“”I think we have a government that considers science an inconvenience.
|—David Schindler, University of Alberta|
“”Sorry, world. We fucked up.
|—The 40% of Canadians who didn't vote in 2011|
Stephen "Our Glorious Dear Leader" Harper is a fan of Nickelback, the head of the Conservative Party of Canada and the nation's Prime Minister since 2006. He has become a pariah of many Canucks for his increasingly autocratic style of governance, enough to have his support base dwarfed by an alliance of onion ring lovers. Emerging studies suggest that he was grown in the same right-wing bioreactor tank as former US President George W. Bush.
In May 2011, he won his third straight federal election, this time with a majority; this resulted in reactionaries mocking the more vocal critics of Harper's regime as "stupid commie hipsters who don't have a job," and the rest of the civilized world scratching their heads on the sudden failure of the Great White North's education system. Since then, Harper has tried to act as a "Red Tory," most likely to appeal to centre-right voters that usually voted Liberal but scoffed at the rise of (now-deceased) Jack Layton and the NDP. However, his admiration by the GOP and track record is enough to raise serious alarm for the state of the country.
Stephen Harper was born in Toronto, but left to Alberta after high school and has since ignored the city (well, all the libruls and gays live there!). He worked as a mail clerk at Imperial Oil with his father in Edmonton, that being his only job experience before entering politics. He is also a member of the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance.
After the disastrous ending of the Progressive Conservative majority in 1993 under Brian Mulroney (losing all but two seats in Parliament), he became a prominent member of the Refooooooorm! Party as "Steve Harper." The Reform Party later became the Canadian Alliance (first aptly known as the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party), then merged with the PCs (creating the current Conservatives) for a chance to challenge the Liberals in the mid-2000s.
 Reasons to like him
- Pro-life change of heart - Not shockingly, Harper's staunchest support is with fundies that to this day continue to influence the party on abortion laws. However, he doesn't want to re-open debate about it, perhaps to prevent pissing off the general electorate. In a hilarious case of blowback, Tory backbenchers who really want to re-open the abortion debate are currently rebelling because the de-facto censorship he's placed on their right to speak in Parliament.
- Discontinued the minting of pennies - The sanest thing he's ever done, and did so without any major opposition.
- Made scholarship and fellowship grants to students non-taxable - That was nice of him.
 Reasons to "meh" him
- Put the "Royal" back in the Canadian military - Wouldn't have mattered either way, but preferred by a majority of Canadians.
- Negotiated the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) - For Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia, which combines the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST) to "improve the competitiveness of Canadian businesses."
- Free trade - Is establishing links from the EU to China.
 Reasons to dislike him
- Tarnishing the recovery - Tackling the Great Recession was going to be a pain in the ass whoever was in charge, but Harper has taken credit for things that he was never responsible for. Sent Action Plan checks disproportionately to important party ridings, and started creating deficits before 2008 (the latter due to being an apparent tax cut addict, intentions now questioned by economists).
- Stripping Statistics Canada's power - Considered one of the best of its kind, Harper eliminated the long form census simply for ideological reasons.
- Reagan-smashed the Canadian Wheat Board while the majority of farmers said otherwise (technically illegal).
- Seems to have zero idea of what a logical fallacy means
 Reasons to hate him
- Chickenhawk envy - Blindly supported the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, is sleeping around with Blackwater, has begun to quietly emulate Dick Cheney, says he will defend Israel "whatever the cost."
- Attempted to reinstate a gay marriage ban immediately after taking office, then shut down 12 out of 16 federal Status of Women offices
- McCarthy-esque crackdowns on government dissenters and liberal university professors
- A dismal record on global warming, "muzzling" climate scientists and calling Kyoto "a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations." He then formally withdrew Canada from its commitment to the Protocol, making it the first country of the 191 ratifying signatories to do so.
- Enacted controls on the Ottawa press gallery, thus effectively limiting (or even silencing) journalists from asking questions
- Prorogued Parliament twice in two years, the latter in fear of facing oppositional criticism over the Afghan detainee scandal
- Wasted almost $1 billion in three days for security and other costs during the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. The resulting protests became the largest mass arrests in Canadian history, making the the 1970 FLQ crisis under Pierre Trudeau look like Quebec never wanted to separate from Canada (just watch this). If you're not raising pitchforks yet, G20 military records were found to equate "embarrassment to the Canadian government" to terrorism.
