Stephen Harper's Truth Plane -

Stephen Harper’s Truth Plane


Robert Cribb talks to the Prime Minister’s body language advisor.

Watch the debate clips now and note the placement of Harper’s hands, cupped and open, directly at stomach height. Bowden refers to this as the “Truth Plane” — a visual expression that communicates the right mix of composed, competent resolve and level-headed credibility … Bowden would say our reptilian brains saw something different in him during the debate and campaign. Harper appeared to be the candidate “most assertive and in control,” says Bowden. “If you ask people what they thought of him, they’ll say he was prime ministerial. I think he did brilliantly.”


Stephen Harper’s Truth Plane

  1. The trick is to appear to tell the truth even when you don’t, convey credibility even when you have none, look composed even when the thought of being near people you don’t control drives you to distraction, and take comfort in the fact that everything you say and do is scripted.

  2. I didn’t watch the debate, I only listened to it, so I missed the body language trickery.  Maybe that’s why Harper sounded totally phony to me.  My opera-lover background, I guess, or my age.  I  recognize an honest vocal emotion from the throat of a large park-and-bark singer, but as gorgeous and sexy a Manon Anna Netrebko is in her undies, she just isn’t sexy to me because of the lack of “sexy” in the voice. The generation gap!

    • I remember an As it Happens story from some years ago about a media study on deception. I can’t seem to find it now, but the gist of it was that study participants could detect actual lies by public figures better in radio reports than in either newspaper or TV reports. Apparently visual performance, of the type Harper receives training in, is able to distract us from noticing issues with voice modulation that would otherwise give the liars away.

  3. I think what we’ve learned here — and in the last election too — is that whatever you do as a leader, don’t be earnest. Be phoney like Harper or be sarcastic like Layton but not earnest like Ignatieff or Dion.

    • A majority of the electorate decided that came off less as being earnest than arrogant and entitled. No one’s a saint here.

  4. I have a feeling that the cost of the “Truth Plane” is going to increase significantly for the Canadian Taxpayer.

  5. In politics, sincerity is the key.  Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.

  6. Geez, I knew there was something I didn’t like about Iggy in the debates. That’s it… his hands were too friggin’ high.

    • More significantly: too pointy.

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  8. I thought this was the name of the Conservative’s campaign plane for the 2015 election

  9. Like everything else, the regime systematically breaks elements of body language into scripted components and Harper practices them until he has them down pat.

    Photographs of Hitler are extant, showing him practicing before a mirror.