Canadian law requires the federal government to follow-up government ad campaigns with polling to judge the impact of the ads.
This can be expensive, even embarrassing sometimes.
Harper and his government have spent $ 36 million on a silly ad campaign showing young, happy Canadians finding great new jobs simply by walking out of one television frame and into another. Were that it were so easy.
My favorite is the one of the young woman stepping out of a plane and the outfit she's wearing changes slowly before our eyes, and then, there she is, all dressed up in a new outfit, walking towards the job of her life.
Nice way to make us forget that the youth unemployment is 14 percent right now, almost twice what it is for old goats like us.
The $ 36 million that Harper spent on his happy job campaign forced him by law to spend another $ 300,000 for eight public opinion surveys to find out what he got for his (er, our) money.
The eight surveys on the "Economic Action Plan" campaign paid for by the Ministry of Finance between 2009 and 2012 reveal that the ads are beginning to "irritate" people.
It's the pollsters' polite way of telling Harper his ads are beginning to turn people off. Maybe they're too hokey, maybe they've been on long enough. Try something else, Steve.
Canadians may be tired of commercials that make finding a new job as easy as putting on a new suit of clothes. Wish that it were that easy.
There are 240,000 Canadians looking for jobs this month. That's five jobless people for every available job.
Pollsters told it straight to Harper. In the most recent survey, pollsters reported that several respondents had told them the ads are "propaganda" and "a waste of money" and nobody remembers afterwards what they saw.
Meanwhile, the Finance department is still buying up air time. And we poor slobs keep on paying taxes so the Conservatives can run their ads. And we watch those beautiful upward-pointing arrows in front of beautiful Conservative blue backgrounds.
If we follow the advice on the ads, we end on a Conservative blue website and we find a smiling Harper - probably thinking of the nice job he's found for us, or maybe the latest unemployment insurance cutback he's bringing in.
Aren't we lucky to have such a wonderful, happy, smiling leader?