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Humour on the hustings: Remember when Stephen Harper was just Steve?

A detail of a photograph on the vintagevoter.ca site, showing a vintage 'Steve' Harper Reform Party sign.

Let's change the channel from attack ads and campaign rhetoric to take a brief look at the party leaders as they were a few decades ago.

It's a trip to the past from a website that proudly boasts it is both "apathetic and apolitical."

Remember when Stephen Harper was just Steve? Or when Jack Layton had a thick head of dark hair that matched his equally swarthy mustache? Or when Michael Ignatieff looked like a character from Happy Days? Or When Elizabeth May was, well, kind of like she is today except younger?

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It's all here. And you absolutely must take the time to scroll through to see Gilles Duceppe.

So, who is behind this collection of photographic relics?

"We're a small group of Canadians who want desperately to see voter participation finally turn the corner and again start to climb," writes David Leibl, a communications strategist and speechwriter who is one of the people behind the site.

"We think Canada should be a beacon of democracy, not a place where 40 per cent of the electorate can't be bothered to vote. We think that humour and parody can be great motivators and also great tools to make the political process less intimidating (for people of any age)," he wrote, taking pains to point out that the site is fully independent and not in any way connected with any other organization or individual.

"We love that the web makes it so easy to launch mid-election projects like these, and if they can promote discussion or encourage greater civic participation, no one will be happier than us!"

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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