We have everything to fear but fear itself

And our Prime Minister won’t ever let us forget it

We have everything to fear but fear itself

CP/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCK/ PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY BRADLEY REINHARDT

Some leaders rule with an iron fist inside a velvet glove. Stephen Harper rules with the mask from the Scream movies.

Like many Canadians, I love being terrified of people and issues—it’s way easier than making the effort to understand them. But Harper wants us to be afraid of so much stuff that it can be hard to keep track. Here’s a useful primer of things the PM wants us to fear:

A coalition government. Check your trousers, Canada. Are they soiled? If not, Stephen Harper would like a word with you about a potential Liberal-NDP-Bloc Québécois coalition. If this trio were to rule, the economy would collapse, the streets of our land would run red with the blood of the innocent and John Baird would lose his chauffeur. Clearly, under such a horrifying scenario, the sweet relief of death could not come too soon for the despairing people of Canada.

Harper has trained his ministers to warn voters that opposition politicians are, as Jim Flaherty recently put it, obsessive in their pursuit of “power, power, power.” Whereas Harper himself eschews power in all its forms and leaves all critical decisions to the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

The Harper bottom line is this: co-operation is for Communists and beach volleyballers. If our politicians started genuinely working together, what would be next? Civility? Progress? It’s all too frightening to even imagine. That’s why every time we get closer to a coalition government, Harper prorogues Parliament. For you, Canada. All for you.

Tamils. When people show up unannounced at our borders, there’s usually an orderly process through which their claims are fairly considered. But seafaring Tamils? We must fear them because they represent a “security concern” and may possibly be linked to terrorism perhaps. Rest assured, this has nothing to do with being opportunistic or xenophobic. Stephen Harper is totally fine with refugees—but do they always have to come from lands that are so troubled? Where are your yachts filled with refugees, Monaco?

Russians. Whenever George W. Bush needed a boost in the polls, he raised his country’s threat level. When Stephen Harper needed to justify buying expensive new fighter aircrafts, he warned that the Russians have been coming close to getting near to almost thinking about approaching the vicinity-ish of our air space. Are they planning to invade Canada with a single, propeller-powered bomber? WE CAN’T BE SURE. So we must fear the Russians! They are coming for our icebergs! And only Harper can protect us with his $16 billion in jets and his moxie.

Elections. Harper insists an “unnecessary election” would derail our economic recovery. How? He can’t risk telling us! We’ll just have to take the word of the PM and his finance minister, who not only didn’t see the recession coming but also responded to it with the single most inaccurate and widely mocked economic update in the history of both Canada and math.

Census takers. They come right to your door! Sometimes after six o’clock in the evening! They ask personal questions such as how many bedrooms are in your house—because they are perverts! Be warned: if you share information with them, they will STEAL YOUR SOUL.

Toronto elites. These monocle-wearing hobnobbers are all-powerful and evidence of their influence is everywhere—in fact, one of these big-city hoity-toits even grew up to be Prime Minister (Stephen J. Harper, 2006-?). If the Toronto elite aren’t stopped, average folk will surely be forced to surrender their long guns, their virgin daughters and their inferior, grocery-store cheeses.

People who’ve lived abroad. To many Conservatives, leaving Canada is an act of adultery against one’s country (unless it’s on a parliamentary junket paid for by taxpayers, in which case: mini-bar!). Think about it: if you go out into the world, you’re likely to have your narrow views challenged. And who’s got time for that? We should all be like Harper himself, who never left the continent until he was leader of the Opposition—and only then on government trips. He’s more Canadian than the rest of us because, like a tea bag of patriotism, he has steeped in Canada for longer. That’s science.

Just think, Canada: if we begin to understand the world and its people, how can we possibly continue to blindly fear them?




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We have everything to fear but fear itself

  1. Makes my day, every time!

  2. Ah gawd….two in one week. My ribs will never recover.

    It's a keeper!

  3. In the year 3,000!!! Conan could have used some of this material.

  4. Thank you so much for this breath of fresh air. I might even subscribe to Maclean's again.

  5. It is to laugh, were I not to weep that you speak the truth.

  6. Frankly my dear Harper is a dufus

  7. How dare the Harper Cons steal the media narrative of whats scary. I think it's time Mcleans and our other media agents put Con Harper on the cover with the question-"How scary is Stephen Harper"? Remember that one? That was cool, heh, heh. It's time to bring that kind of fear and smear back! It's the medias job to sell who's "scary and who's not "scary", not Stephen Harper!

