The Stephen Harper we don't know.
Stephen Harper in a duet with YouTube sensation Maria Aragon, who sing "Imagine" during a Winnipeg campaign stop. (Winnipeg Sun)
The one we don't know is married to a dreamy motorcyclist, adores his kids, has the talent of a concert pianist (he once put in a marvelous performance with the National Arts Centre orchestra, and gave an impromptu tutorial at Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music while in town on other business), and is toiling on a definitive history of the NHL. There are stories of his comforting journalists who've lost beloved colleagues in combat coverage. He has co-starred with Rick Mercer, to mirthful effect.
I've often thought - if only our worldviews were aligned - I'd enjoy working with Harper on his image (dreadfully cynical term). Which counsel would consist simply of letting us see just a bit more of Harper after quitting time.
Otherwise, too much of what we know of Harper is high-handedness, autocratic tendencies, a mean streak a kilometre wide, and gratuitous, even child-like surliness.
He's a better man than that. It's a shame we see signs of another Harper so infrequently. As much as Canadians respect the privacy of public figures, Harper needn't have taken that to extremes, and it has long hurt him.