounded similar to a case involving Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of electoral overspending in a Manitoba provincial election.

Three other candidates in that election were also convicted of the breach of electoral laws.

The provincial Progressive Conservative party had asked candidates shortly before the 1999 election to sign an authorization to absorb $7,500 each in central campaign expenses, according to the Winnipeg Free Press account of court testimony. Ms. Toews's lawyer said at the time that Mr. Toews initially did not want to participate in the plan.

“That was a well-known, documented story in Manitoba, so when the national office offered an opportunity to get involved in something that sounded similar to that, we just said No,” Ms. Sorochynski said.
Letter reveals Tories' plan to capture immigrant vote
... the letter asks the MPs to use their riding associations to raise $200,000 over the next week to support the “Conservative Ethnic Paid Media Strategy,” which is then described in detail.

... The package raised cries of outrage among opposition MPs, who pointed out that the letter was printed on Mr. Kenney’s Parliamentary office letterhead, violating rules prohibiting ministerial staff from using government resources to promote party interests.

... To improve the party’s standing, the Conservatives plan to direct $318,000 towards a massive advertising buy on ethnic media TV outlets, where they could saturate the airwaves with 30-second spots for as little as $200 each.
The Conservatives have a huge fundraising advantage over the other parties--last year they raised three times as much as the Liberals--so they've been able to run attack ads continuously, even when there's no election campaign. (Tory attack ads pack a punch that leaves Liberals reeling. Paul Wells comments that once the formal campaign starts, the Conservatives will probably shift away from attack ads.)

If you want to strengthen the Opposition:

Donate to the Liberals.

Donate to the NDP.

In the interest of fairness:

Donate to the Conservatives.
posted by russilwvong at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


Just wait until Rob Ford becomes Prime Minister. We'll all wax poetic on the good old days of the Harper Government.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2011


(who probably does not eat kittens)

You probably have no proof of that.
posted by doctor_negative at 11:29 AM on March 4, 2011


Just wait until Rob Ford becomes Prime Minister.

The best part about that? Governor General Don Cherry.
posted by papercrane at 11:31 AM on March 4, 2011 [7 favorites]


Harper's newspeak:

Harper accused of shaping language for political ends

The words “gender equality” have been substituted in letters, speeches and multilateral interventions with the words “equality of men and women,” ... The term “child soldiers” has been replaced by “children in armed conflict,” he wrote. The word “humanitarian” has been excised from references to “international humanitarian law.” And the term “impunity” has been removed in every instance.

He has to go. And we only have Ignatieff?
posted by TheGoodBlood at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm so sad. I don't want to vote for Ignatieff either. Or Layton. *sigh* (Hello? Is this Bob? Bob Rae?)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:47 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't believe this is true as the directive doesn't authenticate with the Canadian cryptographic communication public key of "eh".
posted by srboisvert at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


In truth, Ignatieff is the problem, not Harper. Harper is a symptom of the Ignatieff problem.

Canadians, for all their political centrality, do not like milque-toast leaders at all. At. All. They like them charming, and ornery, and rude. They like characters. I honestly believe they'd elect Rob Ford or Don Cherry over Ignatieff.
posted by unSane at 11:59 AM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


People used to call Chretien "Teflon Jean" because scandals supposedly never stuck to him, but Harper seems to have him beat to hell on that front because nothing he and his venal gang of crony capitalists do seems to significantly dent their support, which is inching closer and closer to majority territory. The Liberals are no prize themselves, but as other posters in other threads have pointed out, at least they're not diametrically opposed to the very concept of Canada.

> Canadians, for all their political centrality, do not like milque-toast leaders at all. At. All.

This is true, and yet Harper's public persona is even blander than Iggy's. If I had to pick three things to visually represent Harper, they would be a warm glass of milk, a sweater vest and those cold, dead eyes of his.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


Harper my be boring, but he knows what he stands for. Iggy can't decide. He's wishy-washy. How can he be a leader, if he doesn't know where he wants to go? Harper has a very clear idea of what kind of Canada he wants to create. (Shudder.)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:14 PM on March 4, 2011


Isn't this a fairly standard usage for Westminster-style democracies?

