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Stephen Harper

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Stephen Harper

Postby Urbane » Dec 8th, 2012, 10:20 am

In a couple of months Stephen Harper will have been Prime Minister for seven years and he is already one of our longest serving PM's but there are still people out there (and most definitely posters on these forums) who vilify him on a daily basis. Rex Murphy adds some much needed perspective:

Rex Murphy: Vilifying Stephen Harper

Rex Murphy | Dec 8, 2012

There’s something about Stephen. His opponents have many names for him — the majority of which are, alas, neither flattering nor meant to be.

He is a taciturn schemer, a theocrat mole, loose at the top of the Canadian political system, determined to bend Canada to his grim and twisted design, to curb the liberties of Canadians, to push us and our country back into some fevered neocon darkness. Politically, he is Dick Cheney’s illegitimate son. George W. Bush’s half-brother. He’s a lackey of the rich, and enemy of all that is good and Canadian. He’s in the pocket of big oil. He hates baby seals.

My, how the spine chills when some people talk and write about Harper.

Then there are the many “faces” his enemies attribute to him, among them Conspiracy Harper, Vendetta Harper, Christianist-Harper — hope of the hard line, Doomsday-waiting Evangelicals, Secret-Agenda Harper, Tool of Israel Harper, Anti-Democracy Harper, with perhaps a little space for Secret Alberta-Separatist Harper. The caricatures belong more to the old style of detective novel when the villains, projections of untethered fantasy, were eerie amalgams of malice, supernal powers, outlandish ambitions and utterly unbelievable. Harper as Fu Manchu, as it were.

Hating, mistrusting or dismissing Harper is not a transient phenomenon. A poll as recent as this week, seven years after Mr. Harper took office (during which he has not, contra naturum, transformed Canada into a gulag or prison house for the poor, artists, liberals, greens or whomever he sees as his opponents) reveals a majority of Canadians think he still has that famous but, by definition, unseen hidden agenda. Even though he is Prime Minister and has a majority, many still believe he keeps that damn agenda up his sleeve. Query: What’s the point of a hidden agenda that stays hidden? Will it still be hidden when he leaves office? If so, what was or is its point?

I do admit that the poll surprised me. A full 75% of sentient voters from the big parties thought him (I’m paraphrasing) untrustworthy. The fervour to believe ill of the Prime Minister is, however, even stronger amongst the naturists, the Earth-worshipping Greens. A whopping 97 % of them do not trust him, and believe that the “hidden agenda” — perhaps like the lost city of Atlantis, or fabled Shangri-La is “real.” Greens are fundamentalist anti-Harperites. That 97% represents not a trend; it’s a fixation.

It’s not just the “hidden-agenda” cliché, though. It’s the man himself. Go on comment boards, Twitter, read the pundits, listen to conversations on the street and you’ll soon see that the pure bile directed at Mr. Harper, the contempt for the man himself, is shocking and remarkable. They mock his build, his clothes, his relationship with his children (the handshake off to school) his hair, his — well, his very being. How wonderful it is that so many believe they are infinitely his superior — after all, they have the best tables at Twitter Café, and he’s only the prime minister.

In sum, the tenure and even the physical presence of Stephen Harper, for very many otherwise temperate people, is remarkable for the virulence of the opposition and personal antipathy he inspires. It’s not just the politics or the policies. It’s him — the person.

It is not abnormal for politicians to be disliked. Nixon was disliked, and his personality — pinched, reclusive, sullen and curiously self-pitying — fed that dislike. Pierre Trudeau, worshipped by some, conjured savage opposition and distaste from his opponents, but Trudeau the man sometimes earned kudos even for those who despised his policies. Brian Mulroney had the strange knack of inspiring those who didn’t know him to really dislike him, and those who did know him — despite his political errors and that unfortunate bag of cash — to see him as even warm, loyal and charming.

With Stephen Harper the emotions he elicits — especially the extreme ones of contempt and near-hatred, have to be a projection of his enemies, far more than an assessment of Harper’s character or policies.

