Stephen Harper relies on imagery to remain in power

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      On most days, I receive a photo like the one above in my email inbox, courtesy of Canadian taxpayers.

      These professionally shot, high-resolution images, often by Jason Ransom, invariably showcase Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a benevolent authority figure.

      Usually, they convey that he's either some sort of economic wizard or that he has a special bond with people of colour, the military, some Canadian hero, the Royal Family, or a head of state.

      I never receive regular photos in my inbox of Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Bob Rae, any of the federal Liberal leadership candidates, Green Leader Elizabeth May, Premier Christy Clark, B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix, or Mayor Gregor Robertson.

      I imagine that editors at newspapers across the country would tell a similar tale.

      Former U.S. president Ronald Reagan's chief spin doctor, Michael Deaver, knew the power of images.

      One story told over the years was about how Deaver allegedly called CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl to congratulate her on a devastating story about the Great Communicator. Why was Deaver happy? Because CBS's glowing images of Reagan in the story overrode anything she said.

      Harper appears to have adopted a similar approach. He bombards the media with positive images, and probably believes that it doesn't matter much what anyone says alongside the pictures.

      I'm surprised that after all these years, none of the other major Canadian and B.C. political leaders are using the same tactic. Perhaps this accounts in part for Harper's staying power.


      We're now using Facebook for comments.



      Dec 4, 2012 at 11:19pm

      I liked Canada...

      8 5Rating: +3


      Dec 5, 2012 at 12:02am

      images mean nothing. everything is decided behind the scenes.

      11 5Rating: +6


      Dec 5, 2012 at 5:25am

      Smoke and mirrors folks. He will go down in history as the worst PM ever.

      10 6Rating: +4

      Lawrence Hearn

      Dec 5, 2012 at 7:11am

      Harper's Conservatives rely on an unelected head-of-state, unelected Upper House and an antiquated and unrepresentative electoral system for the Lower House to stay in power. These are the real issues allowing a minority party to govern as a one party state.

      10 9Rating: +1

      Bill Nixon

      Dec 5, 2012 at 9:28am

      Harper is Reagan with a wig.

      8 8Rating: 0


      Dec 5, 2012 at 9:41am

      "Yankee Poodle went to town..."

      6 4Rating: +2

      Michele Baillie

      Dec 5, 2012 at 11:04am

      If one considers actions taken and words spoken; the Truth always emerges.

      9 7Rating: +2

      Nguyen Cao Ky

      Dec 5, 2012 at 11:56am

      (1) Government is elected with a majority after two thirds of the electorate vote the against them in a "democracy".

      (2) Government borrows and spends millions for advertising their glorious acts of genius, thereby giving kickbacks to media in return for more glowing propaganda from bought and paid media allowing them to stay in power.

      (3) A government calling itself conservative but is actually radical, leaves taxpayers with massive debt, cuts to "social safety net" and has the power jail taxpayers for non contribution.

      (4) A government departs with vast wealth, leaving future generations to deal with the financial carnage they have caused.

      9 8Rating: +1

      Barney Fife

      Dec 5, 2012 at 12:09pm

      The CON propaganda machine is in high gear, and the corporate media love this guy and his policies. How many more terms do you think he will get?

      10 9Rating: +1

      SPY vs SPY

      Dec 10, 2012 at 9:36am

      Imagery only is successful when you have a compliant and corrupt media. News - for - Profit Corporations have never cared to broadcast the Truth about Political Parties or their Policies, just sell the G_D D_MN Paper or get Viewers and Listeners.

      News Organisations are now part of Political Parties.

      9 5Rating: +4