Wednesday, October 02, 2013

He'll Huff And He'll Puff

Lawrence Martin wondered yesterday what could have possessed Stephen Harper to tell Barack Obama that Canada would not accept a "no" on the Keystone Pipeline:

One possibility is that it was just Stephen Harper – who’s rarely prepared to take no for an answer from anyone – being Stephen Harper.

Another possibility is that Mr. Harper knew that his long-time parliamentary secretary Dean Del Mastro was about to be hit with charges on alleged campaign spending violations. The ever-political PM may have wanted to make big splashy news on the same day in order to overshadow the negative story.

Another is that Mr. Harper senses that Mr. Obama is no longer quite as popular in Canada, making the Prime Minister less hesitant to take him on. Enough bilateral sugarcoating – let’s hit back.

Or maybe, Martin suggests, Harper is playing the long game, and sees Keystone as a 21st century analogue to the St. Lawrence Seaway:

But think again of the St. Lawrence Seaway – it took the better part of three decades to get an agreement with Washington to move ahead with the project.

When Mr. Harper said he wouldn’t take no for answer, perhaps he was thinking down the line to getting Keystone done with a more compatible White House occupant.

The problem with the Seaway analogy is the difference in context. It was not built in the wake of a warming planet. And, therefore, Mr. Harper would do well to remember what happened to the wolf who huffed and puffed and threatened to blow the house down. He could wind up being boiled in his own bitumen.


ron wilton said...

Perhaps Mr. Obama has already given herr harper a 'no', as I am sure he would before making the announcement public, and the obtuse one is merely trying to put a con face on it.

Owen Gray said...

That's an intriguing thought, Ron. Surely, if there was any hope of success, Harper wouldn't have said what he had said.

That would be just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

Harper won't take no for an answer because, there was never a chance the Keystone would't go through. There was an article on Harper and Obama's NAU.

We have American Police operating, on our Canadian soil.

Harper is bringing Canada's cost of living, in line with the U.S. cost of living.

Obama is trying to get a health care plan, in line with Canada's. We know we are going to get a hit, on our health care.

Neither Harper and Obama, pass the smell test.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps, Anon. But it seems to me that Harper smells more like a Republican than a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Harper acts in the world as if he's on the student council at an Etobicoke high school.

Owen Gray said...

And he treats everyone else as if they are feckless high school students, Anon.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Harper looked and sounded ridiculous with his bravado and possible threat that he won't take "No" for an answer. If we do not get our way are we going in invade the US and built our pipeline at the point of a gun. The fact is they tried to sell this pipeline on the basis that it will help make the US energy independent of off shore oil. In reality it is so Canada and the oil companies can sell Canadian tar sands oil on the open market, so some short term wealth can be created. The US is not short of oil and gas now or any time soon because of it's fracking oil extraction. The US does not need Canada. Obama and deny the pipeline, using it as a distraction, and appear concerned for the environment while protecting "clean" coal and fracking with all their environmental damage.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect you're right, Philip. The U.S. doesn't need our bitumen. Like global warming, that fact is just another inconvenient truth which Mr. Harper continues to ignore.

e.a.f. said...

Perhaps stevie made the comment to encourage the republican teabaggers. He certainly didn't make it to impress canadians. He simply sounded stupid and rude. Like how is he going to "force" the Americans do go along with his pipeline. He must be toking too much on another type of pipe.

The pipeline will only transport tar to texas, where it will use a great deal of their limited water supply before it is exported to China. It doesn't take a genuis to see the U.S.A. get nothing out of this deal.

Harper maybe trying to sound tough, but dough boy isn't going to cut it. Obama is much tougher than stevie.

Even if you don't believe in global warming, people do believe in polution. They know what it is. They know what pollution does. The Keystone pipeline can be defeated just on the basis of the pollution it can cause and the water it will use in Texas.

Owen Gray said...

One gets the impression, e.a.f., that Mr. Harper likes to hear himself talk.

But there is a big difference between talking and persuading. It's hard to believe that Harper has persuaded Obama on this subject and many others.