"It's not Stephen Harper's government, it's the goverment of all Canadians," Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News. "You'd expect this kind of directive to be issued by the ministry of information in North Korea."

Yeah, it's "The Harper Government" not "Harper's Government". As for who it belongs to, it's actually, "Her Majesty's Government."
posted by Jahaza at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canadians, for all their political centrality, do not like milque-toast leaders at all. At. All. They like them charming, and ornery, and rude.

I think that's a pretty good summary of how we like many of our cultural touchstones! And although I really didn't like him at the time, all these years of Harper have given me a new appreciation of Chretien. At least he stood up to the US when he needed to.

This will be the first federal election ever where I feel seriously tempted to vote against a party rather than for one. I don't really trust Ignatieff at all, but at least we'd get the Harper cronies out of positions of power. We need a real shakeup in Ottawa.
posted by jess at 12:16 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you want to strengthen the Opposition:

Donate to the Liberals.

Donate to the NDP.

In the interest of fairness:

Donate to the Conservatives.


Hhmmm. Hhmmmmm.
posted by ddaavviidd at 12:23 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, on the bright side, we still mostly have peace and order.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:24 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our first (aha-ha) Prime Minister was a drunk,
Our last liberal re-branded the Shiwinigan Handshake (:42 seconds in),
Our Francios leader was a Kennedy-esque rogue, (not a bad collection- if you can mute the 'music')
Yeah, we likes 'em twisted.
posted by LD Feral at 12:27 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


they received a directive late last year that the words "Government of Canada" in federal communications be replaced with "Harper Government."

Next up: replacing "Canada Day" with "Harper Government Day."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will be the first federal election ever where I feel seriously tempted to vote against a party rather than for one.

I suspect you might be in the minority in not doing so already. I think that (especially on a federal level) people get voted out rather than in.

And to the several mefites who cited personality rather than policy as being more important to voters: I agree wholeheartedly. Look at this photo and tell me that these people's public persona is not commensurate with the amount of time each spent in office.

I was saddened when Iggy got picked over Rae: he is so mild and faceless that if he ever gets to be PM, he is going to be one of those guys that holds the office for a year and then is a trivia question answer a decade later.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:29 PM on March 4, 2011


Will you all please elect Rick Mercer already?
posted by QIbHom at 12:38 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Will you all please elect Rick Mercer already?

Rick Mercer is a troll. I worked on a campaign during the 2006 election and the candidate I was helping out agreed to appear on the Mercer Report. Mercer was just nasty, and tried to make my candidate, a person whom I respect immensely, look like an idiot for the simple fact that he was running in an election. Mercer is an asshole with nothing intelligent to say.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:03 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh. If the Conservatives get a majority, I'm moving to—

Wait.

Shit.
posted by Zozo at 1:05 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Rick Mercer is a troll.
Well yeah, that's his job. I mean, no reasonable person would elect actors and reality TV stars to positions of power, right?

I'm looking at YOU America.
posted by Stagger Lee at 1:10 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


where's Danny Williams when you need him?
posted by monkeymike at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2011


What Harper doesn't realize that at least some of us are already using "The Harper Government" on a regular basis.

Of course, we're probably using it in a way he'd object to, as in "Did you hear about what the bloody Harper Government is doing now?"

I really wish the opposition parties would stand up to him. Where are all the Liberal or NDP attack ads focusing on In-and-Out, Oda-Not, parliamentary prorogation, the G8/G20 fiasco and the mismanagement of our economy and the ballooning debt? I really dislike attack ads, but sadly they seem to be the only thing that works these days as we complete our metamorphosis in Americans.
posted by sardonyx at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2011


The words “gender equality” have been substituted in letters, speeches and multilateral interventions with the words “equality of men and women,” ... The term “child soldiers” has been replaced by “children in armed conflict,” he wrote. The word “humanitarian” has been excised from references to “international humanitarian law.” And the term “impunity” has been removed in every instance.

