Attention voters: because he’s been mentioning it only every other sentence, instead of every single sentence, you may be unaware that Stephen Harper would very much like to be granted a majority government on May 2.
He doesn’t want it for his own sake, mind you. Heavens no. He wants it for Canada. In fact, when you think about it, a majority for Stephen Harper is really a gift we’d be giving ourselves. [Dear editor: please print this paragraph in the font Sarcastics.]
Steve used to be taciturn about his majority urges. He refused to discuss them in public. He seemed ashamed.
Now it’s all he talks about. It’s as though he’s bent on cajoling his girlfriend into finally going all the way. Come on, Canada—just ONE majority! Your friend Britain did it all the time with Tony Blair. Later this campaign, Steve will test the waters by trying to get to second base with southern Ontario.
Harper has grown obsessed with the size of his mandate. He tells Canadians: only a Conservative majority will be able to deliver a balanced budget and a stable economy. Only a Conservative majority will be able to make our streets safe and keep terrorism at bay. By the end of the campaign, don’t be surprised if only a Conservative majority will be able to lower your cholesterol and make sure Thor doesn’t suck.
As an added bonus, delivering a Conservative majority would put a temporary end to what Harper has long seen as the very worst thing about democracy: the voting.
All campaign, Steve has been feeling our pain about the wearying chore of having to vote two whole times over the span of five years. It’s damn near impossible not to get a tear in your eye when you think ahead to May 3 and the millions of Canadians who’ll wake up with symptoms of post-traumatic voting disorder—and spend the day wandering in a daze, randomly marking Xs on telephone poles and domestic pets.
But what if we decline to give Harper what he wants? Dear citizens, the potential consequences are too imaginary to imagine! Our prosperity may crumble. Quebec may separate. Within a week to 10 days, our financial system may revert to a farm-based barter economy. Friends, you’re going to wish you voted in a Conservative majority when you try to purchase a bindle and the sales clerk doesn’t have change for a rooster.
Naturally, the opposition parties are going all out to stop a Harper majority—for our sake, of course. They’re selfless that way.
A recent Liberal ad suggested a re-elected Harper would destroy our health care system, arm our population with automatic weapons and personally drown at least two ducks in oily goop from the tar sands. Presumably, the Liberals decided to edit out the part claiming that Steve would reverse the process of human evolution, dooming all future Canadians to mate with chimpanzees.
The Liberals aren’t only about stoking fear. This past week, Michael Ignatieff had a treat for those polite enough to maintain the fiction that his party has a chance to form a government. He said that upon becoming prime minister, he would hold…a meeting! And not just any meeting—a meeting within 60 days. That wouldn’t leave a lot of time to craft an agenda or order muffins, which is a problem, frankly, because Michael Ignatieff didn’t come back for a supermarket fruit tray.
Meanwhile, Harper continues to get the reaction he’s famous for on the campaign trail. His spokesman recently tweeted a photo from a rally in which an older gentleman half-heartedly held up a homemade sign that read, “Harper is stability.” Presumably, the man judged this slogan to be slightly more flattering to Harper than, say, “I was told there’d be juice.” But it’s not enthusiasm that Harper is after. More likely, he sees exasperation as the path to majority.
I once attended a wedding reception at which the groom chose a novel approach in addressing his new wife. “I haven’t been a very good boyfriend,” he told her, and us, and yes it was weird. “But I’m going to try to be a better husband.”
Harper is making a similar pitch: we haven’t always gotten along, Canada. We’ve bickered at times and you’ve been reluctant to commit. So let’s get married!
If no other option looks appealing, the answer this time just may be yes.