    • I really hope. for your sake. that you have a day job….humor is not your friend.

  8. How much is McLean's getting from the liberals for this? They seam to be getting a lot lately of corse the wrighter has to be a liberal A hole.

    • Or, the writer is simply using humour to bring light in order for you yourself to research and think. It's no different than when MacLean's made similar articles regarding Martin, was MacLean's a conservative magazine then? They do what they are suppose to do and that's be critical of our government to make sure it's readers are aware and go and research and think for themselves but you rather just make some flagrant comment instead of researching and citing factual information. Relax a bit and if you disagree, go cite your facts as to why the writer is wrong and prove he's being "biased".

    • The Wrigther is Harper's chief of staff.

      The Writer is a Paul Martin's former wordsmith.

      McLean's is a berry farm in southern Ontario.

  9. I am appalled at the thought of John Baird losing his limo!

    • Now that's scary.

  10. And Harper's pretty much right on with all of them.

    • Whooooooosh!

  11. Lame.

  12. The Conservatives and their "dillusional Messiah" Harper continue trying to treat Canadians like kindergarteners by finding the most petty "boogeymen" to scare them into voting for the Cons because they have nothing good to offer Canadians—nothing but trickery and deceit and arrogance. Harper will do anything just to try to get a majority so then he will be able to table his REAL AGENDA—now that is what is scary ! !

  13. Yeah!! I agree with the media, the coalition is an awesome idea, especially one that includes the Separatists. Why wouldn't we want to let them run the country, they seem like they really care about Canada, thats why they call themselves Separatists, duh. Illegal aliens and cue jumpers, sorry, I mean "Tamil migrants" are lovely people, and coming to Canada as bogus refugees is a cool thing and part of our culture. I mean what could possibly go wrong? Harper's just fear mongering, silly Con. As for Russian bombers, I have to agree with the media again, not just because the media are impartial and don't have any kind of ideological agenda, but because the Russians are our buddies and the exhaust from their jets creates lovely rainbows. Canada needs new jet fighters like we need new helicopters, if Canadian service men and woman don't like flying around in antiques with outdated equipment than don't bother joining the forces. Elections should happen all the time, say, every time the Liberal/Separatist party loses we wait a week and if we can't seize power through the back door, then viola we have another election until the liberal/Separatist "get back to power". Although after the Liberal/Separatist party seize power we should probably stop having elections altogether. Census schmensus, what is it about Cons that they can't understand the need for intrusive over bearing Government czars asking them all kinds of ridiculous questions with the threat of jail time as an incentive. Cons probably think massive secret social engineering schemes are bad also, jeesh, what a bunch of losers. American Iggo lived abroad for most of his life, and thats a good thing. Living outside Canada for most of you're life makes you more qualified to insert yourself into the PMO, another thing those Cons just don't get. Perhaps Cons didn't hear American Iggo say that living outside Canada for most of his life made him even more Canadian then people who've lived here their whole lives. What ? You think American Iggo isn't smarter than you? He is, Cons! Way smarter, and way more Canadian, if you don't believe me, than just ask the media, their super smart too. Quit trying to scare us Harper, thats the media's job, that, and getting the Liberal/Separatist party "back to power". Woo-Hoo!!

    • idiot

    • doofus

    • viola?

    • "Free Verse", by mikey

      How much
      is McLean's getting
      from the liberals for this?

      They seam

      to be getting a lot

      lately of corse
      the wrighter
      has to be

      a liberal

      A hole.

  14. Polls show Harpers government pulling ahead of the Lieberals but you would never know it reading leftist rags like this. MacLeans really ought to be registered as a Liberal supporter and have a disclaimer to this affect on every publication. You remind me of a bunch of children sitting in the corner pontificating with the converted as it is readily apparent that is the vast majority of who reads this garbage.

    • The Blogging Tories awaits you – that's where the free thinkers hang out.

    • Maclean's a leftist rag? Gee, that's news to me; I had it down as a rightist rag. Ergo, Maclean's must be doing SOMEthing right.

    • I mentioned it before, Maclean's is simply being critical of the government. Take an opportunity to read copies during the Liberal era and they attack Martin just as much, even more once the scandal came out. The writer is using humour to critique his views on Harper but it's not like he's not using some truth to it.