And we promise you that during our party's leadership of the Harper Government, our spirit of civil discourse will enequality of men and women between all people, aid will not be given to dictators who produce children in armed conflict, and criminals will not be allowed to terrorize our cities with!
posted by Xezlec at 1:26 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Where are all the Liberal or NDP attack ads focusing on In-and-Out...

Where are any of the Liberal or NDP ads? I know the Cons have a huge fundraising advantage at the moment, but I can't even remember the last time I saw a television ad for the Libs or NDP. Are they keeping their powder dry for the election? Meanwhile, every time I watch TV (not often, admittedly) there's a Conservative attack ad seemingly every commercial break.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:31 PM on March 4, 2011


It's worth noting that most of the time since his election, when someone is complaining about the Canadian Government they refer to it as "Harper ..." or "That fucking asshole, Harper ...".

This is not to say that the current government is justified in using this on their letterhead... but when as a bloc you refer to the government by the name of its titular head you don't have much of a leg to stand on when they start to use the name themselves.
posted by ChrisR at 1:36 PM on March 4, 2011


Canadians, for all their political centrality, do not like milque-toast leaders at all. At. All. They like them charming, and ornery, and rude. They like characters.

Prime Minister Bret "The Hitman" Hart?
posted by Hoopo at 1:39 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]



Where are any of the Liberal or NDP ads? I know the Cons have a huge fundraising advantage at the moment, but I can't even remember the last time I saw a television ad for the Libs or NDP. Are they keeping their powder dry for the election? Meanwhile, every time I watch TV (not often, admittedly) there's a Conservative attack ad seemingly every commercial break.


Supposedly the NDP have one. I think it's a happy, sunny one but I could be wrong about that. I heard one of the political chat shows (Power and Politics or Question Period) doing a segment on the ads but I was in the kitchen cooking and couldn't see the TV in the other room.

Mind you I haven't seen the ad with my own eyes, unlike all those bloody Conservative attack ads that are on every minute of the day.
posted by sardonyx at 1:41 PM on March 4, 2011


This is a piece by Canadian historian Erna Paris from a recent issue of the Walrus magazine. What Harper is doing is bringing the more nasty elements of Republican party wedge politics into play. He runs the most divisive, mean spirited government in recent memory and he understands that making things as vicious as possible is his only real chance of obtaining the fabled majority. This also turns off people from the whole voting process. In a weird way it's as though he is trying to drive down voter turnout because he knows the lower the turnout the higher percentage of the electorate his rock solid base becomes.

Harper's process is similar in nature to the political cynicism of Mulroney and Chretien but it's hopped up on steroids along with having a fervid ideological core. Attack, attack, attack is what he knows and personally I think he's a fucking disgrace. None of this new here, but what's new is the sheer level of the venom; it's unprecedented in modern Canadian national politics.

Also, if you go to the comment section of any of the major media outlets in this country, CBC, The Globe, etc, the first posts are almost always pro Harper and they repeatedly use conservative talking points. So there is this attempt to completely blanket the media with his message while running a permanent election campaign. Scary stuff and so far what's been holding Stevil in check is his own inability to keep a lid on his worst impulses. That, and the fact that he really thinks he's smarter than every single person in this country and consequently shoots his own foot off from time to time. We are well and truly fucked should he gain a majority.

A bit wordy but I have never felt this much antipathy to a Canadian leader of any sort before, and I grew up in British Columbia where our most recent leader gave himself a 53% raise after cutting the minimum wage by 25% for first time employees.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:45 PM on March 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Trust in the Harper. The Harper is good.

I'll just show myself out.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:51 PM on March 4, 2011


djlynch: "Stockwell Day? Don't you mean Doris Day?

(Sorry, it's the only Canadian politics joke I know. Outside the NDP's chances of winning a national election.)
"

I always thought it was a terrific name. Although he certainly seems like a nutbar.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:55 PM on March 4, 2011


Christiane Ouimet got $500,000 for ^NOT^ doing the job of public integrity commissioner, and for that money she promises to not talk to the media about anything. Can the public-accounts committee force her to testify?
posted by anthill at 2:56 PM on March 4, 2011


"...it sounded similar to a case involving Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of electoral overspending in a Manitoba provincial election."

