Stephen Harper refuses to speak to the UN. Perhaps that's because he fears that, on his way to the podium, he would be booed. Karl Nerenberg reports that the Bertelsmann Foundation -- based in Germany -- has given the Harper government its seal of disapproval. In a recent report:
It says that "a strong case can be made that the quality of governance provided by the government of Canada deteriorated" since Harper got his majority in 2011.
Bertelsmann is especially critical of Canada's environmental performance in the Harper majority era.
Bertelsmann points to the Conservatives' omnibus budget bill of 2012, which gutted federal environmental oversight of major projects while, at the same time, announcing Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto Accord.
These and other retrograde environmental measures "tarnished the government's reputation for sustainable governance, both domestically and internationally," Bertelsmann says.
All the indicators are going south:
In policy performance, Canada fell from 13th out of 31 countries in 2011 to 18th in 2014. In the category they call quality of democracy, Canada fell from 10th to 13th; while in governance, the fall was only of one place, from 9th to 10th.
In 2014, based on its analysis of those 140 indicators, Bertelsmann says of Canada:
While the government has... implemented effective policies in many areas
over many decades, the actions of the Conservative government since winning a majority of the seats in the House of Commons in May 2011 have jeopardized this situation.
Which raises a simple question: If the Europeans understand what is going on, why haven't Canadians clued into their country's deteriorating democracy?