For, step back a little, make a little space, and you will see that in his personal and domestic conduct, Harper is almost stereotypically Canadian. He’s a mild, unobnoxious, hockey-mad fellow. He doesn’t boast.He shuns the spotlight he could be commanding every day. He keeps his privacy and doesn’t insist, like many public figures, in conducting a soap opera around his position or his family. He’d be the ideal neighbour — he wouldn’t just drop in, too reserved for that (which is great), but I’m sure he’d lend a shovel when needed. Probably even help dig out your car if you were stuck, and take your thanks with a self-conscious smile and reassurance that it was no trouble.

So why is it that people are not content just to disagree with him, to label him simply wrong or misguided but must revile him? Why is there such fervour of suspicion about “the agenda” and so much invective and worse directed at him? I don’t know.

I do know the response is unbalanced and disproportionate, and hurts his enemies more than him.

They make Mr. Harper, in their own white-hot minds, bigger and more scary than he is or could be.

National Post
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby albertabound » Dec 8th, 2012, 12:04 pm

:sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine: :sunshine:
How true rex,cbc must be peed off with you for saying the truth.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Nebula » Dec 8th, 2012, 12:08 pm

Rex is very, very good at what he does.
You cannot reason someone out of a position that they did not use reason to arrive at.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 10th, 2012, 1:26 pm

Query: What’s the point of a hidden agenda that stays hidden? Will it still be hidden when he leaves office? If so, what was or is its point?

Harper is almost stereotypically Canadian. He’s a mild, unobnoxious, hockey-mad fellow. He doesn’t boast.He shuns the spotlight he could be commanding every day. He keeps his privacy and doesn’t insist, like many public figures, in conducting a soap opera around his position or his family. He’d be the ideal neighbour — he wouldn’t just drop in, too reserved for that (which is great), but I’m sure he’d lend a shovel when needed. Probably even help dig out your car if you were stuck, and take your thanks with a self-conscious smile and reassurance that it was no trouble.


Omnibus Bill - hidden enough agenda for you?

When you donate to the Conservative party of Canada, you partially pay for Stephen Harper's make-up lady and PR team. The Mr.Rogers sweaters and unmovable hair. He is the only PM to have a personal stylist and fashion consultant.

We know what we are shown about Stephen Harper. The Conservatives and their PR machine is unprecedented in Canadian history in their efforts to "manage the message". Rex bought the PR package hook, line and sinker.

For someone who has never really worked a "real job" (other than in a oil company mail room for a year or so) and refuses to drink alcohol - calling him the "typical Canadian" is a stretch. Typical Canadians don't build fences and refuse to talk to the media either. The media could be viewed as "neighbors".

The man is as chlorinated as the local public swimming pool.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Artofthedeal » Dec 10th, 2012, 2:01 pm

SurplusElect wrote:
The man is as chlorinated as the local public swimming pool.


and yet put him beside bureaucrat extraordinaire and career human UN megaphone Thomas Mulcair and Harper looks like Indiana Jones. There just isn't much exciting on the Canadian political front, and that totally favours Harper. Even if JT rides the Trudeau legacy to the leadership post, this ain't his Daddy's country anymore - we have the internet now which his dad didn't have back then - so he'll be called on every flip-flop and every stupid comment. As long as things stay boring, which they most certainly will as long as Mulcair is around, Harper is as in as PM for a long long time.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Rwede » Dec 10th, 2012, 2:01 pm

He's the best PM we've had in my lifetime. And that's a hell of a long time. And I gladly send him money for his hair stylist.

Maybe Bago and his ilk can send Mulcair a pack of No-name razors - he could use a bit of a clean up. Although, sanitizing his screwed up mind would be better.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Urbane » Dec 10th, 2012, 2:12 pm

    SurplusElect wrote:
    Omnibus Bill - hidden enough agenda for you?

    When you donate to the Conservative party of Canada, you partially pay for Stephen Harper's make-up lady and PR team. The Mr.Rogers sweaters and unmovable hair. He is the only PM to have a personal stylist and fashion consultant.

    We know what we are shown about Stephen Harper. The Conservatives and their PR machine is unprecedented in Canadian history in their efforts to "manage the message". Rex bought the PR package hook, line and sinker.

