Go away, media. You’re jerks and I hate you.

FESCHUK: Does our PM sometimes come off like a seven-year-old? There’s good reason for that.

Go away, media. You're jerks and I hate you.

Getty Images; Reuters; Photo Illustration by Taylor Shute

Authors have devoted entire books to trying to decipher and understand Stephen Harper. But is he really that complex? I’d say his pattern of behaviour over recent years has given Canadians a rather clear sense of who he is.

He’s the only leader of a G8 country who also happens to be a seven-year-old boy.

Skeptical? The proof begins atop the prime ministerial head. A seven-year-old boy has the haircut of a seven-year-old boy. So does Stephen Harper.

But it goes beyond that. Let’s examine the behavioural characteristics of a typical seven-year-old—as taken from a variety of child development resources—and see how our PM checks out.

— Your seven-year-old may be rude, critical and impatient.

Hmm. Sounds vaguely familiar.

— He is the centre of his own world and tends to be boastful.

Canada’s back, baby. It’s back because of me. I MADE CANADA BACK!

— Generally, he is rigid, negative, demanding; he exhibits tantrums.

Okay, this is starting to get uncanny.

— He begins to place his name on everything to demonstrate ownership and exert control.

For decades, civil servants stubbornly insisted on referring to the government of Canada by the unclear term “the government of Canada.” But now, thanks to Harper’s decree that it must be called “the Harper government,” we will no longer get the government of Canada mixed up with all the other Canadian federal governments out there.

Of course, at this rate, it’s just a matter of time until government expense accounts are replaced with Harperdiems and bureaucrats are forced to buy their snacks from a Stephending machine. Little-known fact: when you lift up Industry Minister Tony Clement, you can see the name “Stephen” written in Sharpie on the bottom of his shoe.

— He changes the facts of what happened to seem smarter in retrospect.

So does Harper. Remember the recession that he said couldn’t happen because it hadn’t already happened? Now he acts as though he knew it wasn’t going to not happen. That’s because while all of us are playing checkers, Harper is off playing chess—which may help to explain why he seems to have no friends.

— A seven-year-old cannot tolerate being wrong, so he goes to any lengths to explain things away.

So does Harper. Consider his reaction when the Federal Court of Appeal ruled the Conservatives had violated our election laws with their “in-and-out” financing racket.

First, Harper called it an “administrative dispute”—which is like getting caught cheating on your wife and trying to dismiss it as an “anatomical incident.”

He then downplayed the ruling, claiming there have been “different court decisions on this particular matter.” That’s an interesting take on how our justice system works. Last I checked, court is not a best-of-five thing. You cannot, for instance, lose at the Supreme Court and still claim to have squeaked out a thrilling three-to-two court victory.

(By the way, one of the Conservative insiders charged by Elections Canada tweeted that anyone who thinks Harper knew about the illegal financing scheme is “an idiot.” That claim makes perfect sense because Harper is renowned for his laid-back, hands-off style of management.)

— He blames someone else when something goes wrong.

Check. His failure to win Canada a seat on the UN Security Council? The fault of Michael Ignatieff. His failure not to stack the Senate with partisan hacks? The fault of the opposition. His failure to dress himself without the advice of a psychic personal stylist? Surely the fault of the seventh house of Jupiter.

— He is angered when others gang up against him and may “take his ball and go home.”

So is Harper, though he tends to prorogue the ball for a good two months at a time.

Listen: it’s not all bad having a PM who happens to be a seven-year-old boy. At least it makes his actions predictable. Will any of us be surprised if Harper falls to the ground and starts screaming in public when he doesn’t get the toy he wants (a majority)?

Sure, our little boy may make us cringe now and then with his childish ways. But we can always look to the future and imagine what he’ll be like when he finally grows up.


Go away, media. You’re jerks and I hate you.

  1. Excellent!

    "First, Harper called it an “administrative dispute”—which is like getting caught cheating on your wife and trying to dismiss it as an “anatomical incident.”

    That sums it up nicely.

  2. Harper is NEVER going to grow up. If he hasn't by now, he NEVER will. It is rather scary to think of a male with a grown up body having the mind of a child. It is even scarier to think of this boy leading our country.

    • It's even scarier that people vote for him.

      • Let's hope it doesn't get worse. We do have the leaders we want or deserve. Funny thing is that voting is like a popularity contest. How on earth did we make Harper win? Anyway, I just don't see what exactly is conservative about this Government of Canada. Could be that's why they decided to change the name on official documents?

    • I've never been under the illusion that he's leading anyone. He just happens to have the keys to the money-house, and a gang.

  3. "Go away, Harper. You're a jerk and we can't stop crying about you being PM."

    — Signed, liberal media

    • Thank you, Ryan, for providing a bit of light relief among all the Harper haters. Mr Feschuk, does the magazine pay you for the stuff you write, or is it sortr of vanity press?

      • i get paid in backrubs. coyne? magic fingers.

        • May I apply, too?

        • Funny article. But yeeuuwww – I didn't really need that visual.

    • You know it is possible not to like Harper and not be a Liberal supporter …

      • Well done katie
        But in the black and white world of the modern Conservative, "you are either for them or against them." They know that Conservatism supposedly = fiscally responsible. They're Conservative so they must be fiscally responsible. Don't bother them with the evidence or figures, if you do that you are a lefty pinko liberal or some such.
        The CCPA MacDonald report released today gives evidence of the Harper's profligate nature, but try and mention it to the cult of personality (wtf?) that surrounds the dear leader and you must be a commie.
        Facts are naturally elitist and have a left wing bias apparently.

        • The 'Harper Government' is simply not Conservative.
          It's something else.
          There's no clear relation between what Canadians previously understood as 'Conservative', and the 'Harper Gov'.
          They're somewhere out in the fiscal boondocks…

          • Absolutely but if you disagree with them you are a Liberal

          • Absolutely but if you disagree with them you are a Liberal

            I don't quite see the problem there.

    • Only a Sith deals in absolutes, Ryan.

  4. The Feschuk column describes Harper so well – a great article.

    • uninformed, sheeple-ish, possibly living under a rock – or just not engaged in the political process! :)

      • and ya didn't win her over with that comment!….as a matter of fact ya just might have pushed her the other way…Congratulations!

        • I don't think any one who would categorize this as "a great article" is up for much honest debate. Humor column, maybe.

  5. btw, it is very insulting to compare Harper to a 7 year old boy, NO WAY, 7 year old boys are tear-inducing cute and funny and sweet and smart and Harper is none of those things, compare Harper to a 2 year old boy MAYBE who's spent 2 years in stranger care… MAYBE. Also that 2 year old is hungry and he missed his nap. Then, ONLY THEN, can you compare Harper to a child.

    • Yes, true.
      By the age of 7 kids are being taught not to bully, to listen, and to separate fact from fiction.

  6. I wonder how Mr. Feschuk would describe someone who votes for Harper.

    • I would say, after the last few months of Harper's behavior, that someone who votes for Harper is a bloody idiot.

    • uninformed, sheeple-ish, possibly living under a rock – or just not engaged in the political process! :)

    • Driven by their gut instinct of right and wrong, even when evidence and cold reality proves 'em wrong. *GASP* Maybe some aspects of the world are… counter-intuitive?!?! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Ha ba ba ba ba ba ba ba … Lol

  8. I would check out the Alberta government's "Livestock Identification Services", or LIS. That's where you buy a brand for your livestock, or for your MPs . . . so that if they're stolen, wandered, or strayed, they will be identified by the RCMP when picked up; and returned home.

    Harper definitely is into branding.

    Look at Tony Clement's butt and you might find a freeze-brand on it. Say – a big "H" with a quarter-circle over it; like a rainbow. http://www.lis-alberta.com/LIS_3/BrandBuilder/aDe

    I'm sure that when Harper sees the giant "H" on the skyline in front of the view of the Rockies as he drives to his Constituency office, travelling west on Heritage Drive, towards Heritage Park; that he feels that H was meant for him – http://elbowroomdesign.com/musings/442/good-desig

    There is an axe on the H too though, which he might have overlooked. He's not as popular in Calgary as he might think he is.

