Less amusing translation of Brazilian article on Harper bathroom tiff

On August 9, the Brazilian newspaper Fohla published a story about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apparently undiplomatic behavior during his visit to that country on a trade mission.

Canadians had a bit of fun on Twitter with the awkward machine translation from Google.

A Brazilian friend translated the story for me. It’s not as much fun this way, but the meaning is clearer:

Canadian Prime Minister goes to bathroom and comes out only when requirement met

Natuza Nery


Eliane Cantanhêde

Folha columnist

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put Brazilian diplomats in a difficult (embarrassing) position this Monday, demanding a change in the Brazilian diplomatic protocol and only accepted to come out for lunch after his request had been accepted.

The official speeches and toasts can take place before or after lunch. Dilma (Rouseff, Brazil’s president) prefers to have these after lunch, so this is what is being done during her presidency. But Harper was adamant that it should take place before lunch. He did not explain why.

Harper had already irked Dilma’s advisors and diplomats when he announced that he wished to speak to journalists at the Palacio do Planalto (the Presidential Palace) when the protocol is generally that foreign dignitaries talk to the press at the Itamaraty (the Foreign Affairs palace).

Since Brazilian diplomats denied his request to speak to the press at the Presidential palace, Harper was already in a bad mood when he arrived for lunch. He demanded the shift in protocol at the lunch event, and locked himself in the private bathroom of ministro Antonio Patriota (Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Minister) while he waited for a reply.

Brazilian diplomats were taken aback and did not know what to do – if they should listen to Dilma’s request or to Harper. Harper arrived at the room (in the Foreign Affairs ministry) where the lunch was taking place only when Brazilian diplomats confirmed that the speeches and toasts would take place before lunch, as he had demanded.

The Canadian Embassy in Brasilia does not confirm this version of events, but the Folha has confirmed with diplomats present at the event.


About Stephen Maher

Canadian journalist and novelist. 2016 Harvard Nieman fellow.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Less amusing translation of Brazilian article on Harper bathroom tiff

  1. Fat Arse says:

    Well, that’s one way to flush all diplomatic good will down the toilet!

  2. I always thought that an important part of protocol was being nice to your guest; however, an equally important part is being nice to your host, too. When in Rome…

  3. k.w.m says:

    Is Harper planning on being the President of the Global Government? Dictating to Canadians and now to Brazilians, who’s next ?

    • nguedes says:

      Apparently, yes. Harper really enjoys being a dictator and doesn’t understand the word “democracy”. I dislike Harper as my prime minister, but I do like Dilma as my president. I’m both brasilian and canadian, so I find this whole story very amusing… 😀

  4. Pingback: Min Reyes - my world in colors & words

  5. I understand Harper on this one. It’s an old ‘brain washing’ trick. When people’s blood sugar is low, they are more susceptible to suggestion, hence many “religious communes” having diets high in carbs and low in proteins. Harper’s ‘words of wisdom’ would have more impact if people were a bit hungry so they would be less likely to have their BS! alerts going off while he spoke.

  6. Alison S says:

    They should have left him locked in there, eaten what was probably a delicious lunch, done their toasts and left. Just ignore the bad behaviour of an obnoxious bully.

  7. Kath says:

    Would he have even tried such a nasty bit of behaviour if the President had been a man? Probably not!

  8. Maggie says:

    Wow Harper is really putting letting the world take a look at the ‘ugly Canadian’. A continual embarrassment on the world stage. What is going on in this man’s head anyway?

  9. Ben S. says:

    Why am I not surprised? Harper is a confirmed narcissist. Most world leaders are, but Harper and Berlusconi of Italy are probably at the top when it comes to this personality disorder.

  10. some one should just take this guy out behind the barn!!

  11. This is just too funny! I don’t doubt it’s the truth – he is just such a stupid tool!

  12. If she’d promise to just leave Harper holed up in that bathroom forever, that’d clinch my vote for Dilma as President of the Global Government.

  13. El Jay Gee says:


  14. Blue Tory says:

    ***holes should stay locked in the bathroom

  15. No wonder he won’t let Terry Milewski go with him.
    But – perhaps he suffers from IBS – irritable bowel syndrome, and wanted to be able to get out of the room when lunch was over; speeches completed? Have to look at all possible reasons for behaviour.

    Otherwise, just being a control freak.

  16. Only thing is that with this retranslated post (thank you) is that we don’t get the hilarious comments in Portuguese/Spanish that were at the end of the original article. I don’t speak either language but I know what infantile looks like in another language.

  17. Pingback: prairie dog magazine | dog blog

  18. Quick call Dr. Phil on how to deal with a tantrum. Oh wait, that’s for 4 year olds.

  19. Pingback: Bullies like to make shows of their displeasure … « Commotio Populi

  20. Haroldthebig says:

    People please! I am no fan of Harpers, but have none of you ever recognized a case of the shits when you see it?

  21. memi says:

    what an embarrassingly undiplomatic way to do business, eh?

  22. Susann says:

    Wow sure no sign of intelligent life on Maher’s blog.

  23. JJ says:

    Susann – speak for yourself!

  24. JJ says:

    Harper is an embarrassment to all Canadians!

  25. The harpercrite sure is! and what really pisses me off is that ‘all’ Cdns get labelled the same as himself …… as tho a majority voted for the asshart!

  26. Get a grip Emac – don’t be so damn rude! PPL will think all Cdns are like harpo!

  27. Pingback: Canada's back! - Peace, order and good government, eh?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s