Thursday, December 14, 2006

Harper's Delusional

Harper's speech yesterday contained this recurring theme:
Our country is united and the world is spreading the word, Canada is back," he said.

I quick survey of this government's complete failure on the international scene would suggest a slight rephrasing- "the world is spreading the word, Canada is whacked". Remember our stellar performance in Nairobi, where Canada was a running joke throughout the meetings? How about Harper making a fool out of himself in Asia, unnecessarily alienating the Chinese with his bravado? Or, Harper's unilateral decision to engage the North Koreans, which stunned our allies? How about the international AIDS conference that Canada hosted, and subsequently snubbed?How about the international concern over Canada's new approach to The Canadian Wheat Board? What about our credibility with the Arab world, after our unbalanced comments on Lebanon? What about pariah like resistence to the ban on bottom trawling?

Creating the perception that Canada is nothing more than an American lackey, that fails to live up to its international commitments is hardly something to crow about. I would love to hear a quick survey of diplomats, to see what exactly Canada is "spreading". I have this strange feeling that the world doesn't share the Prime Minister's perspective.


canuckistanian said...

don't foget the vote against the treaty on indigenous rights at the UN which canada had been championing, but sided with russia in opposing. yeah, we don't want injuns getting all uppity because they think they have rights...the cowboys need to go back to calgary.

Scotian said...

I think he cut the last word short of five letters, those being "wards". For that is the real message the "new" government of Canada has been sending on the international scene. Instead of showing our consistently progressive nature Harper has us suddenly tightly in bed with the foreign policy approach/beliefs of the current American regime. As what Steve V has done so well in listing the various negative international reactions to just about every international conference Canada has gone to since the "new" Harper government came into power underscores.

You called this one exactly right Steve V. Harper is delusional, but then that is a problem I find common with ideologues, be they political/secular ideologues or religious ones.

Berlynn said...

You are bang on with this revision! The world is spreading the word, Canada is whacked.

Steve V said...


The world applauds!


I really believe that Canadians will reject Harper if he is properly characterized as an ideologue. Dion seems to work the phrasing into most criticisms and it should be an effective tactic, primarily because it's true.

knb said...

Well said Steve. It will be interesting to see if there are any International voices during the next election.

I would agree as well, that Dion is plotting out his position and it will resonate particularly if he has other members of the caucus (specifically the leadership candidates), out there pushing a unified message. I don't want to hear the "droid" kind of stuff that we hear from the right, but real vision that is united.

Scotian, missing "ward"...good catch!

Miles Lunn said...

We are back in the eyes of the Bush administration but that is about it. Not much to be proud of IMO.

Scotian said...

I did not know how prophetic those letters would be several hours later. While watching Politics with Don Newman I found out this government declined the European Mars Rover construction contract, apparently because this area of government business is not a high enough agenda to bother with. What makes this really infuriating was the additional news that the Americans told the government that if they built the Mars Lander for the Europeans that they would use the frame of it for their planned Moon colony, which would make this exceptionally profitably in the long term as well as giving incredible access to Canada's space industries.

We are a nation that has a reputation in space robotics engineering, it has been an area of aerospace engineering we have developed over the last few decades, mainly to recoup that sector from the destruction wreaked upon it by the Avro Arrow cancellation. This apparently has the same potential as the industry is pissed and apparently has given indications that if this contract is not picked up they may move to the States en masse. This contract was due to be signed in September, but ironically enough because the Europeans were caught so flatfooted they had no alternative in mind and apparently are still willing to give it to Canada if we change our minds in the near future before they find that alternative. The contract was apparently for 100 million spread out over 10 years, not exactly an unreasonable expense for such a project and hardly a budget buster and clearly a good investment both for the industry and for Canadian sovereignty in space itself by being a robotics and transportation specialists in such environments.

You cannot know how pissed off I am to have heard all this, it is going to be the basis of my next post at Saundrie, either later this evening or tomorrow (barring connection problems, which I have been having intermittently lately). This has the potential to gut this extremely important sector of Canada's high technology sector and a major way in which we contribute and through such have access to space technologies and space itself. This is incredibly important to me and I strongly suspect most Canadians given the pride in prior contributions like the CanadArm and it's sequel Arm for the Space Station now under construction via the use of said Arm. This also has a lot of spin-off elements in supporting technologies both hard and soft and would represent one of the ways in which Canada stays a cutting edge science kind of country. This is incredibly short sighted and stupid of the Harper government and to my mind needs being made a major political issue immediately to try and get this contract accepted before the Europeans find an alternative!

Steve V said...


I think this move demonstrates Harper's lack of vision and/or curiousity. You can't look at investments like these in practical terms (although there are considerations, as you point out). The expenditure is relatively small, but Harper isn't interested in anything that doesn't translate to vote potential. Obviously, various departments have been instructed to cut costs to offset another GST cut and the other goodies. Gutting scientific research in this manner is actually ironic, given the "Canada is back" meme. Does anyone deny the pride in seeing the Canada arm on the shuttle? It serves as a billboard to the world that Canada is technologically advanced and has a place in exploration.

Look forward to the post Scotian :)

Susanna Ng said...

well said!!! just wanna add one: the kyoto