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House of cards

Holiday greetings as varied as their political stripes

Posted: 12/24/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0

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The gradual elimination of home delivery service by Canada Post might spell the eventual end of holiday greeting cards sent out by politicians-- an unfortunate consequence considering these cards can cause some delightful uproar each December.

Each year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's card undergoes the most public scrutiny and this year is no different.

A furry little friend, the Harper's pet chinchilla, upstaged the family on their 2013 card. The Harpers adopted Charlie the chinchilla in January from the Ottawa Humane Society.

The PM's card has garnered loads of Internet buzz, someone going so far as to upload the card to Awkward Family Photos, a website that collects exactly what it advertises.

Harper's fellow federal leaders, the Liberals' Justin Trudeau and the NDP's Thomas Mulcair, also carefully crafted holiday cards.

Trudeau's features a collage of images of his family taken throughout the year -- the inside cover contains a photo of the family mid-snowball fight.

The card reads: "ONE FAMILY. ONE WORLD. LET'S UNITE DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON" all in capital letters and both official languages.

Mulcair forewent a photo of his full family, choosing one of himself and his wife, Catherine, instead.

His bilingual card reads: "May your holiday season be filled with joy. Season's greetings from our family to yours."

Another trend sees politicians veer away from mentioning religious holidays, preferring to stay neutral with a "Happy Holidays or "Season's Greetings"-- that or they're all atheists.

No mention of infidel atheists on leader of the provincial Opposition Brian Pallister's card, however, despite his previous quip earlier this month wishing "infidel atheists" the best of the holiday season.

Overall, the proverbial memo to stick with general holiday talk reached everyone except provincial Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari.

Bokhari started and ended her December letter with "Happy Holidays," but fell into a political spiel partway through.

"As we look to the future, we need to grow our membership and our finances so that we are in a position to run an effective and competitive election campaign in 2015," she wrote.

Political recruitment? Not exactly the best discussion topic over eggnogs with the in-laws.

Regardless, here is a sampling of the holiday cards sent out by Canadian politicians this year.

jburbanski@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 24, 2013 A10

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