an open letter to stephen harper’s mother


“Many Canadians have seen big losses in their portfolio in last couple of weeks, I know that because my mother is one of those people and I hear about it every single day… Believe me, I get quicker updates from her on the stock market than from the Department of Finance.” – Stephen Harper

Dear Stephen Harper’s Mom:

Just thought I’d drop you a line to say hello, extend a few pleasantries and subtly exploit to my advantage the fact that you are apparently your son’s closest and most trusted economic advisor.

So, how are you? I am fine. Or, at least, I would be fine if the federal government would implement a $1,000,000 tax credit for bespectacled, pudgy columnists with a borderline creepy Scarlett Johansson fetish and an encyclopedic knowledge of White Shadow episodes.

Next time you talk to your boy, could you please “suggest” to him that he add that to his platform? I know he relies on you for guidance in these difficult times. You’re like a focus group, but cheaper and also you bake cookies. (Unlike Kevin Lynch, who is useless in the kitchen.)

So just go ahead and slip it into the conversation, all casual and natural-like. “Oh, Stephen, not to worry – your children are fine and the house is fine. But boy, I sure would feel a lot better about my financial future if Scott Feschuk had his own million-dollar tax credit. Also, Peter MacKay keeps dropping by to use the sauna. Shouldn’t he wear a towel or swimsuit?”

One other thing – you’re a senior citizen and you seem like a sharp lady. What are you doing with so much of your money in stocks? Your son wouldn’t be exaggerating or making that up, would he?

Your pal,

P.S. I know a few thousand people who’d like to make your acquaintance. They’re called “lobbyists.”

P.P.S. I miss Bob Barker, too.


an open letter to stephen harper’s mother

  1. This Blog should really contain the Liberal party logo.

    The content, style, and general spin,

    on this blog has become nearly indistingishable (aside from some common sense thrown in by Andrew of Late) from that of your standard highly partisan Libblogger.

    Sadly the same can be said of the press generally.

    Harper’s context and statements about our economic preparedness were completely proper, responsible, and most importantly, absolutely true.

    And he’s being eviscerated in the press for it as they parrot the opposition speaking points while intentionally refraining from reporting the economic facts (Canada being heads and above all other comparable countries on a number of different economic fronts) in order to make the dishonest sound honest.

    It has long been held that a free press is essentially to the proper functioning of democracy.

    It will soon be recognized that a free but unprincipled, unethical press content to facilitate what is essentially propoganda for one side (yes completely fabricating a line of attack and withholding truths or distorting facts to do this is the definition of propaganda),

    seriously undermines the democratic process.

  2. Could it be that Stevie used his mother as an example in hopes that someone might make the mistake of mocking her or tacking a shot at her credebility? Nothing would stir a flagging campaign up like a devoted (family oriented) son coming to his Mom’s defence after one of his opponants came out with “Yo mama so financially iresponsable (…um…insert clever mama joke here)” I’m probably far to conspiracy minded but I wouldn’t put it past him…or me in the same situation for that matter.

  3. Sadly it goes beyond that.

    A quick perusal of Andrew Coyne’s last couple of posts will reveal basic facts that prove the opposition has been hyping up the downturn in Canada, playing upon Canadians fears – scaring parents seniors and pensioners for crass political gain,

    in the worst sort of demagoguery modern politics has to offer.

    And the media has done everything it can to facilitate it.


  4. Nice one, Feschuk, and thanks for my morning giggle. It’s good to be able to laugh as I watch my retirement savings drain away…

  5. Also, RyanD, the yo’mama joke you’re looking for might be:
    Yo’mama’s so poor, she can’t even pay attention! (to the economic crisis, that is).

  6. good point, kody.

    it was reprehensible for the opposition to accuse harper of rooting for the taliban and supporting child pornography.

    oh, wait…

    dude, this is how it works: everyone with a partisan interest always thinks the media is against them.

    despite coyne’s PERSUASIVE USE OF ALL CAPS to make his point – and he has a point, as he always does (although i don’t recall entire countries scrambling to stave off receivership during the dot.com bust) – i still say you deserve what you get as a politician if you’re careless enough to go into a campaign saying things like “if we were going to have a recession, we would have had one already.”

