During the 2008 Canadian federal election, Stephen Harper caught some flak — and more than a little ridicule — for appearing in a series of television spots wearing a blue sweater-vest. For many, the move was odd.
This reason: Harper had spent a good deal of time establishing himself as the big-C Conservative poster boy, promising sweeping governmental reforms and downsizes, offering tax cuts and talking tough about belt-tightening.
And, suddenly, a genial fellow in a sweater-vest with a kitten by a fireplace. Queue the punditry and guffaws.
That wasn’t the last of everyman Harper, of course.
A short while later, the prime minister struck again, this time appearing at an arts gala to sing With a Little Help from My Friends, a staple Beatles track, with world-renowned musician Yo-Yo Ma offering musical accompaniment.
There’s also that decade-long hockey book endeavour that Harper has occasionally dredged up — rumour has it, publishing houses are presently in a “bidding war” for the rights to publish it.
Time and again, the prime minister’s attempts to reach out a little and showcase a more human side to the deficit-fighting Terminator he brings out during election campaigns have been met with exactly the sort of skepticism and dismissive chortling that they deserve.
But on Monday, Harper took to popular social media service Twitter to show Canadians something they might actually be interested in — a day in the life of the prime minister.
Employing the hashtag #dayinthelife, Harper started sharing images and brief comments about his day through his Twitter handle, @pmharper.
The stated reason was to celebrate the return of Parliament, but in reality, it was likely more about promotion than anything.
The sad thing: even knowing this fact, it’s undeniable that a day in the life of the prime minister is intriguing to those who care about politics.
It was refreshing to catch a glimpse of Harper’s day-to-day.
Perhaps the nation’s other politicians — including Moose Jaw’s local representatives — could follow suit.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.