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ELECTION 2004: Let the Bloodbath Begin

Liberals Step Up Attack Ads Against Harper

Liberal ad
Liberal ad
Two of the controversial new Liberal attack ads against Stephen Harper

A campaign expected to be one of the nastiest in Canadian electoral history is unfolding as predicted. The Liberal Party, sorry, TEAM MARTIN, is coming under fire for a new series of American-style attack ads against Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

The newly commissioned print advertisements, which appeared in today's Smiths Falls Off Roader, among other prominent Canadian dailies, depict Harper torturing what appear to be Iraqi prisoners.

In one of the four different advertisements, each of them sporting the title, "DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A FUTURE PRIME MINISTER?" Harper appears to be standing behind a makeshift human pyramid of naked prisoners, his arms crossed and grinning broadly. Another photograph depicts the Conservative leader riding an Iraqi prisoner like a horse.

Reached for response while campaigning in Quebec yesterday, Harper seemed unfazed with the Liberals' new ultra-aggressive approach so early in the campaign. "It shows their desperation," said the Conservative leader. "Besides, those pictures are totally out of context."

Jennifer Saccharine, a spokesperson for the Liberal campaign, defended the new series of advertisements. She said that the party is not worried that the campaign may backfire on the Liberals.

"As if a negative attack advertisement would ever backfire. Come on. That’s never happened before. Why would it happen now?"

Saccharine would neither confirm nor deny rumours that the pictures were smuggled to the Liberals by Joe Clark.

Herman Hadilpe, a Quebec City accountant in attendance at a Harper campaign stop yesterday, indicated that the Liberal ads will have no impact on his vote. "Ah, even if he did torture a few Iraqis, he's gonna cut my taxes 25 per cent! Hoo-hee!"

Conservatives Pledge to Ban Nickelback

"We've had a complaint that you're harbouring contraband Nickelback albums in your home."

The Conservative Party today unveiled their policy on an issue that could become one of the key issues of this campaign: Nickelback. Campaigning in Atlantic Canada, Leader Stephen Harper announced that a Conservative government would banish all music by the Western Canadian rockers immediately.

According to Harper, music video channels and all Canadian radio stations would be banned from broadcasting any Nickelback content, including solo work by the band's lead singer Chad Kroeger, under a Conservative government.

Furthermore, all CD's by the band would be removed from the shelves of Canadian retailers, and Anti-Nickelback enforcement officers, as part of a new federal Music Standards Agency, would take to the streets to investigate the presence of Nickelback in businesses and private homes. Any Canadian caught trafficking recorded material or electronic files of the band's music will face fines of up to $5,000.

"Unlike the Liberals, our party is unequivocal on the issue of Nickelback," bellowed Harper, as he delivered a fiery speech in which he actually arched his eyebrows. "If elected, we will do everything in our power to make sure you will never be subjected to another Nickelback song. Vote for us, and never again will you hear Never Again. Or that other song there about the stained dress that sounds like every other one...God."

Added the Prime Ministerial hopeful, speaking before the Moncton Chamber of Donut Retailers: "Sure, Paul Martin might be having his picture taken with Bono, but in the mean time what is he doing for Candians? What is he doing about getting Nickelback banned from the Canadian airwaves? Nothing."

Dr. Bruce Vespy, Director of the University of Smiths Falls College of Political and Veterinary Sciences, said Harper risks alienating certain political constituencies with his forceful anti-Nickelback stance, such as fraternity members, sorority members and those with no taste.

"This sounds like big, interventionist government to me. And you know the Liberals will be asking how the Conservatives will be able to afford a multi-million dollar crackdown on Nickelback while at the same time cutting taxes by 25 per cent," assessed Dr. Vespy, his hand up a cow's rear end.

