Exclusive: Stephen Harper 2013 talks to Stephen Harper 2005 - Macleans.ca

Exclusive: Stephen Harper 2013 talks to Stephen Harper 2005

An interview with our reclusive PM, by our reclusive PM of eight years ago

‘It’s so good to talk to me again’

Frank Gunn/CP

The Prime Minister doesn’t do press conferences—possibly because he believes the relationship he shares with Canadians is so intrinsically beautiful that any attempt to describe it with words would succeed only in forever tainting it, or possibly because: Screw the stupid media. But once again, he agreed to have a chat with one of his favourite people, the Stephen Harper from 2005.

Stephen Harper 2005: How are things?

Stephen Harper 2013: Who is this?! HOW DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER?? No hablo inglés, señor reportero.

SH 2005: No, no, it’s us. I mean, it’s you.

SH 2013: It’s good to talk to me again!

SH 2005: Why so touchy?

SH 2013: I’m just in a bad mood. My executive assistant is away and his fill-in doesn’t cut up my food the way I like it. Plus, people are on my case about never speaking to the media. But the truth is I answer plenty of questions. Just last week, I went firmly on the record saying I did want fries with that. HOW MUCH MORE CAN A MAN GIVE OF HIMSELF?

SH 2005: Seven years in office now—I can’t even begin to imagine how Canada must have changed under our rule.

SH 2013: Yeah, it’s a very different country now. The GST is five per cent. There are a few tougher laws. What else? Um, some people think our new money smells like maple syrup. So there’s that. But despite all these many achievements, people seem only to care about the negative stuff—like this thing with Mike Duffy in the Senate.

SH 2005: Mike Duffy got elected to the Senate??

[Awkward silence. Somewhere, a coyote howls.]

SH 2013: Uh, we haven’t quite got around to reforming the . . . Listen, what matters is that I supported my chief of staff 100 per cent when I learned he’d secretly written a $90,000 cheque to bail out Duffy. I said Nigel Wright wouldn’t be resigning, because he’d done absolutely nothing wrong.

SH 2005: I’m sure he appreciated your loyalty.

SH 2013: Actually, he resigned and said he’d done something wrong. [Pause.] Now that I think about it, that kind of made me look like a dummy.

SH 2005: Is there any good news?

SH 2013: The new census is turning out great. According to the latest numbers put together by Statistics Canada, 70 per cent of Canadians support our reliance on voluntary data, 40 per cent oppose it and 15 per cent think Elton John should replace Randy Jackson on American Idol.

SH 2005: How are things in the polls?

SH 2013: Well, the latest one showed a 17-point lead . . .

SH 2005: Terrific!

SH 2013: . . . for the Liberals.

SH 2005: [Expletive—and about 20 minutes of pained moaning—deleted. SH 2005 gathers himself by pausing to take a sip of water.]

SH 2013: Don’t worry about it. We’re going hard at their leader, Justin Trudeau…

SH 2005: [Sprays water everywhere.]

SH 2013: … running some great attack ads with shots of him taking off his shirt. Baird suggested it. And also had the footage handy. Plus, we’re spending even more on our Economic Action Plan ads.

SH 2005: Our what?

SH 2013: Listen, I’ve always said government is not the answer. Unless the question is: Whose money can we use to air propaganda around the clock? It’s important we spend millions in taxpayers’ dollars to urgently inform Canadians about things like the Canada Job Grant, a program that does not yet exist. How else are people going to know what their government will theoretically be doing to potentially help them at some point in one possible future?

SH 2005: I’ve got to be honest: It sounds like we’ve strayed from the values we promoted before we were elected. Accountability. Integrity. Fiscal prudence.

SH 2013: Listen, in every government there are going to be people who wrongly claim housing allowances or run up hundreds of thousands in dubious travel expenses or waste public funds on gazebos or stack boards and agencies with party flunkies or write off a $16 orange juice or resign due to irregularities in campaign spending or get picked up from fishing by military aircraft or . . . um, I could keep going but by the time I’m done, you might be the me from 2008.

SH 2005: I don’t even know us anymore.

Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk

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Exclusive: Stephen Harper 2013 talks to Stephen Harper 2005

  1. Man… good thing 2013 SH didn’t tell 2005 SH there was a $25 billion deficit. It could have gotten ugly.

    • Chairs: kicked.

      • “We’re going hard at Justin Trudeau…”

        I think 2005 SH would have interjected with a “Wait… what?” at that point, too.

        • Agreed! I’ve gone in and fixed that oversight.

          • There… now you’ve made this fantastical encounter truly come to life!

          • OK, shouldn’t he get a credit in the byline now?

          • Now you’re gonna make Feschuk spit water everywhere.

    • Or that 2013 SH “accidentally” lost $3.1 million.

      • Whoops..make that BILLION!

        • what’s a few decimal points among friends?

  2. Well this is about as biased an article as they come. It’s funny to see this old bastion of Liberal’s still publishing and thinking themselves relevant. I wonder how long it’ll be before it goes belly-up along with all the other print dinosaurs. Maybe another couple of years tops.

    • this is satire, frankly he is kind to harpo, have you read the papers recently, people like that flaming liberal Andrew Coyne have been slaughtering him.

      let’s face it harpo is toast, not by liberals but by conservatives who will turf him out.

      • Silly MIkey. The demise of most print media would not in the least bother real Canadians. Conservatives, however, would be in panic mode. Even Duffy!

    • There seems to be something missing from your criticism.
      Oh, yeah, actually refuting the observations outlined in this amusing little satire. I’m sure it was just an oversight on your part.

    • Wow, you Cons are humourless these days.

    • Doesn’t anyone remember in elections past, Macleans was terribly biased FOR the Progressive Conservatives (remember them?) that I gave up reading it in frustration. Mr. Harper’s government is their reward.

  3. This comment was deleted.

    • I find that comment offensive actually, being a God supporter.

      • Bush was apparently blessed by God, too. God had a different perspective, evidently. It’s a non partisan consensus. Anti-Canadian Steve’s in for a mighty ride too I suspect.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • You wouldn’t know an anti-semite from an ante pasto.

          • WTF Macleans censored the factual claim of 6 million Jewish casualties ? Macleans is officially a Holocaust denialist Nazi.

            Boycott Macleans magazine for their anti-semitism.

    • The reason the right-wing corporate/military owned government
      in Israel gets away with murder is because everyone is so scared of being
      called an anti-Semite. I’m not anti-Semite; I’m anti-murder.

      Support for Israel equals support for war crimes against
      Palestine. Stop Apartheid Israel.


  4. Harpo really only exists as a photo-op. A chimeric entity fleshed out by a compliant mediasphere at one time. There’s nothing much there on the atomic plane – worth mentioning.

  5. Has John Baird come out of the closet? Otherwise, I think he was just outed.

    • Rusty Spring by I.P Nightly.
      Came out ages ago.

  6. “And also had the footage handy.”

    Evil. And funny.

  7. The last eight years, Harper looks like he has aged 18 years!

    It would seem that the last few years have been harsh on both the Canadian PM and the US President.

  8. “Baird suggested it. And also had the footage handy.”


  9. Baird had the footage of a shirtless Justin Trudeau. HMM!

  10. This is so childish. And Maclean’s, supposedly the national magazine of news, published this? Says a lot about the decline of news reporting.

  11. This comment was deleted.

    • I suppose it’s a good thing that Jews and Muslims have their own belief systems, so whatever God thinks of them is irrelevant to everything…