“We've had very frank discussions with a wide range of leaders, including although it was not a very long discussion, a very frank discussion with President Hu of China — a distinct impression, if I may say that, that the Chinese aren't used to that from a Canadian government, but I can't speak for them.” Mr. Harper said at the end of the APEC gathering.
I have a theory about Harper, that he suffers from delusions of grandeur. Important to remember, that in the infancy of this government much energy was spent talking about protecting the Arctic from foreign incursions, beefing up the military and making Canada a power on the world stage. We already know that Harper has a weird obsession with Stalin, an interesting curiousity for a democratic leader. I don't want to get too psychological here, but Harper strikes me as a man that desperately wants to be important.
Harper brags about his tone with the Chinese, as though "we told them". I'm sure the Chinese appreciated the lack of diplomatic decorum. I'm also sure North Korea cares what Canada thinks about its nuclear program. Harper want to look tough, fine, but he doesn't seem to have any comprehension of Canada's place on the world stage. Harper seems to conduct himself with an air of self-importance that simply isn't rooted in reality. Canada is effective, Canada over-steps its relative relevance, when it plays the margins, works behind the scenes to develop consensus. Canada doesn't have the clout to stand out and drive change, it's just that simple.
Whenever a leader takes the helm and puts the military on center stage, it tells us something. Harper has shown that he is a bully in his parlimentary approaches, and the "might is right" mentality of militarism is an extension of this characteristic. Supporters would argue that the Canadian military has long been ignored and desperately needs support. I don't dispute this fact, but I think Harper approaches the question from the perspective of power. This belief may explain why Harper over-zealously made the Afghanistan mission his own.
Last week we had the Canadian military conducting amphibious offensive operations (for the first time that anyone can remember) on the American east coast, preparing for any possible "invasion". A small point, but another sign that we think ourselves a force on the world stage and this government has given the military leadership a blank cheque. Any idea which country may feel the wrath of a Canadian naval assault?
Remember when Harper declared "Canada's back", referring to the world stage. Interesting, because Canada never left the world stage. Is this quest for Canada a genuine desire to be a force for change, or is it more the personal wants of a man who suffers from delusions of grandeur? The scary part, I really believe the latter.