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Tory Who Resigned Over "Freeloading Indians" Comments Helped Lob Softball Questions To Harper In Facebook Q&A

Conservative with controversial past was one of the few to receive an answer from the prime minister.

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Only invited guests are able to attend Stephen Harper's campaign rallies. But regular Canadians did get the chance to ask the prime minister questions during a public Q&A session with Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

Facebook

And grill him they did. The burning questions answered by Harper included:

"What do you think is the best part or the highlight of being priminister?"

"I really do think you are the best man for the job and the Best Prime Minister Canada has ever had!"

"Just want to personally thank you for the great job you are doing."

"As a lifelong fan of the Beatles what is your favourite Beatles album and what is your favourite track from said album?" (Answer: his favourite album is Revolver while favourite track is Hey Jude, a single.)

"Do you personally have a preference for amateur or professional hockey?" (Answer: professional.)

"NEVER stop standing of supporting the country of Israel."

Of the around two-dozen questions that Harper answered, one was from Facebook user Braydon Mazurkiewich. He asked Harper "how much higher will our taxes go if Justin (Trudeau) or (Tom) Mulcair are elected?"

This gave Harper an opportunity to repeat one of the main slogans of his re-election campaign, that the NDP and Liberals will raise taxes.

It turns out Mazurkiewich used to be president of the Manitoba Progressive Conservative Party's youth wing but resigned because of offensive comments he made on Facebook.

The comments were made in 2012 after the Federal Court sided against the government and ruled it could not sell a former military base property without consulting First Nations.

“If they build a reserve inside this city I think that will be the last straw and I will finally leave what is becoming the laughing stock,” Mazurkiewich wrote on Facebook.

“That was built for hardworking men and women of the military, not freeloading Indians."

Mazurkiewich resigned as soon as the story broke, but told the QMI News Agency he would continue to use social media in the same way even if it offends people.

As with fake "town hall" sessions full of pre-vetted supporters, politicians are increasingly using formats where they can control the conversation.

Facebook

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair did a similar Facebook Q&A in late August where he answered questions such as what his celebratory drink will be when he wins the election.

(Which Mulcair didn't even answer. He made an Orange Crush joke. But sources tell BuzzFeed Canada that Mulcair's drink of choice is actually red wine.)

Only six weeks to go before the election!