This afternoon a cheerful bunch of Reginans joined Harper critics across the country for an exuberant sing-along of “Harperman”, suspended Environment Canada scientist Tony Turner’s anti-Conservative protest song. While “Harperman” is a little folksy for my taste, damned if it wasn’t charming to watch happy people sing it.
Besides, the song makes valid points. Stephen Harper does squash dissent, slash CBC budgets, harass scientists, ignore the seriousness of climate change and a whole lot more (although contrary to “Harperman’s” assertion, he didn’t gerrymander any ridings in Saskatchewan — although you may recall conservative electoral boundary commissioner David Marit quite rudely stuck up for his Conservative teammates at the expense of Sask voters). The fact is, Stephen Harper is a terrible, malicious prime minister (the idiotic opinions of a certain retired hockey player notwithstanding), and I have a hard time imagining anyone with a heart not enjoying today’s event.
One thing I thought of while I watched videos of the Harperman protests in other cities: it’s high time we see some great, contemporary graphic design at protest rallies. Unfortunately I rarely do. Too often, Canada’s lovable lefties sling around half-assed, badly designed/lazily hand-drawn signs. Where’s the good graphic design? The Canadian left needs to up its pamphlet/poster/placard game, big time if they really want to change hearts and minds.
Might be a start if some of the bigger trade unions hired top-flight staff designers. And on their end, great Canadian graphic designers/artists should sometimes volunteer their work for political causes. I mean, unless they all support the Conservatives.