You are the caretaker, Stephen Harper. You’ve always been the caretaker.


People are focused on the new attacks ads released today by the Conservative Party, but I can’t stop watching the pro-Harper commercial that was included in the bunch.


After some lovely stock footage, it opens with Stephen Harper wandering in the dark through an otherwise vacant Centre Block – just walking and wandering, all on his own. Then he spends the rest of the ad holed up in his office at night, writing and writing, then writing some more. I can’t be the only one who was waiting for the ad to cut to a shot of the Prime Minister chasing Shelley Duvall across Parliament Hill with an axe. Heeeeeeeeere’s economic stability!

The Conservatives are pretty good at making political commercials so I guess I’ll have to defer to them. Apparently, what Canadians want from their Prime Minister more than anything else is the steady, trustworthy leadership we associate with Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

“We’re in safe hands with Stephen Harper.” That’s what Scatman Crothers thought.

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You are the caretaker, Stephen Harper. You’ve always been the caretaker.

  1. He is writing a book, to stay in The Shining theme…

    Chapter 4: Early Origins of the Ottawa-Montreal League

    All work and no play makes Stephen a dull boy.
    All work and no play makes Stephen a dull boy.

  2. All we need is to photo shop Gary Lunn whizzing past on a tricycle.

    • larebril, larebil…doesn't have quite the resonance of redrum.

  3. Sorry Scott….but you and Mr. Reid won't be able to get away with the "Harper eats kids" mantra you and the other LIberals are wont to trot out.

    • HEY! Stephen Harper does not believe in government funded programs to eat children.

      …that's up to the individual parent to decide.

    • Harper eats kids?! Oh man, I knew it! Just think what he'd eat if he had a majority!? Phew, good thing that won't ever happen!

      harper eats kids, his own supporters say so…

  4. I agree. That ad is sooooo bad, it's funny.

  5. Wandering around Centre Block, alone, working all night… Doesn't he have a family to go home to?

    • Doesn't he know some Canadians he could work with?

    • don't go there!

    • Actually he doesn't. His wife left him a year ago. If one is to believe the rumours, that is…

      • Give it up man, event the Star has admitted that pushing that one for three years got them nowhere.

  6. Brilliant piece and points a bulls eye directly at Iggy's weakness – every poll of late has pointed to Iggy being the lowest leader considered by the average canadian when asked and no doubt is because in affect most canadians consider him ' Just Visting ' and of little account kind of a placeholder until someone decent comes along sort of leader – which come to think of it is a pretty accurate summation .. however this ad emphasizes Harper's strength where he is seen as a somewhat uncharismatic BUT very hard working an ever ready political bunny of sorts … the justaxpostion of the both messages being achieved by one ad is always a good sign. see you at the polls – providing the Liberals really want to try to force one now which, even if they did wouldn't amount to a hill of beans because quite simply they do not have the political muscle and if Iggy keeps up as is Layton will slice and dice off the disaffected.

    • wha…? I think you might have posted this comment in the wrong thread, SF is comparing the character being portrayed by Stephen Harper in the ad to Jack Nicholson's character in the freaking Shining!

      • I suspect like many of us we ignore SF as we do AW for insightful analysis. The ad was positive, the satirical comments from Scott are unimportant.

        What is funny I did the same thing with Ignatieff calling him a caretaker of stornoway on a blog post this morning.

      • Its only in Feschuks imagination.

    • You, psiclone, are the Jack van Impe of blog commenters.

  7. Would this make Grady the Senate?

  8. Harper uncharasmatic yes, and that is the postive. How about sociopathic, paranoid, manipulative…..

  9. The ad, perhaps unconsciously, shows harper's very weakness — his aloneness and inability to lead or play on a team — maybe he wouldn't have to work so late if he would let oh, say, a trusted team of other government MPs to help him out — they could manage portfolios and everything.

    Or given the ink his marriage warranted over the holidays — maybe he's moved into his office?

  10. Geez…he just expanded his cabinet didn't he?

    Still he's forced to wander empty, lonely corridors at all hours of the night; and burn the midnight oil while subsisting on nothing but warmed up java [ probably had to whip it up on the hot plate over in the annexe] all the while the files never seem to go down…jobs, debt , EI extentions, world wide economic crisis averted…

    He had me at jobs [ sniff…sniff…] Then it occurs… I can make good coffee.. WHY DOESN'T HE HIRE SOME FRICKING HELP!!!!!

    • They're all in the basement chained to their computer desks, busily commenting on blogs like this one.

  11. It occurs that another satirical review of this add is possible.

    It''s a good add ; however, doesn't it rather reinforce the image of Harper the control freak – the only guy who can be trusted to manage the ship of state. Where are the minions…er other cabinet membrs? Locked up in the basement until they can be let out for QP.

  12. REmember one or two campaigns OK with harper the team player flippin' over questions to Jim Prentice for his quick, ready answers?

    People! Can't make a convincing ad with them, can't make a convincing ad without them!

  13. During the campaign when Mr. Harper was first electted Prime Minister, a colleague of mine stopped by his campaign office on a Saturday afternoon. Mr. Harper was there alone answering the phone. He had sent all of his workers home. I think the ad just shows that no one works harder than he does. Isn't that what we expect from our PM?

    • Is that you, steve?

      • Ha,Ha,Ha. That is actually funny.

  14. General rule of thumb:

    when your ads have the other side calling you an axe murderer,

    you've come about as close to the mark as one can get.

    The ads are good, because they're true. And we all know the ol addage, "the truth hurts".

    Thus the ravings from the left.

    • The fact is they are powerless and left to resort to name calling and you tube responses.

      The CPC have been able to secure the support of the largest number of Canadians that provide a financial foundation. The left have been to lazy to sell their message and platform to the voters after the changes made by Chretien in December 2003.

    • when your ads have the other side calling you an axe murderer, you've come about as close to the mark as one can get.
      The ads are good, because they're true.

      Your creative use of punctuation and spacing always keeps me on my toes chet. Did you just say that it's TRUE that Harper is an axe murderer?

      • "when your ads have the other side calling you an axe murderer, you've come about as close to the mark as one can get."

        Whatever you're on, before you wrote this, i want some too!

  15. I was most interested in this ad. It's a clear indication of Harper's vision of himself being the only one able to lead the government. And that's a pretty ridiculous posture in a Parliamentary democracy. He would make a wonderful business owner, willing too abandon the outside world for his business. But a leader of the government? No way. No wonder he's so out of touch with Canadians and the real world!

  16. All this ad needs to be truly effective is a plantive trio of janitiors sweeping the dark halls, wistfully peering in at the great man in his office…Michael, Jack and Gilles…moonlighting.

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