Shit Harper Did (SHD), the viral phenomenon that captured the digital zeitgeist during the 2011 federal election campaign, is back in action.
The team of B.C.-based young people that generated millions of hits with videos critical of the Stephen Harper and the Conservatives has returned with new clips targeting the cost of the government's economic action plan ads.
The videos provide fake behind-the-scenes commentary on the controversial and costly ads. The first in the series opens with Sue, Conservative "director of communications," offering up the detail that she's white. Things continue in that vein.
The collective has also added a prominent new member: rogue page Brigette DePape. Famous for holding up a "Stop Harper" sign during the 2011 throne speech, as well as other public protests, DePape is now working as SHD's lead community organizer, helping to stage workshops and other events aimed at getting millennials more politically engaged.
The group recently took their unique brand of socially-conscious humour on the road with live shows on 14 campuses featuring award-winning comedy troupe The Sunday Service and comedian Graham Clark, according to The Vancouver Sun.
Site co-founder and executive director Sean Devlin told the Sun SHD looks to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert in the United States as models for how to use comedy to encourage young people to be less apathetic about politics.
SHD isn't just interested in getting youth involved federally, it's also taking a keen interest in the upcoming B.C. election.
DePape told The Tyee that Harper and B.C. Premier Christy Clark are after the same things, specifically pipelines and resource extraction.
But that doesn't mean SHD sees the rival B.C. NDP as the province's salvation.
"The scale of the problems won't be solved by voting in a new government. It's a way to address them, but it's also beyond voting," DePape told The Tyee.
It seems DePape and Devlin are aiming to get young people to see political action as more than casting a ballot. The pair are holding a "creative activist workshop" at Simon Fraser University later this week, similar to events recently organized by leaders within the Quebec student movement.
"I really feel we are part of building something that is capable of taking down not only the Christy Clark government and the Harper government, but really being part of this shift of culture."
Do you think online activism in the mould of SHD will motivate young Canadians to engage politically and start voting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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