  7. Yes Kody! Shame indeed! Because the media have spent two years pumping Dion up despite Harper’s best efforts to keep the lines of open and honest debate open! Because Harper would NEVER use fear mongering such as suggesting his opponants support terrorism or child pornography or that we should all fear the evil grade 9 kid next door (he may be the next Charles Manson…). Indeed, he has never suggested that voting for anyone but him will literally destroy the economy. For shame indeed!
    It’s called politics Kody, welcome. It’s a nasty game and for about the thousandth time it is just silly when you feign indignance about other parties give you back a mere fraction of what the Tories dish out on a regular basis.

  8. Memo to media:

    Kate at SDA hit her ten millionth visitor just the other week.

    She and others like her have linked to Andrew’s stuff.

    And it is getting around the web, and being emailed to friends, and then to their friends.

    Average non Liberal partisans, won’t be taking too kindly to the contrast of known basic facts and what’s being presented by the media in the form of pure partisan parroting.

    Canadians don’t like being lied to or misled.

    Canadians have a basic sense of fairness and decency.

    They don’t like being frightened or having their fears preyed upon.

    This will undoubtedly have a boomerang effect on those involved, including the media (as we know it today.)

  9. JennyC- I nearly fell out of my chair when I read the momma joke! Daaaaaaaaamn! Oh no you ditnt!

    Kody- There is a point where the hypocricy is just too much to take. You just hit it. Tories complaining that the public will be angry about fear mongering, lies and deception?! Sure, all parties do it but have you been awake for the past 2 years?! The Tories have raised cynical political manipulation to an art form!

  10. Ryan,

    we all expect the PARTIES to engage in politics, spin, what have you.

    We don’t expect the media to do it.

    The media had no part in Harper’s year long advertising campaign.

    Indeed it’s telling that the media is now participating in what you aptly suggest is “evening the score”.

    The Liberals don’t need millions of supporting donors giving their own hard earned money.

    They’ve got the media, to …

    even the score.

  11. “And it is getting around the web, and being emailed to friends, and then to their friends.”

    This from the Faberge Organic Shampoo school of political persuasion…

  12. That you, as a partisan Liberal,

    fail to distinguish between your Liberal efforts, and the role of the media,

    speaks volumes.

  13. Did you see the massive Ekos sampled poll yesterday Scott?

    The gap is again widening.

    I’ll enjoy the boomerang effect,

    very much.

  14. “[B]orderline creepy,” Scott?

    It’s a little late to try to rehabilitate your image in that area.

  15. Kody- I’m not sure why you quote me as talking about “evening the score” since I never wrote or even implied anything of the sort. As for the media, are you going to tell me that they didn’t spend much of the last two years painting Dion as a weak looser in line with how Harper was trying to show him.
    The truth is that the media reports things that are flashy, or interesting or in any way likely to get people to tune in. People like to watch a train wreck- whether it is a nerdy looking guy with an accent about to get pummled in an election or a cocky presumptive favourite crashing down to earth because of financial troubles. The media likes a story, it is NOT a conspiracy.

  16. tell me about it

  17. No robot references? This clearly isn’t a Feschuk post.

  18. Um, Kody, there’s one tinsey problem with the “Andrew C. and Stephen H. says their shouldn’t be a panic” school of thought. You see, the people panicking are not retail investors like the PM’s mom. They are hedge fund managers, directors of institutional investment bodies like pension finds and insurers, oh and BANKS!

    The credit crunch is not a retail phenomenon. It’s about banks not trusting other banks enough to lend each other money, because no one is sure how compromised each others’ assets are.

    So it is entirely acceptable for Mr. Feschuk to mock Harper’s crass attempt to connect with “the little guy” by invoking his sainted mother.

  19. kody’s right, that one of Chretien’s ex staff , and speech writers, says “nothing to see here”just illustrates the point.

  20. Scott, Harper does not need financial advisors; he holds a Masters in Economics.

    Unlike Dion, who thinks we are in a financial crisis, does not know why but promises to implement whatever his advisors will say. He does not know his elbow from his butt.

    I’ll vote for no one besides Harper.

  21. Grow up Scott – is there anything that Stephen Harper can say that you media types will not take as evidence that “he doesn’t care”.

    That, obviously, was a rhetorical question.

  22. A quick perusal of the headlines today on National Newswatch, shows the media narrative.

    Harper fading,

    Dion coming on strong!! (after a week of working hand and hand with the opposition parroting their spin and omitting very crucial facts that support precisely how Harper has reacted).

