Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vote for Cat Name

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has asked Canadians to once again head to the polls; but this time, they will only have to go as far as Facebook, where they will be asked to vote on a new name for Harper's latest addition to his family, a tabby cat. The article on Yahoo features a less stern Stephen Harper bathed in the soft lighting of the Commons next to a picture of an adorable grey tabby kitten, looking beseechingly at the camera. It's a little late for campaigning, as the election is over, but it's never too early for image rehabilitation.

Especially in light of recent news regarding the Harper government. First you have the page who ventured out into the middle of the Senate floor with a sign saying Stop Harper, a daring move that got the attention and support of filmmaker Michael Moore. Then you have the recycled budget being presented in the House of Commons, the contentious bill that drove the parties to a non-confidence motion that triggered the election in the first place; something that everyone conveniently seemed to forget in the midst of a long, annoying campaign. Add to that the recent announcement of cuts to the public service and its various programs, and you have a pretty bad week in government.

So it makes sense that Harper would rather have his image associated to kittens rather than controversies and fighter jets. But you have to wonder: just how gullible is the population at large? How many of them will ignore the larger social and political issues so that they can vote on a cat's name?

Then again, the short memory of the population has been shown time and time again, as people 'forgot' all the past incidents that have caused outrage, like the proroguing of Parliament.

Which then begs another important question: at what point do you go from animal lover to crazy cat lady? It's not like Harper is the first person to use Facebook to help name his pet, but he's the leader of the nation. Doesn't he have more important matters on his mind? Like running the country? Does he really think that posting a picture of Fluffy McWiggles is going to make us all forget his controversial policies? Is this the nicer, softer, newly-improved hairballed Prime Minister?

Or could it be that Harper is trying his best to distract us all with a bit of yarn while his acts slowly squeeze any semblance of social justice in this country?

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