    For someone who has never really worked a "real job" (other than in a oil company mail room for a year or so) and refuses to drink alcohol - calling him the "typical Canadian" is a stretch. Typical Canadians don't build fences and refuse to talk to the media either. The media could be viewed as "neighbors".

    The man is as chlorinated as the local public swimming pool.
Not that he needed your help but you just helped prove Rex Murphy's point. After reading your post I'm thinking that Rex could have added the word "petty" to describe the nature of the some of the criticisms of the prime minister.
"Just because you have the right doesn't make it right."

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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby normaM » Dec 10th, 2012, 2:41 pm

I keep expecting him to peel off his face and reveal an alien ala " V" But he doesn't darn it, now that would make for an interesting house of commons session. He has a stylist?? clearly not a very good one to sport that hiar hat. I think longer, maybe a goatee.
If you allow it then don't complain about it
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 10th, 2012, 3:24 pm

Urbane wrote:Not that he needed your help but you just helped prove Rex Murphy's point. After reading your post I'm thinking that Rex could have added the word "petty" to describe the nature of the some of the criticisms of the prime minister.


Rex salivates over the image that is shown to us/manufactured by the Conservative machine.

The omnibus bill has thousands of "hidden jems" in it, so Rex failed there.

Stephen Harper's personality is carefully sculpted as is anything that comes out of the Conservative party, so is Rex reading off a Conservative PR release or does he not realize that we are shown what they want us to see?

Stephen Harper has been unprecedented in the secrecy of his government (freedom of information requests backed up worst in history) and his distaste for the media, and "fair questions". He built fences during the election to keep the media from asking him questions - not to mention his party is on the verge of electoral fraud on a grand scale. Canadianesque behavior?

So sure, Mr Harper will help you shovel your driveway....but before he does he will call your house and see how you feel about snow. On the day of the snowfall he will call you again to tell you that its not going to snow, so don't bother meeting him in the driveway.

As a neighbor - he's the guy building the 16' fence around his property with gates and guard dogs.
Last edited by SurplusElect on Dec 10th, 2012, 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Rwede » Dec 10th, 2012, 3:47 pm

Who doesn't have a distaste for the media? They are full of leftist scumbags like Bago. NOT a very tasteful group, IMO!
You are not stupid, I just think you have bad luck when thinking.

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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 10th, 2012, 3:52 pm

The media is what makes Canada a democracy.

Distaste for media = distaste for democracy.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Rwede » Dec 10th, 2012, 4:28 pm

If you think partisan misinformation = democracy, you'd reach Nirvana in communist China.

Did the media in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia instill a sense of democracy in you?
You are not stupid, I just think you have bad luck when thinking.

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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby Artofthedeal » Dec 10th, 2012, 4:53 pm

Rwede wrote:If you think partisan misinformation = democracy, you'd reach Nirvana in communist China.

Did the media in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia instill a sense of democracy in you?


The media in Chavez's Venezuela or Castro's Cuba no doubt makes Surplus Elect (Bago?) salivate.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 10th, 2012, 5:26 pm

The media wasn't allowed to ask Hitler and Stalin tough questions, only SUNTV homerun questions.
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Re: Stephen Harper

Postby JOF585 » Dec 10th, 2012, 6:02 pm

" I,too, am one of these angry westerners ... we may love Canada but Canada does not love us ... Let's make ( Alberta ) strong enough that the rest of the country is afraid to threaten us. "
Stephen Harper Report Magazine Dec 2000

Great average Canadian allright ..


------------------------------------------------------------------
" When a government starts trying to cancel dissent or avoid dissent is frankly when it's rapidly losing it's moral authority to govern. "
Stephen Harper
Canadian Press
April 18, 2005

He's avoiding the media. Should he still govern ?


-------------------------------------------
" Restoring accountability will be one of the major priorities of our new government. Accountability is what ordinary Canadians, working Canadians, those people who pay their bills, pay their taxes, expect from their political leaders. "
Stephen Harper
April 6, 2011

Same as above.


----------------------------------------------------------
Alberta Federation of Labour April 22, 2011
During the 2008 federal election, PM SH made a surprise announcement that his government would stop the flow of unprocessed bitumen to countries with worse environmental standards than our own.

Amazing what the gift of a couple of pandas would do.
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