Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dream On

During Harper's propaganda exercise today he admitted that he pinches himself to make sure he isn't dreaming. Harper made the following comment, a recurring theme:
"To a world that thought Canada had fallen asleep, we served notice Canada's back," he told the cheering crowd of supporters.

Everytime I hear this bravado, I wonder how exactly Harper reaches the conclusion. Did the other G8 countries think we continually led the pack whilst sleeping? Isn't Harper the first to remind Canadians that it was the Liberals who made the "robust" commitment in Afghanistan? Was the world impressed when the Harper government dodged the international AIDS conference on its own turf? Were our European partners impressed by our embarrassing display at the Kyoto meetings? Were the Japanese impressed with our freelancing in the Korean peninsula? Are the Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians impressed with our diplomatic departure that involved some "evenhandedness"? Why is McKay dispatched to Beijing to smooth relationships that were soured as a result of our own bumbling actions?

The fact that Harper actually believes the "Canada's back" thesis is quite revealing. Harper thinks cozying up to the most unpopular American administration in history is evidence of relevance. Instead of acting as an independent nation, with its own set of values and priorities, Harper sees our role as American patsy as a sign of strength. Approval from Bush translates into status. The world doesn't think Canada is back, but more correctly, the neo-cons in America have found an ally. I would agree that, from the American administration perspective, Canada has served notice- the problem is whether this direction is reflective of Canadian opinion, the answer a resounding NO.

Harper is entirely delusional, in his belief that beefing up the military translates into influence. Canada is not a superpower, Canada is barely a middle power. Adding some troops and fancy hardware doesn't impress the neighborhood, it is really nothing more than egocentric masturbation. The Canadian military is making an important contibution, but no one should fool themselves into thinking we are a "force" on the world stage. Canada asserts the most influence on the world stage diplomatically, a fact which Harper doesn't grasp.

I hate to break it to Harper, but I don't think the world phone lines are buzzing with news of a Canadian resurgence. Eliminate Bush from the equation, and most of what I see is people shaking their heads confusingly. The bravado shows no relationship to reality.


Karen said...

Well said Steve. Scour foreign newspapers. I've seen no headline stating that Canada is back. He's preaching to his choir and they are lapping up the imaginary kool-aid he's giving them.

The bravado shows no relationship to reality.

True. One other thing he said was, "Conservative values are Canadian values, and Canadian's now realise that." (paraphrashed). Of course that is ridiculous, no party holds the values of all Canadians and it certainly could be argued that the majority of Canadians do not adhere to Reform values.

Just because he's played a political game and cast his net wider, (temporarily in my view, by compromising himself on issues like the Environment), that does not mean that Canada as a whole has embraced all things Conservative.

He is at present duping Canadians, if we buy it, we get what we deserve. I hope the fact that he is doing this is exposed, loudly and clearly...along with all his other contradictions and broken promises.

It may not be the time for an election now, but the lead up to it must be honest. So far, all I've seen from Harper is dishonesty. I liked Dion's comments today. "PM Harper can copy our programs, but he'll never copy our conviction and Canadian's will not be fooled." (paraphrased)

Steve V said...

"Conservative values are Canadian values, and Canadian's now realise that."

knb, I don't know if you caught Newman's show today, but he was discussing Harper's standing with a Decima pollster. The numbers are dreadful, when you factor in the false inflation of Harper's Alberta numbers. You can't win more seats in Alberta, but there is consistent erosion all across the country. These findings are supported by other polling. Harper is losing urban voters (despite the "momentum" angle the partisans play), woman voters, over 50 voters, every demographic.

The only thing Canadians are realizing, Harper is actually not representative of mainstream Canada. Harper can proudly proclaim his successes, but the fact of the matter, if an election were held today he would likely lose.

The funniest moment today was when Harper tried to claim that he has been "firm" with the Americans. Okay Steve :)

wilson said...

Newman is up, Tuesday, go to 44:45


Steve V said...


Try 6:00 :) So much for the "coming in droves" crap.

Karen said...

Steve, I did catch some of it, (for personal reasons, my attention span is short right now), but I did see him discussing the poll. He seemed to dismiss it a bit, but also commented on it's impact.

What really got to me, was the panel at the end. I am sick to death of the Steven LeDrew's, (it may be Stephen, not sure), Kinsella's, and Copp's of this world, being portrayed by media as being the Liberal voice. They are all "old" Liberal, still angry and sceptical of the current group and seem to prefer to side with nonsense of what the Con's are now putting out there. It's nonsense and I want to see current Lib's on those panels.

Newman is old school, Duffy is coming back and is old school, we need challengers here.

All of these guy's, the panelist's, express an 80's or 90's view, no matter what party. It's time for new blood people.

Steve V said...

"Steven LeDrew"

Canada's Lieberman?

Anonymous said...

Steve V. & KNB,

You're darn right. I'm lapping it up too!

One of the BEST things about Canada's New Government is the crisper, clearer, less nuanced (less pretentious) foreign policy.

The immediate responses in Afghanistan, Israel, and the Francaphonie (phoney?) Lebanese resolution were all 100%. His explaining to China that we have no interest in acting like Sudan was also raising the bar from the "Team Canada Trade Show" debacles of the recent past.

Why are Liberal supporters always so fixated on polls? Is it because the issue isn't good government but grasping for power?

Count me in if you're talking tin foil hats and kool aid, unless of course you've actually got everything reversed...


