Stephen Harper is the Donald Trump of Canadian politics

Tabatha Southey(Image copied from the Globe and Mail)

The Globe and Mail “Focus” section “Tart” columnist Tabatha Southey has written the Elle Girl column for Elle Canada magazine for four years. Her work there has been nominated for eight National Magazine Awards for humour. She is the author of The Deep Cold River Story, a children’s book.

On Friday, April 29, she wrote an article titled “Ballroom dancing on Harper’s Economic Scare Tactics Express”, some of which I’ve included below.

“Things are going well thanks to his own vigilance, Mr. Harper assured the gathering (no nod was given to our good position going into the recession, nor to our resource-based economy). But the economy is on a hair trigger. It could blow at any moment.

The guy’s nothing if not on-message. But as Jack Layton’s cheery, concerned NDP climbed in the polls, it struck me that the Tory scaremongering of this campaign might backfire: Sometimes, when faced with dismal economic times, people turn to a party that promises security.

For a party that hopes to govern on one issue, the economy, the Conservatives have been as sketchy on details as the other parties. When questioned by Paul Wells of Maclean’s about billions of dollars in budget cuts that were announced in the Conservatives’ ill-fated 2011 budget but never explained (still more money magically appeared in their election platform), Finance Minster Jim Flaherty tried to sound excited about the savings to be had were the government to start using direct deposit for employment-insurance cheques.

Really, that’s Canada’s great untapped resource? Direct deposit? That better not be Stage 3.

That day in Etobicoke, I listened as the crowd of mostly older businessmen booed a mythical $75 “iPod tax” and Mr. Harper promised to defend them from its ravages. They were booing an entirely fictional tax on a very real principle. There wasn’t much else being offered to them.”

The last paragraph in her article reminded me why I’ve always felt Stephen Harper is the Donald Trump of Canadian politics; when you have nothing to say, say it loud and say it often.

For your reading pleasure, the Tabatha Southey article in the Globe and Mail is here.