That'd be the same Vic Toews who was subsequently appointed Minister of Justice.

So for those of you scoring at home, a conviction of electoral fraud is enough to keep you from being called to the bar and working in the Justice system, but not enough to stop you from running the Justice system entirely.

And likening a conviction for electoral fraud to a parking ticket? Really? Really?

/longstandingbeef
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:39 PM on March 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honestly, you'd never know we had a minority government, would you? For cripes sake Liberals, get a real leader.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:34 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


In truth, Ignatieff is the problem, not Harper. Harper is a symptom of the Ignatieff problem.

Yesss... Iggy must be getting paid off by Harper, that is one of the ways that Harper can keep staying in power, even though hardly anybody really likes him.
posted by ovvl at 5:21 PM on March 4, 2011


So now Valerie Harper's reign of terror begins.
posted by anothermug at 5:38 PM on March 4, 2011


"Also, if you go to the comment section of any of the major media outlets in this country, CBC, The Globe, etc, the first posts are almost always pro Harper and they repeatedly use conservative talking points."

To be fair, the comments in the cbc.ca article about this story were delightfully hate-filled, and I had to go all the way to page 23 before I found a comment supporting Harper (or rather, hating on the Liberals).
posted by sneebler at 5:41 PM on March 4, 2011


With all that russilwvong posted, in addition to all the other crap Harper has pulled (the proroguing, the calling an election he passed a law to not call, the census, etc. etc. etc.) I am convinced that anyone who votes Conservative is just simply not paying attention, or they're an idiot, or they don't want to live in a parliamentary democracy - which would all otherwise be fine, if not for the fact that the rest of Canadians then have to live with the craven results of their citizenship.

Gaaah, Harper really roasts my nuts...
posted by birdsquared at 5:58 PM on March 4, 2011


But the comforting new TV commercial that shows him working late at night in his office sipping out of a strategically-placed Beatles mug yt while he takes good care of the country has shown me that he's like everyone's dad. A cool dad, because there's that BEATLES mug right there that he's sipping out of.

I like that commercial because in the final shot, the parliament building looks like it's literally on fire.
posted by EmGeeJay at 7:59 PM on March 4, 2011


To be fair, the comments in the cbc.ca article about this story were delightfully hate-filled, and I had to go all the way to page 23 before I found a comment supporting Harper (or rather, hating on the Liberals).

Good point, and I think that's because something is different with this story. It's really struck a nerve with a lot of people that don't normally comment. It's so basic and really, when you get down to it, cheesy as hell. It makes us look like the second rate country we have a deep and abiding fear of actually being. Hopefully it will stick and make people here maybe wake up and have a good luck at what Harper is all about.

But I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:12 PM on March 4, 2011


This is breaking news on the HBC!
posted by fairmettle at 10:04 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Public servants from four different departments have confirmed to The Canadian Press that they received a directive late last year that the words "Government of Canada" in federal communications be replaced with "Harper Government."

"I really hate to harp on this, guys," the minister later added, "but it's really important."
posted by Eideteker at 11:41 PM on March 4, 2011


Also, find/replace all with "LARPer Government."

PS, you still belong to the queen, dickwad.
posted by Eideteker at 11:42 PM on March 4, 2011


the comments in the cbc.ca article ... I had to go all the way to page 23

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED
posted by Hoopo at 12:46 AM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why can't they vote this clown out?
posted by Ironmouth at 4:13 AM on March 5, 2011


We could easily vote this clown out. Unfortunately, Canadians watch too much American tv, and they're absorbing the bought and paid for attitudes promoted by the big spenders in the Republican Party. That means 1) they tend to vote for conservative values that don't historically make a lot of sense in Canada (private health care, I guess), and 2) they tend not to vote because they hate the polarized politics that is normal in the US. = Harper minority.
posted by sneebler at 7:07 AM on March 5, 2011


PMO apologizes for booting media before Ignatieff speech.

The Government takes his podium and goes home.
posted by mazola at 9:40 AM on March 5, 2011


"Why can't they vote this clown out?"

There's three reasons. One is that politics in this country is very regional. The Conservatives in particular have a region of the country that always votes for them (the West), no matter what they do. Harper could sacrifice a virgin on live TV and still count on Western votes, especially if the virgin was a Liberal. These are the people who normally feel shut out of government, and they think that Harper is Their Guy, even if his actions never support this.

Another reason is the lack of an effective opposition. We have a far left party called the NDP that is liked, but not trusted by enough people to lead, and a centre left (mostly centre) party called the Liberals who are currently in disarray. The Liberals had a majority government for a long time, and then a minority one. They used their A and B teams, and now there's nobody left who looks like a credible leader. The D team is currently leading the party, and they need fresh blood in the worst way.

And the third reason is that people are mostly complacent right now. We had a brief recession, but our resource based economy has bobbed back up and is doing pretty well. People aren't hurting enough to get angry at the government in large numbers, no matter what clown is in charge.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:07 PM on March 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Harper could sacrifice a virgin on live TV and still count on Western votes, especially if the virgin was a Liberal.

Fat chance!
posted by fairmettle at 3:12 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why can't they vote this clown out?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: because Quebec votes for the BQ, and you can't win Canada without Quebec. The Harper Conservatives have been able to form minority government because of their support in the West, support which has come at the expense of the Liberals. As well, the Federal NDP under Layton has performed well over the past couple of elections, further eroding Liberal support.

The Liberals have also suffered under weak leaders for the past decade: first it was Paul Martin who fought an internal war to depose Jean Chretien and then fucked up with Gomery; then you had Stephan Dion, and now Iggy. I don't think Bob Rae and save them.

We're looking at another election victory for Harper and the Conservatives, and the Liberals will have to continue their 10-year process of "rebuilding" the party.

Personally, I think Gilles Duceppe is the most charismatic leader in Canada now.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:20 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, I've started a blog. I figure the Harper Government should provide enough material to post a story every day for the next couple of months.
posted by russilwvong at 7:20 PM on March 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cult of no personality.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:59 AM on March 6, 2011


Let's give the BQ a minority government. I like most of their policies and we can block any attempts to separate if they tried to pull the trigger. That's the way I see it going. GO BQ!

On behalf of Western Canadians, I'd like to apologize for the all the Conservative seats. We vote weird out here in pretty much ALL elections. Stay sensible, Ontario!
posted by Salmonberry at 2:11 AM on March 6, 2011


What the fuck!?
posted by Fizz at 6:14 AM on March 6, 2011


Stay sensible, Ontario!

Dude, my MP is the frigging PC Minister of Finance, and my MPP is his frigging wife. They live in the biggest, most ostentatious house in the whole town--this town being the home of many, many laid off auto workers struggling to stay afloat--and before they were politicians, they were personal injury lawyers.

Trust me, Ontarians are fully capable of staggering stupidity on election day. (And most other times, too...)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:59 PM on March 6, 2011


Harper's in the catbird seat with such weak opposition partys. Ignatieff was supposed to be a thinker, I've yet to hear a vision or anything that differentiates him from the rest. What a disappointment. Now Duceppe would make a difference should he cross over, but the Liberals wouldn't admit they made a mistake and I'm not sure how that would play out to make that happen. Damn!
posted by alicesshoe at 6:08 PM on March 6, 2011


Serious question: what should Ignatieff be doing (beyond trying to force an election)? As I said earlier, the Conservatives have a huge fundraising advantage, so they can flood the Liberals with attack ads.

A story today: The Ignatieff Liberals have issued a scorching assessment of the Harper Conservatives as an instinctively anti-democratic group that subverts Canada’s governing institutions whenever it suits their interests.
posted by russilwvong at 7:53 AM on March 7, 2011


Trust me, Ontarians are fully capable of staggering stupidity on election day.

When the Common Sense Revolution comes, welfare bums will be the first against the wall.
posted by Hoopo at 4:49 PM on March 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Harper Contempt of Parliament

They've got a triple play in one season, that has to be a record.
posted by anthill at 2:10 PM on March 9, 2011


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