This holiday season, Stephen Harper has a message for Canadians. A CBC video begins with a slideshow of the Prime Minister doing what he does best: sitting alone in a room, making eye contact with an elderly woman, and participating in what appears to be an elementary school class. This is our Prime Minister. He also celebrates Christmas. This year, he wants to celebrate it with us.
Harper opens his annual Christmas message with a game of two truths and a lie. “We live a beautiful country, a compassionate country, a prosperous country,” he says. Sneaky Stephen never reveals the lie. Perhaps the opportunity to play the game is his Christmas gift to us.
He follows up with words of praise: “Despite the difficulties elsewhere in the world, Canada’s economy is getting ever-stronger.” Want another guess at the lie? It’s no coincidence that our P.M. isn’t talking about global compassion or a beauty deficit. He continues, “more Canadians have more opportunities and better paying jobs than ever before.” Assuming zero change everywhere except northern Alberta, Harper is right. If that’s a reasonable assumption, it stands alone.
Canadian faces contort as Harper says that Canada is known around the world for “doing what is right.” You know Canadians, always so polite. This sentence makes sense only if “doing” is a euphemism. Now you get it.
Ushering in more confusion, our leader says that “[Canada is known for] promoting peace” before he asks us to pray for our troops. He keeps a straight face as he finishes his sentence. Still, he earns support from Canadian people. One CBC commenter echoed his words: “Yes, do pray for our military because that’s all the support they can expect when, and if, they return to Canada.” Well said, Stephen and Sharon!
War and peace aside, Harper displays his generosity. “In our abundance,” he says, “I ask you to show kindness to the less fortunate.” Whip out a riding map. Do you work in the Senate, reside at 24 Sussex Drive, or live in Alberta or Parry Sound-Muskoka? If so, show kindness. If not, find someone from one of these places, tell them what Harper said, and cross your fingers for good luck.
With a sincere smile and a hollow stare, Harper concludes, “May you be filled with hope for the future.” Maybe he doesn’t realize it, but he’s preaching to the converted. In the absence of good jobs and good government, hope is all Canadians do. Merry Christmas, and let’s start the New Year.