Last week in this space I used the raw power of genius to prove beyond doubt that although Stephen Harper has not yet broken through with a majority of Canadians, he has accomplished something even more impressive. He’s broken through the space-time continuum.
Predictably, there remain among you a skeptical few who doubt Marty McHarper’s ability to move freely across time in his campaign DeLorean. It is to these closed minds I pose the following query: if McHarper can’t visit the past and future at his whim, what else could explain how his views on gay rights are plucked directly from the 1940s?
Check and mate, my lessers.
McHarper’s mastery of time and space has given him the power to bypass the boring old election of 2011 and instead blast forward to woo the voters of a far and distant Canada. A hovercar in every spaceport!
Keen to outwit his archrival Biffnatieff once and for all, he has promised the theoretical Canadians of tomorrow a lower tax burden—in 2015 (or so). He’s pledged new fitness tax credits—in 2015 (ish). And then he has returned to our time to reap the electorate’s hosannas and, if memory serves, pick up Elisabeth Shue, who’s spent pretty much the whole campaign asleep on the porch.
Sure, it may seem disingenuous for the Conservative leader to make promises he likely won’t have to deliver on until after yet another election. It’s a bit like proposing to your girlfriend and suggesting a wedding date of Saturday, the 12th of Eventually.
But the futuristic theme of Harper’s campaign gives the Conservative war room unprecedented creative freedom to craft its next attack ad—a forlorn Harper crying on the beach, gazing upon the remains of the federal treasury and yelling to the sky: “You Liberal maniacs! You blew it up! Ohhh, damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!!”
We can also look forward to a stirring opening statement in the leaders’ debate, with Harper arriving naked in a flash of light and smoke to warn Canadians that unless they vote Conservative, John Connor will never be born and the machines will rule us all.
A recent TV news story suggested this is the Seinfeld election—a vote about nothing. That’s far from true. But Harper’s re-election bid does feel like that episode where Jerry and George pitched a TV show to NBC. It feels like a campaign about nothing.
– What did you do this morning?
– I got up and promised to do a few things 1,700 days from now.
– That’s a campaign!
– How is that a campaign?
Some may be moved to ask: what exactly will a Conservative government do with its next term? It can only take so long for the PM to replace Question Period with Quiet Time and appointed hacks in the Senate with different appointed hacks in the Senate.
But McHarper is fixated on 2015. And make no mistake: it’s not easy being a politician transported to the future. You have to keep remembering to say that children are our present.
Speaking of kids, they’re everywhere in the Conservative leader’s campaign. They’re being used as visual aids in photo ops. They’re being used as cute backdrops for campaign announcements. Road hockey, air hockey, ping-pong, sing-songs—few grown men have been seen in the company of this many children without wearing a Mickey Mouse costume or dating Kate Gosselin.
Or maybe they’re not props at all—maybe Marty McHarper is nobly committed to talking directly with the only demographic that will actually benefit from his proposed tax credits. Vote for me, kids, and by the time you hit middle age I’ll slide you 75 bucks for working on your triceps.
What’s awkward is that the kids have to sit there—representing hope and adorability and the enduring electoral power of freckles—as McHarper pounds his message about the apocalyptic horror that would be unleashed by *narrows eyes* The Coalition.
It has the makings of pretty much the worst storytime ever.
The house is quiet, kids. You’re just minding your own business, brushing your teeth. You go to close the medicine cabinet and suddenly standing behind you in the bathroom mirror—WHOA!—economic malaise!
Now try to sleep at night, junior.