- Tried to steal ballot boxes, make stimulus plan signs permanent, filled the government lobby with photos of just himself, continues to have the Government of Canada listed as the "Harper Government" in official communications, and used Fox News lookalike Sun News to concoct an act of propaganda worthy of Failblog mention.
- Was influential in halting a UN resolution to declare water as a basic human right, has
pressed to maintain the freaking asbestos industryreluctantly ended funding for the Chrysotile Institute in May 2012 after international condemnation (plus a good mocking by Jon Stewart), drastically cut foreign aid to Africa, and literally wants the poor to starve
- Negligence over the $7 million Bev Oda scandal and the "In and Out" scandal
- Let the Treasury Board President take $50 million from the G8 fund to spend on gazebos in his own constituency and allowed the Defence Minister to use a search-and-rescue helicopter as a personal limo
- In a
terrifyinghilarious move, fully copied one of Tim Pawlenty's 2012 presidential ads
- Blatantly lied about the cost of 65 F-35 fighter jets (you know, the ones loved by John McCain), expected to be tens of billions of dollars more than official projections Oh, and they also have a nasty habit of losing communication in the High Arctic. Good thing Canada isn't trying to enforce its ownership of the North!
- Is in the process of imposing American "tough on crime" laws, while all evidence points to the current system working since the 70s. And fibbing about the cost. Shocker!
- Fired all non-Christian chaplains from Canadian prisons.
- Apparently stuffed the ballot box, using robocalls to send Liberal voters to the wrong voting locations, in the very election where Stevie won his majority government. And then had the audacity to use robocalls to manipulate public opinion against changing Saskatchewan's rigged electoral boundaries.
- Used his majority to ram a 400-page "budget bill" through Parliament, damaging everything from the environment to social protections and opposed by almost every scientist and constitutional expert in the nation. Once the Harper-instituted budget office realized it was probably illegal, they were told to fuck off.
- Made John Lennon cry out in terror from beyond the grave
...and finally, after all of that:
- Being the first ever PM to be held in contempt of Parliament, something never before seen in the British Commonwealth. Enjoy, eh.
 Inspiring quotes
"Canada is a vast and empty country."
"It's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians."
"You've got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into Western Canadian society."
"Conrad Black has recently assumed control of the Southam chain of newspapers, including most of Canada's large metropolitan dailies. Those papers, monolithically liberal and feminist under previous management, are quickly becoming more pluralistic, with a strong representation of conservative voices." - as part of the National Citizens Coalition in 1997 with Tom Flanagan (yes, that Tom Flanagan)
"For taxpayers, however, it’s a rip-off. And it has nothing to do with gender. Both men and women taxpayers will pay additional money to both men and women in the civil service. That’s why the federal government should scrap its ridiculous pay equity law." - on women's economic rights
- One brave soul has even managed to create a piano arrangement of these comments. It is stressed that it be played "with a blue sweater, if possible."
 See also
- His Twitter page
- His brilliant mastery of the French language
- Stephen Harper steals speech from Emperor Palpatine
- What now, Canada?
- Harper is declared Douchebag of the Year, for the third time in a row
- ↑ Tories shut down ‘groundbreaking’ freshwater research station, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Courtesy of evil atheist Jamie Calder
- ↑ Cringe.
- ↑ Build more prisons!
- ↑ Can this Onion Ring get more fans that Stephen Harper?
- ↑ ie. ShitHarperDid
- ↑ Newt Gingrich: Stephen Harper gets shout-out from Republican hopeful, The Huffington Post
- ↑ Well...not really, as everyone outside of Western Canada hates his guts.
- ↑ Not the American one, rather this
- ↑ No, seriously. (But you can't trust those commies at the CBC!)
- ↑ Stephen Harper Says He'll Vote Against Private Member's Bill On Human Definition, The Huffington Post
- ↑ Tory MPs rebel against Prime Minister's Office control
- ↑ CGPGrey
- ↑ BC later rejected the HST in a referendum but two years later its still there.
- ↑ Whether you liked the Chretien/Martin years or not (and there was a lot not to like), it must be stressed that it was the Libbies who prevented the collusion of the "Big Five" banking industry (a move Harper hated at the time) and created a decade's worth of balanced budgets, while preserving most of the welfare state (compare this to the United States). Stevie and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty denied the occurrence of a recession on numerous occasions (Harper has a master's degree in economics) and it took a threat of a non-confidence vote for them to even pass some sort of a stimulus package.