      If you very much disagree, go point by point over it and explain how it's false, I'd be interested to read a piece like that. (note, I'm being serious, not using sarcasm. I like a good discussion)

  15. Too bad Harper doesn't try to make people scared to pollute too.

  16. "Whereas Harper himself eschews power in all its forms and leaves all critical decisions to the Hogwarts Sorting Hat."

    I just snorted my coffee. Thanks for making my morning a little brighter, Scott!

  17. This article is so awful on the brain, it's more than puns + ironies + paradoxes combined. How could it simply be computed as Hurrahs or Boos?

  18. Don't forget about people who enjoy smoking or growing cannabis!

  19. Dam near wet my pants I was laughing so hard. Sad but so so true!!! Love your comments about the possibility of a coalition government, maybe our dear and glorious leader will start referring to it as Canada's very own axis of evil!!!!!

  20. Apocolypse PLEASE COME SOON! I'm looking forward to the end of this world because everyone who inhabits it seems to have some bogus opinion of how it should be run and all anyone on this world does is screw it up more. The only thing I take pleasure in anymore is counting the breaths I take and watching nature. This world is a bubbling pot of stupidity, greed, unconsciousness and ego thanks to the human race. Take a page from the Leonardo Da Vinci's writings and other iconic figures who had it all figured out centuries before others were born. From the days of the Egyptians government has been stealing, cheating and screwing everything up.

    I'm ashamed of being Canadian most days. We are all spirits having a human experience. Recognize this you stupid humans as it's already to late for your grandkids to enjoy this planet.

    I don't wish to be this cynical or furious with my words as I was raised to be a great man. I only wish this world would grow up but as aware and conscious as I am about everything in this world all I know is that it will get much worse before it gets better.

    • Thanks for this. Nice to see at least one poster rising above the usual us-them crap. I agree with you and share the hope that this process of degradation hurries along so we can get to a more enlightened, less ego-driven time. With any luck, I'll live to see it. I'm 30 in 10 days. Do you think we'll get there in 50 years?

  21. He also wants us to be afraid of marijuana. "These drugs are illegal because they are bad." he says.

    But science says otherwise. Science says prohibition is bad and marijuana is good. It fights cancer and parkinson's and chronic pain.

    Harper hates that. he wants us all to suffer because he is a sick and twisted punishment fetishist. He yanks it to movies like SAW and the like….

  22. There are real threats in the world that liberal types are just too ignorant and naive to see. I sure wouldn't want Neville Chamberlain looking out for my best interests. Get real. And who wants to understand a child killer? Who wants to understand a terrorist? The only good ones are dead ones.

  23. With Iggy as PM, Layton as Minister of Finance, and Gilles as Foreign Minister I am sure that it will be all sweetness and light.

  24. Brilliant! Mass Harperia! If you frighten people again and again, they may not notice that the next census will cover the period 2006-2011 and data will be innacurate for the years coinciding with Harper's Reign of Error, that a large percentage of the stimulus money was wasted, or that Harper has made running government more expensive through needless advertising, expanding his office "spin" staff to new levels party propaganda mailouts and privatizing and leasing back some of our federal buildings …

  25. Funny article but I think it makes light of issues that shouldn't be taken lightly. Also, to say that Harper can lead Canadians around by a carrot and stick is pretty condescending. Are you from Toronto? ;)

  26. One op-ed piece does not a " leftist rag" make. Forever, this "rag" has been the chief apologist platform for the CPC, and quotes the bleatings of the Fraser Institute like it's the Bible, Koran or Torrah. If this publication is now perceived to be "leftist", then the right has achieved their goal.

  27. What a hoot! This would be a scream if it weren't so patently true!

    And, coalition government??? Well geez, of course he gets his shorts in a bunch over the perfectly, rational and parliamentary sound idea…he'd not only loose his chauffeur, the 'party' would loose him, ergo the very high decibel count from Steve the human(?) fire siren.

  28. Wow. Good summary of the sound bites. I especially like the way Harper's supporters seem to simply repeat them. But you forgot to mention that we should also be afraid that there is no law and order. We need to fear all of the people that aren't in jail.
    [youtube kmppzNFjZCU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmppzNFjZCU youtube]

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