The Harperites -- not surprisingly -- accused Thomas Mulcair of traitorous behaviour when, during his recent Washinton gambit, he did not give his full throated support to the Keystone XL pipeline. He was, they said, damaging Canada's international reputation.
But four of Canada's former prime ministers have recently suggested that Stephen Harper is doing a superb job of trashing our international reputation without any help from Mulcair. Consider Jean Chretien's terse comment:
"I'm travelling the world. The image of Canada today is not what it was," Chrétien told Global News on Sunday.
Then we have Paul Martin's assessment:
Paul Martin said that Canada was no longer "well-positioned" to be a player on the international stage and put the blame on Harper.
"[The United Nations is] going to be looking for countries that have a role to play internationally," he told Postmedia.
"Well, if you have walked away from Africa, if you have walked away from climate change, you’re not going to have a great deal of influence in the rest of the world."
The bad reviews, however, don't just from former Liberal prime ministers. The most stinging assessment comes from Joe Clark. He says that Harper has abandoned the "strong and positive traditions" which were the bedrock of the old Progressive Conservative Party:
"It's certainly clear in international affairs, where its focus has been very narrow on the military and on trade," he [told] the McGill Daily.
"Much of the emphasis upon CIDA, which had been upon actual development dealing with poverty, has been replaced now by a supportive role [in] trade arrangements, not necessarily in the poorest countries.
"Our relations with many parts of the world where we had historically strong partnerships have deteriorated."
Even Kim Campbell opined that, "We have pulled back a little from our effort to be serious players, and I’d like to see us do more."
Clark and Campbell were Progressive Conservatives. The first thing Harper did when he assumed the leadership of his "new" party was to drop the first adjective. As Stephen Harper stands naked before the world, it's obvious that there is nothing progressive about the man.