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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Our national Harper headache 

How often do the Harper Cons send out a press release that uses the phrase “Harper Government"?
About eight times a day.
Yes, its true -- every four hours, just like a headache pill, some poor civil servant is emailing the media another "Harper Government announces..." missive:
..between September 21 and December 11 (when the question was tabled), the federal government sent out 449 press releases in English using the phrase Harper Government.
So, about eight times every weekday, a government organ issues an official communication branded with the name of our prime minister. You can double the figure if you include the French version.
These were no mere passing references: Of these 449 press releases, I counted 412 slugged with a title that began “Harper Government….” followed by a suitably impressive verb, such as “helps,” “invests,” “boosts,” “supports,” “appoints,” “highlights,” “encourages,” and “commemorates,” among dozens of others.
My favourites:
“Harper Government Helps Gluten-Free Bakery Deliver New Product Line,”
“Harper Government Highlights Role of East Coast Privateers in the War of 1812,”
“Harper Government Showcases Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair,”
“Harper Government Agreement Will Bring Versatile New Oat Variety Closer to Market,”
and “Harper Government Supports the 2012 Women’s Wrestling Championships.”
Does Harper think we will forget who is the Prime Minister if the PMO doesn't keep reminding us?
Or maybe its just another attempt by the staff to make Harper easier to live with.
Remember Rick Mercer's story during the prorogue crisis of 2008?
...while the nation wondered if the government would fall, junior Conservative staffers were ordered to be outside 24 Sussex Drive by six-fifteen in the morning. Their job was to stand there in the dark, with the temperature well below zero, and wait for the PM to appear...to applaud, wave and sing "O Canada" loudly as the motorcade pulled out of the gates and drove Stephen Harper to work.
Harper, by all accounts, actually believed that the young people were there of their own accord and represented a groundswell of love and support for his actions. Staffers in the Prime Minister's Office know that he is easier to handle when being applauded and not questioned. This way, nobody has to suffer at the hands of the inconsolable bear.
As long as they keep churning out "Harper government" press releases, maybe nobody has to stand around waving at him on cold Ottawa mornings anymore.

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