Stephen Harper's hand gesture sets off a meme goldrush

Stephen Harper mocked the Liberals' plan to run a deficit with a series of hand gestures. The internet loved it.

The Conservative leader pinched his fingers and the internet did the rest

Stephen Harper on Trudeau's deficit plan


6 years ago
Conservative leader Stephen Harper reacts to Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's plan to run deficits. 1:18

At a campaign rally in Hamilton, Ont., on Thursday, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper mocked the Liberal Party's plan to run a deficit

Harper was cracking jokes, pinching his fingers and making gestures with his hands, all aimed at mocking Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's proposal to run a "modest short-term deficit" during his first three years in office. 

"He'll run, he says, a modest deficit, a tiny deficit, so small you can hardly see the deficit," a fired-up Harper said to huge crowd laughter.

"And only for three years, three deficits, three modest little deficits."

CBC first posted a photo of Harper's hand gestures on Twitter and people got pretty excited.

They started coming up with their own interpretations. 

It's the latest meme-able moment on the campaign trial, following on Angry Old Tory, Middle Kid and Bathrobe Guy.

There have been some other quality Harper-themed GIFs floating around on the internet...

There's this one from the Macleans' leaders debate in early August, where Harper debated against Trudeau, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. 

...but the squeezing of the fingers might be the new contender for best GIF of the campaign.

Harper's not exactly known for being outwardly humorous and that caught a few folks off guard.

The Hamilton rally was decidedly relaxed compared to other Conservative campaign stops. Harper cracked jokes and interacted with a crying baby. His speech even sat on a music stand, instead of a podium. 

Some thought his jabs at Trudeau were pretty sassy.

While Harper was clearly having fun, there were some on the internet who just weren't having it at all. 

And while Harper's hand gestures were referring to the Liberal deficit, some thought they meant something else.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?