- ↑ Independent reports back up Liberal analyses of Conservative stimulus spending bias
- ↑ Small change for tighter times, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Ottawa's GST cut a mistake, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ A senseless census reform, The Economist
- ↑ Does it matter if our laws are passed illegally?, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ How the PM's dig at Mulcair sparked a #HarperHistory lesson, CBC
- ↑ Tories on e-snooping: ‘Stand with us or with the child pornographers’, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Canadian troops trained by Blackwater without U.S. permission: court document, The Canadian Press
- ↑ CSIS may use intelligence derived from torture, Toews says, CBC
- ↑ Harper says he'll support Israel even if it hurts Canada politically, The Canadian Press
- ↑ To be fair, he hasn't touched it ever since.
- ↑ Tories accused of culture of intimidation, Toronto Star
- ↑ Meet the Tory hit list, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ StatsCan loses top economic analyst over census, Ottawa Citizen
- ↑ Tories accused of digging up dirt on ‘Liberal’ profs, Toronto Star
- ↑ Environment Canada job cuts raise concerns, CBC
- ↑ At Copenhagen, Canada takes “Colossal Fossil” distinction for third year in row
- ↑ Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ ‘Radical groups’ spur Tories to speed pipeline review process, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Canadian government is 'muzzling its scientists' BBC
- ↑ Canada must free scientists to talk to journalists, Nature
- ↑ In reality...
- ↑ Canada withdraws from Kyoto pact, BBC
- ↑ Stephen Harper vs. The Press
- ↑ Harper to avoid national media, claiming bias, CTV
- ↑ $833-million security bill for G20 and G8 called “insane”, Toronto Life
- ↑ To compare, the price tag for the previous two summits (Pittsburgh and London in 2009) were $48 million combined.
- ↑ ‘Embarrassment to the Canadian government’ considered security threat at Toronto G20 summit: documents, National Post
- ↑ Economic Action Plan signs could become permanent, The Canadian Press
- ↑ Harper gallery leaves MPs speechless, Ottawa Citizen
- ↑ Documents show ‘harperization’ of government communications, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Kenney refuses to apologize for fake citizenship broadcast, blames bureaucrats, National Post
- ↑ UN rejects water as basic human right
- ↑ Harper parties in mining town as Canada keeps asbestos off hazardous list, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Pro-asbestos advocacy group shuts its doors, Montreal Gazette
- ↑ Canada's foreign aid shift from Africa questioned, CTV
- ↑ Ottawa shrugs off UN warning on hunger and nutrition, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Amid cries of contempt, Harper backs Bev Oda, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Gazebos and the governing morality, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ ‘Desperate’ Tories fire back at MacKay’s critics with Rae’s 1992 chopper ride, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Tories accused of following Tea Partier's script in new ad, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Costly US fighter under fire from lawmakers, Reuters
- ↑ Ottawa’s fighter-jet estimate ‘all hogwash,’ U.S. watchdog warns, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Remember that the Canadian air force needs to replace 138 CF-18s.
- ↑ Tories judge evidence of falling rates inadmissible, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Huge price tag for provinces attached to crime bill, The Globe and Mail
- ↑ Robocalls linked to Guelph Tory campaign worker's computer, CBC
- ↑ Robocall fallout haunts Tories, Maclean's
- ↑ Conservatives admit making robocalls in Saskatchewan
- ↑ Scientists, ex-ministers slam federal changes to Fisheries Act
- ↑ Budget bill moves on to the Senate for final approval, CBC
- ↑ Tory-created parliamentary budget office overstepping its mandate, Baird says, Winnipeg Free Press
- ↑ Harper government topples on contempt motion, triggering May election, CTV
- ↑ Wikiquote on Stephen Harper
- ↑ Harper speech fires up convention crowd, CBC
- ↑ 71.0 71.1 71.2 71.3 Full text of Stephen Harper's 1997 speech, CTV
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 72.2 The Harper quotes dossier: a sample, CBC
- ↑ 38th Parliament, 1st Session
- ↑ Tory tax cut promise dominates campaign Day 3, CTV
- ↑ Tories compiled Harper's most controversial quotes, CBC
- ↑ "Our benign dictatorship"
- ↑ 39th Parliament, 1st Session
- ↑ No more dog days, CBC
- ↑ We Don’t Govern on the Basis of Statistics, Skeptic North
- ↑ Argh Canada for Speaking Pianist, James O'Callaghan