In an election that has been described as lacking in major issues, Nickelback could wind up as a key factor. While Paul Martin was initially noncommittal about Nickelback after becoming Prime Minister, saying that they were a matter of provincial jurisdiction, the Prime Minister insisted that Anti-Nickelback legislation would be a new Liberal Government's "first priority" while campaigning yesterday in Montreal. Or no worse than seventh.

"If I hear that stupid How You Remind Me song one more time, I swear, I'm gonna go all Sheila Copps on someone," said Prime Minister Martin.


Bloc Québécois Decides to Run Candidates in All 308 Ridings

the bloc
The Bloc likes its chances in Calgary. "People in Alberta wanna separate, we wanna separate. Sounds like a match made in heaven," said Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe.

Supremely confident about their electoral chances in Quebec, the Bloc Québécois has for the first time decided to run candidates in every riding in the country.

"We're tired of being secondary players politically. We want a chance to form the government," said Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, explaining the party's sudden change in direction. We want to let the Liberals continue to shoot themselves in the foot in Quebec, and we thought it'd be easier if we just got out of the way.

"That's why I'm here in Edmonton tonight to show off our strong slate of candidates for the area."

Taxi driver Hank Yablum, the newly-appointed Bloc candidate for the new suburban Edmonton riding of Gretzky-Kurri-Semenko, said he plans to try learning French soon, but admitted he knows little about his new party's platform.

"I answered the ad in the paper, filled out a few forms, and next thing you know, I'm the candidate. They didn't seem too concerned as to whether or not I knew anything about the H & R Blocs, or whatever they're called," admitted Yablum.

The new convert to Quebec sovereignty, who admitted he's never been to Quebec ("But I'll go there to check it out if I get elected for sure"), said that he's always wanted to see his name on a campaign poster. "It's always been a dream of mine to run for office and lose convincingly. The NDP wouldn't let me run for them, because my hair's too short, but now, thanks to the Bloc Quebecois, I'm living my dream."

Duceppe thinks his party is ready to make an electoral breakthrough in the rest of Canada. "Our initial polling tells us that we'll easily match the Liberals in parts of Calgary and the B.C. interior. Might even pass them."

University student Jason Yeung was one of several dozen confused passers-by watching the French-only Duceppe stump speech in downtown Edmonton. He wasn't won over by the Bloc Leader's performance. "I was just here to see if he'd put on one of those shower caps again."

Layton Issues Controversial Tweed Ban to All NDP Candidates For Duration of Campaign

Randy Jack Layton campaigns on Vancouver's Davie Street yesterday

According to a document obtained by thehammer, after it was passed off to us by someone from the CBC on the bus with us, NDP Leader Randy Jack Layton has formally banned all NDP candidates in the June 28 federal election from wearing tweed or "anything else that looks dorky."

The confidential document issued to all 308 NDP candidates urges party members to wear "nice crisp suits, IRONED PLEASE, or tight lycra t-shirts, if you've got the body to show it off. And no clip on ties."

The document, signed by Layton, warns party members that campaign funds will be cut from any candidates seen wearing tweed sport coats or berets in television news clips. "We actually have money now, so don't think we can't do it," reads a passage from the document.

Campaigning in Vancouver, Layton refused to confirm or deny the official internal party dress code communiqué, but said a rejuvenated party needs a rejuvenated look.

"Just because you're a social democrat, it doesn't mean you have to look like a constipated philosophy professor," admitted the dynamic and photogenic leader, as he paused to squat Libby Davies for cameras, his well-toned quadriceps on display for all to see. "Have you seen the legs on my wife? (Olivia Chow) Look at them! They're like granite!"

Longtime NDP MP Big Bill Blaikie, who finished second to Layton in the party's leadership campaign two years ago, admitted he's had to make some changes to his attire to comply with the new regulations, including throwing out his entire Parliamentary wardrobe.

"I guess Jack knows best," said Blaikie, sporting a leather jacket with baggy jeans and faux mohawk hairdo while campaigning in his Winnipeg riding yesterday afternoon. "We're…cool now."


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