    Highlighting the small sample polls and diminishing the large sample ones.

    They’ve “decided” that the spread cannot widen (actually continue to widen according to the large sample Ekos) in the next several days.

    This will be very fun to watch unfold.

  23. I assume this is to be a fully refundable tax credit, n’est pas?

  24. Highlighting the small sample polls and diminishing the large sample ones.

    That’s a fascinating observation. What, pray tell, is the difference in margin of error between the “small sample polls” and “the large sample ones” assuming both do in fact fall within the 95% confidence interval, 19 times out of 20?

  25. Look for yourself Dot,

    compare Ekos’ MOE with Nanos.

  26. This certainly is the kind of informative journalism that is needed to make intelligent choices on voting day. I look forward to your report on the Westminster Dog Show.

  27. So, Kody, convinced of a burgeoning media bias against your guy, and inclined to protest against said bias, you pick a humour column?

    Rick Mercer awaits your letter, I’m sure.

  28. After rounding, one is 2% and one is 3%.

    Wow! Get Fifth Estate, line one.

  29. Kody… what do you do for a living that you get to sit at the computer and click refresh a thousand times so that you get to reply to people???

    this is a question merely out of curiosity, … i’m up for anyone who can guess.

  30. saskatchewan: to answer your question… you don’t think harper just lets him mom sit around the house all day while the kids are at school, do you?

  31. Kody, big sample sizes aren’t inherently more valid than small ones, once the MOE is factored in. Polls can have error induced by sample error (not canvassing cell-phone and VOIP users, calling while rural Canadians are hitching their horses to the wagon, and so on), study error, etc.

  32. Jameson, this a “humour column”… for liberals, or haven’t you noticed?
    To be fair , Your referencing the state broadcaster’s gubmint endorsed source for your comedy, kind of backs up both of our points.

  33. He doesn’t need financial advisors because he has “a Masters of Economics?” (cue the Welsh boys choir accompaniment).

    Well that settles it. No need to listen, Harper already knows the answer because he passed that class already!

    And Rob Nicholson’s a lawyer so he won’t need any legal advice, might as well lay off the Justice Department, too.

    Now if they just had someone with a degree in compassion and tolerance …

  34. Jameson, the only good humour that Kody recognizes is the truck where he receives his daily treat.

    Just try playing a few bars of the theme music to The Sting. Drooling guaranteed.

  35. “Personally, I don’t need Harper to nestle me to his (admittedly ample) bosom, stroke my hair and tell me everything is going to be alright. Are you so profoundly lonesome that you need a politician who is entirely unaware of your existence to feign empathy through the TV screen? You want unconditional emotional support? Go buy yourself a dog. Cripes. ”


  36. Feh. This discussion is so Kody-Biff’d up, it’s given me hives.

  37. New Conservative talking points:

    -Canadians are stupid and don’t understand what’s going on in the economy

    -Canadians who don’t think Stephen Harper’s approach on the economy is the right one are stupid

    -Canadians who tell pollsters they don’t like Stephen Harper are stupid

    -It’s all the media’s fault (well, this one isn’t new)

    -Canadians are stupid for listening to the media

    huzzah for kody-spacing

  38. So when the Conservatives move 2 points, it’s a surge — the people have spoken? But when the Conservatives fall, it’s liberal media bias?

    Which liberal media would that be? Those commies over at Sun Media or the National Post? Those bank-haters at CTVGlobeMedia? Or the socialist who run CanWest and Global? Take a look at the bottom right-hand corner of this very page. Clearly leftists abound at Rogers/Macleans.

    Most Canadians still get their political news from evening broadcast news, and two of the three networks generally lean to the right (CTV, Global). As a point of fact, the only lefty media outlet with a truly national reach in Canada is the CBC, who are beholden to the government for their financing — and many of their “at issue” panelists have Tory backgrounds.

    The media definitely has biases (if it bleeds it leads, who’s up/down, photo ops, stunning rises and tragic falls, exciting divisive opinion vs. tiresome fact-based reporting), but being “liberal” isn’t one of them.

  39. This certainly is the kind of informative journalism that is needed to make intelligent choices on voting day.

    I’m sorry, but if you’re coming to the celebrity news/humour blog “Feschuk on the Famous” for informative, unbiased journalism to use in making your voting choices that’s YOUR problem, not Feschuk’s.

