If Stephen Harper's a practising Christian, why visit the Governor General on a Sunday to call an election?

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      There's a widespread belief that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is itching to launch an election campaign 11 weeks before voting day.

      There's even speculation that he will visit Governor General David Johnston on Sunday (August 2) to get the process underway.

      If this occurs, it won't be the first time that Harper has done this on a Sunday when many devout Christians go to church.

      In 2012, Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May told the Sraight that Harper triggered an election on a Sunday in 2008.

      "There was no compelling reason other than the fact that he saw he could strike for electoral advantage by moving fast," May said at the time. "There were no external circumstances that made Stephen Harper go to the Governor General on a Sunday morning."

      This earlier Sunday election call is when May started to question Harper's religious beliefs and whether he was indeed a practising Christian. She wondered why Harper wasn't in church that day.

      May, a practising Anglican, had to cancel going to church to respond to the 2008 election call.

      Then in 2011, the timing of the federal election meant the advance poll occurred on Good Friday and the following Saturday.

      "Nobody bothered to ask how come Stephen Harper—someone we're told is a fanatical Christian—paid no attention whatsoever to having advance polls on a Good Friday," May told the Straight at the time.

      Pride parade and election timing

      If the 2015 election is called on Sunday, it will coincide with the Vancouver Pride parade.

      NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are both expected to attend this event, just as they did last year.

      But if the election is called on a Sunday, that might cause one or both of them to have to cancel a long walk in the parade to hold a news conference.

      Justin Trudeau was a star attraction at last year's Pride parade.
      Charlie Smith

      It's conceivable that Harper has actually timed the calling of the election to coincide with the Vancouver Pride parade.

      Maybe he wants to kick off the campaign with televised images of his two chief opponents in the midst of a hedonistic party.

      This  would dovetail with Harper's broader goal over the campaign to frame Trudeau as a marijuana-smoking party boy and Mulcair as an unrepentant hippie leftist.

      No matter what happens, Harper will come out ahead.

      Elizabeth May has been a regular at the Vancouver Pride parade.

      If the opposition leaders cancel their appearance in the Pride parade in response to an election call, it will disappoint their supporters and some in the LGBT community. But if they attend the parade and this is shown at the top of national newscasts, it may help Harper in regions of Canada where celebrations of diversity and LGBT people on a Sunday might be frowned upon.

      It's called mobilizing the Conservative base and confounding your opponents.

      Isn't that the Christian way?




      Aug 1, 2015 at 10:57am

      Geez... you really don't know? Because he's only practising. He has a long way to go before he is certified as an actual Christian human being. Just ask Canada's veterans.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 12:47pm

      Jeez Charlie, "if", "maybe", seems there really isn't a story here, you're just trying to jam enough facts together to imply some type of weird conspiracy. I seriously doubt Stephen Harper knows or cares that it is pride day in Vancouver. Your dislike of Harper has resulted in your grasping at straws to try to write yet another negative article about the prime minister. And you wonder why nobody takes the straight seriously?


      Aug 1, 2015 at 1:22pm

      Since Harper is our weasel PM, the notion he is trying to disadvantage the Opposition leaders with his election timing is par for the course. It's sadly, not surprising.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 2:59pm

      Your way off base . I love the Straight.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 4:22pm

      the Conservative Party is God and Jesus....according to Harperites

      J Story

      Aug 1, 2015 at 5:11pm

      Because Christians spend the entire time Sunday (or Saturday, for Seventh Day Adventists) in Church. Charlie Smith seems to know as much about Christianity as Americans do about Canada.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 5:58pm

      Charlie, think you might be reaching a bit too much here.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 6:11pm

      No matter when Harper calls election is it clever trick to his advantage. If he calls it later then he has advantage because no campaign spending limits before campaign starts and his side has more money. If he calls it earlier then to his advantage because the spending limit for campaign goes up. If he calls it on a Sunday then bad because he should be in church, if he doesn't call it on a sunday that is because he is religious nut. Somehow being seen at "Gay Pride parade" gives other side political disadvantage, meanwhile new leader of conservatives in Ontario went to pride parade for political advantage.


      Aug 1, 2015 at 6:12pm

      c'mon, he's a practicing doofus - everyone knows that