In Stephen Harper’s annual address to caucus on Monday, he kicked off his campaign in the best and only way to kick off a Conservative election campaign, with a Canadian flag large enough to cover half the country in a canopy of red and white maple-y pride, the promise of tax cuts, and Bachman Turner-Overdrive’s Taking’ Care of Business. Is Taking Care of Business the most cliched and overused campaign song of all time? Yes. Has it’s pointlessly obvious and uncreative message lost all meaning? Yes. But is it catchy? Damn right it is.
Spending ample donations on renting the Ottawa Convention Centre, rather than delivering his speech in Parliament’s central block as per usual, Harper showed off the Conservative’s newly acquired cash. Everyone know the best way to woo voters is with a fancy convention centre.
Harper boasted about the 1.1 million jobs created since 2006, the reduction of the deficit and the strong international stance he’s taken against Russia and ISIS. But Harper’s biggest weakness may be that he’s been prime minister for so long. Voters are getting tired of his presence. Now Conservatives are trying to say that change is not good, and it’s consistency that we need. His message to voters was clear, he is the only candidate with the experience necessary for the job.
“The measure of good government, the true test of leadership lies not in achieving success in times of stability and peace, but in doing so during times of risk and danger,” he said. I couldn’t agree more. But is it really accurate to describe the time period of 2006 to the present as a time of risk and danger? Yes there was the economic crisis and challenges abroad in Syria, in Ukraine, and now Iraq, but you do know we live in Canada and not those other places right?
Maybe he’s hoping that he’s been prime minister for so long that we can no longer remember what it’s like to live in a world without him. What would a world with Justin Trudeau or Thomas Mulcair as PM even be like? Free weed and abortions for everyone? Harper’s probably praying that Canadians are developing a complex psychological need for Stephen Harper. We may need some therapy, if Harper ever leaves office.
Of course his speech wouldn’t be complete without taking a few jabs (albeit unnamed) at Justin Trudeau. In regards to ISIS, Harper said, “Canadians are rightly sickened by [Islamic State’s] savage slaughter of anyone who doesn’t share their twisted view of the world… We know their ideology is not the result of ‘social exclusion’ or other so-called ‘root causes.’” Here he is referring to what Trudeau said in 2013 about the Boston Marathon bomber being “marginalized by society.” “It is evil, vile, and must be unambiguously opposed,” he continued. Ah yes the old “my opponent has sympathy for terrorists card,” that always makes you look like a rational and appealing candidate. It’s not exactly fair either to lump the Boston marathon bomber and ISIS together, as one was a mentally disturbed American national, while the other is a huge terrorist organization that is threatening world domination.
Finishing off his speech, Harper explained that as the deficit shrinks, and the budget is balanced, tax cuts will be on the horizon. The catch is you can only get your tax cuts, Canada, if you re-elect Conservatives.