This man is Canada's Prime Minister. He's supposed to be Unifier in Chief, the embodiment or at least the public-facing representative of Canadian society.
He's been pushing the "troubles at Canadians shores" narrative for quite some time. It's ISIS, not CSIS, he tells us, that we should be afraid of.
Meanwhile, CSIS has been telling us the greatest threat Canadians face isn't ISIS, it's home-grown terrorists.
Not doing so hot in the polls, Harper calls in a foreign campaign fixer, this guy:
This foreigner, invited at the behest of the Prime Minister to do work that, frankly, could be done by a Canadian, takes a hard line against Mulisms in Canada, identifying them as the boogeyman Canadians fear most.
The niqab thing. The niqab thing escalated to the civil service. The tip-line thing. The shenanigans around allowing refugees in.
There have been consequences to this, including niqab-wearing women being attacked in Montreal and Toronto and most recently, my friend Farah Mawani suffered a verbal onslaught of Islamophobic remarks.
Which kinda feeds into CSIS point, doesn't it?
In response to this attack @WiTOpoli creates a hashtag, #countrywewant, as a positive counter to the negative attacks and repercussions of the Team Harper strategy.
This grassroots-led move goes viral. Media personalities, celebritives, community members, even party leaders like Mulcair and Trudeau get on board, sharing their visions of what Canada is rather than what it needs to be defended against.
And at the end of the day, this picture emerges:
This woman is standing proudly in front of the Canadian flag, a new Citizen able to vote for the first time in this election. She has won the support and admiration of countless Canadians, become a cause to rally behind.
This image should be something Harper and co can use to conjur up fear. Instead, it becomes a symbolic moment for Canadians stepping up for their individual freedoms against a government who, once upon a time, was all about individual freedoms.
Poetic justice, indeed.
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