"I love movies and TV shows," Canadian prime Minister Stephen Harper says flatly in a campaign video posted to Twitter last night, his chrome helmet of hair looking like it could deflect a laser beam. "One of my all-time favourites is Breaking Bad. It's even available on some online streaming services, if you've never seen it."
The prime minister's facehole then creaks into a smile, assuring millennials around the country that his machine brain contains the empathy unit necessary for appreciating some good-ass digital content. And, of course, he staunchly opposes a "Netflix tax" that none of his opponents in the current election race have actually proposed.
Bizarre appeals to "the kids" aren't new in Canadian politics, and neither is scare-mongering, unfortunately. Since the video's release, both the Liberal Party and NDP leadership have gone on record saying they oppose a tax on online streaming services.
But Harper does have some ground to stand on here. A tax on online streaming services was planned and then rejected by the Liberal-led Ontario government last year. The Harper government itself also raised the possibility in the 2014 budget. This year, Canadian regulators considered a tax and then backed down.
We probably have more concerning things to worry about in the current election period—a looming trade deal that could open the door to website blocking and new criminal charges in Canada is just one example—but Harper's glorious awkwardness never gets old.