Critics hijack #ThankYouStephenHarper tribute
Former prime minister Stephen Harper pauses for a moment as he addresses the Conservative Party of Canada convention in Vancouver, Thursday, May 26, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
An online tribute to Stephen Harper quickly took on a life of its own over social media this week as the former prime minister was honoured at a federal Conservative convention in Vancouver.
The hashtag #ThankYouStephenHarper was meant to pay tribute to Harper’s legacy and accomplishments while in office, but it was hijacked by critics of the former Conservative leader.
Harper led government for more than nine years before being defeated by the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals in last fall’s federal election.
As the convention got underway Thursday night, Conservatives encouraged tweeters to pay tribute to Harper via #ThankYouStephenHarper:
#ThankYouStephenHarper for serving as our Member of Parliament for so many years. All the best for the future.— Cedarbrae (@Cedarbraeinfo) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper ,you weren't perfect but, you gave us a decade of constitutional peace which led to a much diminished BQ/PQ— Peter Nelson (@RedTory1) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper The most hated prime minister but he did great things for the country, he steered a sinking ship to shore.— Austin (@nihilisticAus) May 27, 2016
However, other people used the hashtag to openly mock Harper, his policies and governing style over the years.
#ThankyouStephenHarper for inspiring me to become involved in politics. Your secretive, anti-democratic, ideology based style woke me up.— Laura B. (@LauraE303B) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper For losing Canada's seat on the UN Security Council and for losing the worlds respect for our great country.— Lester B. Pearson (@PMLesterPearson) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper for trying to convince us a piece of material on a woman's head was a Barbaric Practice!— Chris (@ChrisKirouac) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper for turning the act of filling out the census a passionate act of patriotism.— petefree (@wihaks) May 27, 2016
Because of you Justin Trudeau decided to enter federal politics. #ThankYouStephenHarper— Steve V (@FarAndWide) May 27, 2016
Some even dredged up ill-fated hashtags from the past: