The principles Harper is proposing to the world are sound, the issues real, some response warranted. Improved health care for moms and their babies, boosting food production, promoting economic growth, all laudable goals to help the impoverished. It's not the message, but the messenger. Here's my cynical take on the chronology, which I'd wager is BANG ON.
Serious political problems at home, plummeting support that has sent shock waves through the PMO, completely derailing their ENTIRE winter and spring strategy, which was supposed to set the stage for electoral bliss. In the midst of the hammering the Conservatives were taking, a natural disaster occurred. The government responded with opportunistic zeal (I'm sure there was a genuine component, but only a fool doesn't consider "the wheels turning" in the PMO), high profile photo ops, swamping the media, seeing this event as the channel changer they desperately wanted.
The PMO saw the positive press for their Haiti response, which SUDDENLY produced this epiphany- we can re brand this Prime Minister as a humanitarian, taking a lead on the world stage, an advocate for the disadvantaged. Never mind, that all policies to date either contradicted the new messaging and/or demonstrated COMPLETE AND UTTER INDIFFERENCE, the PMO plowed ahead with the notion, cobbling together new initiatives. It was all political calculus, but this PMO believe if you say it, they will come, any level of true historical inspection a temporary obstacle.
I admit to a pungent VOMIT taste in my throat, reading and listening to this new creation coming out of the PMO. It's so callous and opportunistic, so at odds with this guy's career and record, the poor used as a pawn to improve a tarnished image. Supporters will give Harper the benefit of the doubt, probably defend the authenticity of his motives. Lap it up, repeat the words, never question, basically turn off all brain activity to accept HARPER THE HUMANITARIAN. I'll leave those to their almost pathetic delusions.
I suggest a read of Travers today, because I think it representative of the general tone, as people digest this AWKWARD metamorphosis:
No, the problem is Harper is a political changeling. Instead of the rigid ideologue feared by many voters, his guide rail is expediency. He will say and do whatever is necessary to take, protect and manipulate power.
An initiative borne of political calculation, further fuelled by desperation and timely opportunism. Nothing more, nothing less, to suggest otherwise proves that common sense isn't as common as advertised.
I think it's all shameful in the end. On the plus side, Harper is now contorting wildly, which only undermines his credibility further. Canadians will soon put this political animal out of its misery.