Anonymous said...

Tell me how the average Canadian (or pretty much any Canadian) got news about Canada's "New Government" Foreign Affairs issues in China from Bulgarian reporters first, and I'll believe that "Canada's New Government" is open and accountable.
Harper hasn't advanced Canada's presence on the world stage, he's been a laughingstock. He's a has-been before he was even a coulda-been because he hitched his chariot to the falling star that is Bush. I'm not saying America is a falling star, far from it. I'm saying that Bush and his idealogues and minions are toast. Harper better smarten up quick if he thinks he is up to guiding the great nation that is Canada in these times.
Oh wait, but didn't Harper proclaim Quebec as a nation? Is Alberta far behind?
How many real and true Albertans want to be not-Canada?
Harper hates Canada.
Canada as a free and democratic country sticks in Harper's craw like a dinosaur bone.
He hates to admit it, but it's there and he's choking on it.
Harper is very out to lunch putting forth his 1/4th per cent of the Canadian people as the stamp of approval for his notion of governing.
Harper's just not working for the values of most Canadians.

Anonymous said...

I wrote to CBC today re Politics with D. Newman and S. LeDrew's commentary at all times. He appears (LeDrew) that he has crossed the floor so to speak. When he likened Harper to Mackenzie King on a previous program was the last straw for me. He wasn't much better today..still singing Harper's accolades. I left my email address with cbc so it will be interesting to see if I get a reply. I did notice that D. Newman mentioned to LeDrew a liking of Harper and jokingly said "was it because of having the same first name" or words to that affect.

ottlib said...

I would not get too upset about the political news programs like "Politics", "Question Period" or whatever. Very few ordinary Canadians watch them in between elections. Instead they are there to feed the addiction of politicos like ourselves and one thing about us is we have usually made up our minds about who we are going to support.

So Mr. LeDrew, Ms. Copps, et. al. are really only talking because they like to hear the sound of their own voices, which is a pathological problem for most politicians.

As for the topic of this post, I would point out that at the lowest ebb of the Martin government Paul Martin was saying everything was fine and the Liberals were on their way to victory.

For some reason politicians seem to feel the need blow smoke out of their asses with regard to how they are doing, when they are having difficulties, even though it invariably makes them look delusional, out-of-touch and just a wee bit desperate.

Anonymous said...

There certainly are claims to be made that this is a gov't of accomplishment -- no matter how low they set their targets. That they've had to back-track, flip-flop and fracture the message they were trying to send is a matter of politics. But 2 facts in my opinion have been weighing Harpor's polling numbers down:
He's a fibber - Harpor wrapped himself around accountability and then modelled the one-size-fits-all pigskin lined oak barrel. Plucking opposition members and an unelected senator for cabinet pretty well broke his image right there. Then he had the stampede for lobby jobs, trying to trump secrecy when it comes to the return of our fallen soldiers, the evading events where they may get booed, dumping his promise on income trusts on halloween, dodging the media left right and centre, etc etc, these turn his meme of 'Canada is Back' into the tritest of slogans. Doesn't succeed where 'Where's the Beef?' did.
2) His personality. Somewhere in the darkest recesses of his out robot, is likely someone who enjoys a good laugh, can tease his children with fatherly love, and empathizes with unemployed and poor pensioners. However, his exterior is so stilted and ill at ease with the human touch. He reads his speeches like a 3rd grade republican. And then his constant attempt at bravado would have earned him the scorn of his peers in that same gr. 3 class and the teacher would roll her eyes. Constantly hectoring the opposition about 'bring it on, you're trying to bring me down!' kinda crap just doesn't make him look real. Forget the bad clothes, he's always saying he's tough and showing less than human feelings. He dearly wants to break through, or at least his advisors are trying -- he loves hockey and kittens, walks on the beach blahblah... When he trumps the wonders of his anniversary in 24 Sussex, I think most people don't see the reason to celebrate. They know we've had good financial management (mostly) over the past 12 years. People do want tax relief and a percentage want to protect the environment. His real actions however, including the 50-year goal of clean air and raising taxes to lower the gst, stunk.
I just don't get a sense that he's winning people over despite the moderately modest success, but instead of turning some off.

Anonymous said...

Good post all of you, and especially Burlivespipe. If Harper was doing as well as he was tooting his own horn yesterday, why are these poll ratings not going up and up. the only place is in Alta. and he cannot win anymore seats there. Even when the Libs. had no leader, the polls were the same as when they were elected. The pundits view was that people responded to these polls and gave the Libs. high no's was due to the fact that they could imagine a new leader. Well we have a new leader and the polls have virtually not changed. The other problem that may occur is if harper gives so much more to Que. than to the other provinces. We certainly want to support Charest, but we want fairness.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous upthread who said "Harper hates Canada" -- amen. Hates Canada, hates Canadians, hates everything progressives love about this country and this people.

Let's not forget how he went south and dissed us to the Americans for not joining them in Iraq. Let's remember how he smeared us, telling an American business audience we were like a Northern European welfare state and apparently content to remain so. (Like the Nordic Tigers Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark, perhaps? We should be so lucky!)

For some time it nagged at me that he reminded me of something, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then I saw a shot of him in that bulge-concealing vest, mentally put one of those ducky little SA caps on him, and presto -- Herr Gauleiter Harper.

To me it seems clear that his ideal niche is as stooge -- as Vidkun Quisling -- for an occupying power. In a sense he already is.