    • Axe is for cuts to come…big cuts need a big axe.

  9. Also from our wittle PM "It's my Canada, and I'm gonna change it to 'The Harper Government of Canada' because, it's mine, all mine and because I can do anything I want ~ mlaa mlaa :P"

  10. Even Justin Bieber is more mature than Stephen Harper. Bieber even has a better new hair-do than Harper.

  11. Harper scares me!

    • Boo! Double Boo!

  12. Is this Macleans? Canada's National Magazine? Hadn't read Macleans for some time now….really didn't think it was this non professional. Not what it used to be. You are scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

    • why?….wrong ideology?

    • Not professional? When the Harper-led Conservatives produce attack ads like the right-wing Republicans in the US … that is professional? Just because you may like Harper does not mean anyone who points out his flaws in an amusing and satirical manner is unprofessional.

      • Well said tired_of_Harper!

        @ Ima: You sound like a 7 year old who got their feelings hurt on the playground. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

    • Uh… you DO realize Feschuk writes a humour column, right?

  13. Mr. Feschuk, some day you'll have a Liberal prime minister and then you'll have to grow up. Then Maclean's readers will expect you to be witty instead of excepting this type of drivel.

    • Not to be a nit-picker, but I think you meant "accepting" and not "excepting". Completely changes the meaning of your comment.

  14. Liberals are so stupid. Here, eat this!


    [OTTAWA – March 14, 2011] From time to time, EKOS offers seat projections based on its opinion polling. The projections are based on national, regional and, in some cases, sub-regional polling projected onto the results of the last election. They do not pretend to predict individual ridings.

    Below are the seat projections polling data collected from February 24th to March 8th. As you can see from the above the mere 7-point lead belies a pretty formidable advantage for the Conservative Party. The key is Ontario where the Conservatives would see the rewards of a newfound but fairly stable lead. Even with a bleak situation in Quebec, the Conservatives would comfortably be in the driver seat for some time with these electoral results. With only 115 seats between them, the Liberals and NDP couldn't even mount a feeble challenge to continued Conservative hegemony (even without a majority). Another striking finding is just how similar this parliament would be to the one we currently have. No party would shift by more than a handful of seats and qualitatively this would be a virtually identical balance of power to what we have now.


    • Oh, goody! Now we can do away with that pesky trip to the polls altogether! So many of us didn't want to attend anyway, and look how much money we'll be saving.

      Next, perhaps we could do a poll of Toronto Maple Leaf fans and see that they will win the Stanley Cup next year. You know, that stuff from leaf fans I hear on talk radio "I really think 2011 will be their year", "they seem to have really gotten it together now" etc. just makes me want to give them a hug, and gently explain the concept of reality. I'm so thankful we can just do a poll and grant their wish.

    • The reason Harper is ahead in the polls is that he is propped up by the most expensive propaganda machine in Canadian history and the opposition is weak. It has nothing to do with the quality of his government. He is the antithesis of a leader. He doesn't articulate a vision. He doesn't motivate his people. He doesn't explain his decisions. He's all smoke and mirrors. This great country deserves much better.

      • The Great And Powerful Harp.

  15. I can understand publications and writers being terribly biased such as this one is but it would be nice if, for once, there was a writer or two with articles that were as harsh on the medias beloved Lieberals as they are the Conservatives. The disservice todays media does to their readership is akin to the devastation in Japan. Not suggesting these people are Nazis but their propaganda effort is similar.

    • Are you drunk or stoned? What stupid remarks.

    • I cite "Godwin's Law" as requiring an end to this thread…

    • "The disservice todays media does to their readership is akin to the devastation in Japan."

      what an arrogant..obnoxious and……. well..downright offensive thing to say….

    • Why did you refer to "Nazis"?

    • This is kind of sick, comparing journalistic freedoms to the disasater in Japan and Nazis.

