rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Dear Mr. Harper: About that poll...

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

On Thursday I answered the phone and it was you Mr. Harper (well, your robot pollster lady) wondering whether I'd answer a 30-second political survey.

While I can't be certain she was calling on your behalf, the nature of her questions led me to the inevitable conclusion that I was talking to none other than Our Dear Leader.

Here's why.

Question 1: What do you care about most?  

Right off the bat you manipulated my response.

The choices you gave me were: a balanced economy, health care, public safety and two other things that were so inconsequential I can't remember them.

My biggest concern is your democracy-killing anti-terrorism bills but the only semi-related response was "public safety." I couldn't click "public safety" because you'd interpret my answer as support for these wretched bills when in fact the opposite is true.

Also, you completely ignored the possibility that I might be fussed about climate change.

I'm not surprised. In a recent photo-op you stood before the billowing smoke of a forest fire and vowed to take a hard look at new ways to fight wildfires.

When asked whether there may be a connection between significantly more forest fires and -- dare we say it -- climate change you said "it's possible" but refused to commit any funding or resources to the issue.

Climate change is eclipsed by your focus on the "jihadist threat."

Sadly, this strategy seems to be working for you and your colleagues David Cameron and Tony Abbot.

A recent Pew Centre Survey of 40 countries found that climate change was the most commonly cited global threat everywhere but Canada, the U.S., Australia, South Korea, Japan and some parts of Europe.

Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians rated ISIS a more serious threat than climate change which registered with only 45 per cent of the population. ISIS was the number 1 threat for 68 per cent of Americans and 69 per cent of Australians; climate change ranked 42 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.

This isn't surprising considering the war rhetoric you, Cameron and Abbot use whenever you talk about terrorism.

Remember your "not now, not ever" speech? It was a classic. You introduced your anti-terrorism bills by characterizing "violent jihadism" as "an act of war" against the "Canadian way of life."

It's no coincidence that your "way of life" rhetoric echoes the words of Winston Churchill who described Britain's battle with Hitler as a battle for the survival of British life.

But know this: Churchill was right and you are wrong. It's you, not the so-called jihadists, who are crushing our rights and freedoms.

Oh and while we're on the topic of Winston Churchill, somehow I don't think he would have hidden in a closet when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed Parliament Hill…

Questions 2 and 3: Who will you vote for? Who's your second choice?

That's easy. Mulcair's party followed by Trudeau's party.

Question 4: We have fixed election dates. Do you think it would be unfair to move away from the fixed date?

Well, isn't that clever! You're trying to assess whether your conservative and undecided voters will react negatively if you call an early election.

I know why you're asking. With each passing day Canadians are getting to know Mulcair better. He's even shared his childhood photographs. Turns out he was a hippy in university just like the rest of us! You on the other hand look like you were born in a three-piece suit. Gracious, even young Justin is starting to make some sense.

I was tempted to click "no problem" with a snap election just to get you to do it (we all know how well that worked out for Jim Prentice) but decided to be honest instead. Yes, it's a big deal.

Question 5: What species are you, male or female?

You probably didn't use the word "species" but by the end of the 30 seconds I felt like I'd been communicating with an alien so it wouldn't have surprised me if you had.

One last thing

I wish your poll allowed respondents to add a few words at the end.

I would have paraphrased the British journalist, George Monbiot, who said men like you, Cameron and Abbot "won't engage in generational struggles with real existential threats -- climate breakdown first among them -- for fear of alienating their sponsors."

Instead you invest yourselves with "belligerent glory while forgetting Churchill's ability to place the interests of the nation above the interests of his sponsors and his class."

Place the interests of the nation above the interests of his sponsors and his class.

Wouldn't that be a refreshing change? 

Photo: pmwebphotos/flickr

Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.