    Not only is Feshuk paid for his OPINION and SATIRE, not objective journalism (and, for the record, Wells and Coyne are paid for their opinions too, not “objectivity” so get off their backs too) but Feschuk’s blog is EXPLICITLY in the “Entertainment” section of the Macleans Blog Central.

    Complaining that you’re not getting objective reporting and completely unbiased analysis from “Feschuk on the Famous” is like complaining about the lack of journalistic integrity on Perez Hilton’s site.

  40. “dude, this is how it works: everyone with a partisan interest always thinks the media is against them.”

    Just because your paronoid doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you.

  41. New Liberal talking point # 1014 : Harpers mother would make a better PM than Ssssteve.

    New Liberal talking point # 1015 : maybe we can delay the Green Shaft idea (wait for it folks I know it’s coming – you know the old usual given fiscal situation bla bla bla)

    New Liberal talking point # 1016 : come on dippers you know you like me you really do you just won’t admit it to yourselves

    New Liberal talkng point # 1017 : hey greenies it’s time but sssshhhhh! don’t tell anyone and Lizzie isn’t asking you it’s just rather she would like to see us sitting in the seats after we toss her a few treats

  42. I wish Liberals spoke in talking points, Wayne. It’d be much easier to discuss this stuff without actually thinking, like the Conservatives do.

  43. Don’t get upset at Feschuk about this. Get upset at Coyne. He’s the one that suggested Harper’s mother was stupid for being invested in the stock market.

  44. Kody,
    I suggest you invest in a sense of humour. This is a blog, not a newspaper.

  45. I can’t remember the details but the reference by Harper to his “Mom” caused a deja vu experience for me. Didn’t that other Conservative who threw around taxpayer’s money–oh,yes,Mulroney was his name–bring in his mother when he tried to take money away from seniors in some proposed legislation? If anyone remembers, please refresh my memory.
    Speaking of memory,Harper has a very convenient one. I have finally given up on recording the number of times he has taken credit for all the positive changes in governance. The last straw is claiming responsibility for the strength of the banksin Canada. and implying that Canada has avoided disaster because he and Flaherty were, like little mice, working away at making everything right Do names like Trudeau, Chretien, Martin et al ring any bell?

  46. Wow… I just lost my blog virginity… so little fact and so much hate! At least, some of you try humour … folks, stop bashing your leaders. Like it or not, they are all human. Like it or not, they want to do what is best. Regretfully, none is perfect. A Prime Minister cannot guaranty stock performance or the conditions that are influenced by global factors outside of Canada. Yes, the Prime Minister should react and take measure. It is easy to criticize Mr. Harper’s mother for the economy. What would your mother do for the economy? What would you do as the Prime Minister for the country that you cannot do as a citizen?

    I don’t believe in partisan politics. I listen. Maybe if we voted for what is best for the Nation, rather then what is good for us, we would start voting with the bigger picture in mind.

    And the fellow who complain about the bad press and the attacks on this blog, come one now! Mr. Harper’s party mastered negative attacks. They attacked Dion ever sine they were in power. And the bird! Be just, be fair, vote for whoever you wish but vote for the nation. A single policy cannot make any of you richer or poorer.

    I wish that politician could collaborate more and put their ideas together rather than worrying about getting enough credit for the next election. And that is not their fault, because you all respond to negative campaign and attacks rather than forcing the leaders to dig into the issues. Not only during the debates, but also during their term using the media. You fight on the blog rather than debating with facts. Freedom of press, even bad, is better that suppressed press. You should all spend a year in the shoes of those in developing nations to appreciate what you have. So, you lost a little in money which you would otherwise lost in casino, or lotto, or….

  47. Sorry, if the Harper is not able to trust his M.P’s or minister’s to speak, he is not going to get my vote, his Mum’s recommendation is not good enough for me.

  48. Sorry,if Harper is not able to trust his M.P’s to speak, he is not going to get my vote, his Mum’s recommendation is not good enough for me.

  49. I like bunny rabbits George.

  50. Harper’s dad is dead.


    Aside, check out this HarperCON classic:

    Harper had known the day his dad would die. The Calgary hospital
    reassured him his father’s heart and kidney problems were stable, but “I
    just knew. I often have a good sense for these things.”


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