  16. There's a reason why Fox News dominates the ratings in the US.

    There's also a reason why Sun News will dominate the ratings in Canada.

    Offering an alternative to the lockstep, statist, "progressive", conservative hating views that permeate today's media will be a refreshing and welcome change to Canadians.

    There just may, may, be some Canadians that also want the magnafying glass on the man who would be PM.

    Instead there's a magnifying glass to the right, and a blind eye to the left.

    That blind eye is about to be replaced, with at least a fairly good pair of lenses.

    Thus the maddening cries from all the usual suspects.

    • Chet they are not Conservatives.
      They haven't seen a public dollar that they didn't want to spend and it doesn't matter whether it is credit or real.
      They are immature folk who have never been held accountable in their lives or they are cowards who haven't got the stones to stand up to the others who have high jacked their party.
      You don't have to be a liberal to dislike this current crop of spend spend spend debtors. They have sold out the very roots of what it means to be a Conservative because they want office. There are more Conservative folk on the Liberal right than in the current bunch of crooks who have high-jacked that mantel.

    • Well, if you'd take a moment to actually look at your own guy, you might see why that is.

    • NBC Nightly News dominates the ratings. Fox isn't even close.

  17. A weak pathetic diatribe from a "journalist", a profession who's trust rating by the public has been falling like a stone in the past ten years.
    Leftist bias, self aggrandizement and jumbo size egos from a bunch of people who know nothing about the subjects they write about. Do they really think people haven't started to notice?

    Their can spin any story into a "crisis" or any of the other cliches that seem to be the limit of their vocabulary. Over every story is their opinion, the only thing they think matters.

    • Herp derp, herrrrr, derp derp herr derp derp, leftwing media, bherrrrr, derpp herrr.

    • So, would it be fair to parse your comment as saying, "Go away media. You're jerks and I hate you" ??

  18. Maclean's journalistic standards should be above the partisan debasement of Canada's political leaders. I certainly hope this doesn't make it to the print edition.

  19. If you don't like Scott's satire, there are plenty of news outlets in Canada that promote a similar tone but aren't trying to be satirical…

  20. Not all comments on pages like this are from real people…they could be 'astroturfers' paid to comment. I am definitely not happy with the Harper government and I know many Canadians feel the same way. Read about astroturfing here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbi

  21. Give it up wilson. You don't get humour.

  22. Scott is just venting his frustration that his Liberals are so unpopular, lol!!!

    So if Harper is such a spoiled brat, how does he attract such quality in his new chief of staff, Nigel Wright????

    Walrus Magazine just did a great article on him, "Mister Right", April 2011
    (won't let me post the link)

  23. Wow I am impressed that Macleans now starts to point out all what this governement is doing wrong. It is good to see conservatives realizing that this PM is totally insane. Now, for those of you who said that Macleans was a "left-wing" journal… it probably means that you are so much "right-wing" that you are out of the map… No matter your political opinion, Stephen Harper is ruining our democracy and, consequently, if he doesn't accept the rules of the game, then he sould quit it and do what he always do (complain about everyone) in his own corner. When Harper's desaster will be over, we will be able to rebuild our democracy.

  24. Wilson, leave the satire to Feshuk, as you're not very good at it I'm afraid.

    Name ONE thing that Harper has done in the last 6 months to improve his image & the way he governs… (I should warn you though, I have dinner reservations at 7PM, so if you can't come up with something by then….)

  25. Seems as though the tories were successful with their new hires. " Writers needed to post right wing comments" http://tinyurl.com/3ebmpop

  26. If he can suspend Parliament why can't he suspend the Constitution too? HEIL HARPER!!!!!

  27. Chretien suspended Parliament 5 times. And he has tried to suspend the Constitution several times. Aren't we lucky Chretien is gone?

    Ah, but the Liberal Party would take him back any day.

  28. I wouldn't even look at Macleans if I had to pay for it.

  29. I disagree that Harper is the ONLY politician that happens to be a 7-year-old boy. I feel like that description pretty much sums up most of them.

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