Yesterday, in Montreal, the world got a chance to see the Stephen Harper Canadians have come to know so well -- a man who is, above all else, full of himself. More and more, he is adopting the American rhetoric of the City on the Hill -- only that city, says Harper, is Canada.
“The Canadian approach is what the world needs,” said Harper.
“A practical approach, an approach that works. An approach that includes both fiscal discipline and other growth measures.”
What is truly annoying about Harper is how he takes credit for the accomplishments of others. For the last four years he has taken credit for the solvency of Canadian banks, which owe their good fortune to the Martin government. During the election campaign, he plastered the country with signs touting "Canada's Economic Action Plan" -- which was forced on him by what he called a "separatist coalition."
Now he claims that austerity -- the very thing which got Europe in trouble -- is what Canada and the world needs. At the same time, he blames Europe for making a mess of things. But he has others deliver the barbs. The latest came from eager acolyte Pierre Poilevere, who -- three days ago -- waged his finger at the Europeans:
"They have taxed to the max, borrowed to the brink and are seeking a bailout to continue spending what they do not have," said the Ottawa-area MP, known for his hyper-partisanship.
"This prime minister will not force hard-working Canadian taxpayers to bail out sumptuous euro welfare-state countries and the wealthy bankers that lend to them."
Yes, that's our Stephen -- full of himself. One suspects the Europeans believe he is full of something else.