Wednesday, October 09, 2013

A Reputation In Tatters

Stephen Harper is skipping the Commonwealth Conference. The man who put "royal" back in the navy and the air force doesn't have time for the Commonwealth. There really is nothing surprising about that. International relations is not the prime minister's strong suit. As Tom Walkom points out in today's Toronto Star:

Stephen Harper has little use for the international institutions that Canada once championed. He plans to boycott an important Commonwealth meeting next month. He regularly snubs the United Nations.

Harper likes to say that these institutions don't share Canadian values -- which is to say that he conflates his values with Canadian values. The truth is that Mr. Harper's values were best articulated by Willie Sutton. He goes where the money is:

Most of all, he prefers to interact in the world through trade deals that enhance Canadian business opportunities — no matter who is on the other side.
Jordan may, as Amnesty International alleges, torture prisoners. But that hasn’t stopped Harper from inking a free trade deal with that country. 

And so CIDA's mission is now to promote Canadian business abroad -- and  CSEC  spies on Brazil's resource and energy companies.

The international community cottoned on to Stephen Harper long ago. That's why Canada's international reputation is in tatters.


Anonymous said...

The fact that the Harperites put the Canadian security establishment in the service of the 'Canadian' extractive industries will not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the programme notes.

But snubbing the British Commonwealth, and, hence, the Queen, in public after attempting to reestablish Canadian ties to British traditions doesn't make much sense, especially in the world of Reform logic.

I think we should amend the constitution to include the requirement of a yearly psychiatric exam for any sitting Prime Minister.

Owen Gray said...

In Harper's case, the yearly exam might not be a bad idea, Anon. Despite his low key delivery, Harper is obviously dealing with some deep seated hostilities.

The Mound of Sound said...

Agreed. Harper clearly has a degree of selective,cognitive impairment harnessed to a genuine sociopathy.

Owen Gray said...

It's disconcerting, Mound, to realize that your prime minister is less than level headed.

Anonymous said...

If people looked back to, Harper's earlier political days? This was when Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989. Harper's personality fits with what, he is doing to our country.

All dictators and control freaks are sociopaths and, have similar characteristics. They lie, deceive, thieve, are corrupt, use dirty tactics, dirty politics and all of them cheated to win.

Owen Gray said...

It's pretty clear that Harper will do anything to win, Anon.

Perhaps if Canadians understood that fact, they wouldn't let him win again.

e.a.f. said...

Not going to the Commonwealth meeting, U.N., etc. is power for the course for stevie. Perhaps he simply doesn't go because he doesn't fit in. he isn't as smart, sophisticated, intellectually competent as the rest of the leaders.

He is comfortable with China and Malasyia because they cater to him, to get what they want. They are clever enough to make him feel smart. That is the secret actually to dealing with him. Make him feel important/smart and you get what you want.

Its the same with small town politicians. You sometimes wonder why they do things. No they didn't get paid off, some one fed their ego. stevie is just another small town politicians except Canada made the mistake of electing him P.M.

Owen Gray said...

Your observation about Harper being a small town politician is spot on, e.a.f.

Even though he grew up in Etobicoke, like another politician from the same Toronto suburb -- Rob Ford -- he doesn't have the temperment required to do the job well.job.