Harper humanizes, scores points - Macleans.ca

Harper humanizes, scores points

Tease the day: Every time the PM softens his own image, he comes out on top. Why not do it more?


Adrian Wyld/CP

Every time the prime minister attempts to humanize himself, the effort is cast as some new strategy in image management. Yesterday’s #dayinthelife adventure is just the most recent example. Stephen Harper had staffers tweet photos and videos of his (fairly mundane) day on the job. iPolitics’ Colin Horgan asked his followers what they thought of the exercise. Some enjoyed the harmless tweets; another called it a “rather lame attempt to humanize a dude who conceals his personality 99% of the time.” Naturally, people disagreed about the whole thing, but most papers this morning gave the tweets prominent play, so Harper wins again. And here’s the important thing to remember: the PM’s no stranger to these small victories. Remember that sunny weekend last October, when he dropped in on a couple shooting their wedding photos? And, a few days later, did his annual Hallowe’en thing, handing treats out to neighbourhood kids? Whenever the PM tells the world he’s a normal guy, he never comes out the bad guy. I’m left asking the same question as last October, which I’ll keep asking until the answer becomes clear: Why doesn’t Harper do this more often?

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with Canadian special forces on the ground in Mali. The National Post fronts the NDP’s apparently foolish push for the government to respect the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the payment of and withdrawn charges against a correctional officer after the death of troubled inmate Ashley Smith. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the Department of National Defence’s plans to have much of its ageing property privately managed. iPolitics fronts Ontario premier-designate Kathleen Wynne’s meeting with her caucusCBC.ca leads with unrest on the streets of Egypt. National Newswatch showcases a Calgary Herald story about Liberal leadership contender Justin Trudeau’s support for a national energy plan—not, notably, a national energy program.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Gun control. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent the CEO of TD Bank a letter requesting the financial institution stop lending money to gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson. 2. Richard Henry Bain. The man who stands accused of murdering a woman on Quebec’s most recent election night was declared fit to stand trial, a conclusion he celebrated in court.
3. Foreign workers. A mining company in B.C. has sent 16 Chinese workers out of the country after two unions challenged the workers’ hiring and forced expensive litigation. 4. Infrastructure. Opposition critics renewed calls for a long-term federal infrastructure plan, echoing concerns consistently expressed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

What should I cover?

I’m going to tell you about a few things happening today on Parliament Hill, and then you tell me what I should go watch—and, following that, report on. There’s plenty of action on the Hill today. Eight parliamentary committees, including three Senate committees, are talking about various studies and pieces of legislation. The list of meetings I can attend, if we’re being realistic, is below, along with the orders of the day for each. So tell me: Where should I go?

Status of Women Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace
International Human Rights Human Rights Situation in Tibetan Areas of China
Public Accounts Chapter 4, Regulating Pharmaceutical Drugs – Health Canada
Natural Resources Innovation in the Energy Sector

If you think those committees are boring and know about something, you know, more interesting, pop it in a comment. You could also send it in an email or—gasp!—a Twitter DM, but why keep secrets from everyone?

Filed under: