Monday, May 19, 2014

The Perils Of An Inflated Ego

Next month, the Harper government will announce its decision on the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Murray Dobbin writes:

The momentum of opposition to the pipeline -- and perhaps more importantly, to the hundreds of supertankers that would move tar sands bitumen to Asia -- is clearly growing in both B.C. and the rest of Canada. This makes Harper's absolute dedication to the oil industry and his dogged commitment to the pipeline in particular, tantamount to a suicide pact. This is a pipeline that will never be built. It is already dead. But don't assume Harper sees that. His decision, as many of them are, will be a war between his highly touted strategic genius and his narcissistic impulses -- revealed by a pattern of rejecting defeat until reality can no longer be denied.

Harper only sees reality when it's too late. The result has been a legacy of disastrous decisions:

The government's one rational economic effort, its $14-billion infrastructure program, is in such disarray that a whole construction season may well be lost due to confusion amongst municipalities regarding how to access it.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a disaster for many reasons. One is that the promised (and politically critical) reforms to the program are being cited as a major stumbling block to trade deals with Europe and India. Both include generous provisions for European and Indian companies to import their own nationals to work in businesses they establish here. Cuts to the TFWP are generating complaints.

To add to the government's woes, the latest StatsCan jobs report for April showed a net loss of 29,000 jobs. And it was the composition of those losses that should have the Harperium sweating. All of the job losses were concentrated in full-time employment. An increase in low-paying jobs actually made the situation look better than it was. Losses in the highest paid sectors were serious: "…finance, insurance and real estate (down 19,000), professional, scientific and technical services (down 10,000), natural resources (down 7,000) and utilities (down 5,000)...

Approval of Northern Gateway will only add to that disastrous legacy. A wiser politician would know when to fold his cards and walk away. But Harper is not that kind of politician:

He is a huge risk taker. But risk taking is not in itself a virtue. Indeed, some of the biggest risk takers are psychopaths, and you certainly wouldn't want one of those running your country. A recent study out of Vanderbilt University "… shows that people with psychopathic tendencies (like aggression, lack of empathy, lack of fear) are more prone to take excessive risk without considering the consequences," reports Business Insider, "It's not just that they don't appreciate the potential threat, but that the anticipation or motivation for reward overwhelms those concerns."

In the end, approving Northern Gateway may result in Harper's political suicide. Those with inflated egos are more likely to walk off cliffs, assuming that someone or something will cushion the fall.


the salamander said...

.. always heartening to see a glowing voice.. concerned, shocked.. angry at what is being perpetrated by the Harper Ottawalberta Party..

What is the opposite of prescient ?? .. Stephen Harper ...

Ably described by Mr Dobbin, among a growing, growling chorus of others.. Harper and his reckless, mealy MP's, Ministers, enablers, donors, trolls, PMO, lawyers, robocranks, agencies.. and all who promote the selloff & ripoff.. charge ahead with gawd on their side, flapping the flags of Israel, China.. and one supposes.. a distant dim planet Harper war room flag.. an inverted oily maple leaf rampant over a dead beaver & retreating caribou.. oil and LNG tankers resplendent above.. and below black waves

Under Harper, Corporatism shapes ideology, policy, dictates legislation & infects elections. There is no democracy.. its been replaced by rhetoric, dogma..
and obstruction & litigation against the nation. Pensions be damned & any accidental deniable election promises too.

After slashing the Canadian environment, attacking species & habitat, writing off entire ecosystems, the great white pudgy betrayer from Toronto announces via taxpayer funded 'Branding' that He is the Environmental PM.. & there behind him strides Laureen and Ray Novak, plus their never aging children & rented Pandas, leveraged, televised & photoshopped to the hilt (excepting Ray)

Does this sound like historical, hysterical footnotes of how the First Nation savages were informed by The Great White Chief?
If so.. its because under Harper, the entire nation is now to be treated savagely, with disdain, royal edict, secrecy and Paramountcy.. the new proclamation by the Great Prorogue Himself..

He wants his pipelines.. and big boats..
the caribou can go the way of the buffalo
and so can anybody doubting the holiness of his plans..
He wants his great shiny steel thingy across Canada
That's his bizarre train dream.. sea to shiny sea

We have a prissy PM still throwing tantrums & sand in a public sandbox
trapped in too clever manipulative bullying pathetic childhood..
dinky toyz, rubber dinosaurs, soldiers, garden hoses
surrounded by pale cowed neighboring kid in short shorts
willing to swallow his shrill nonsense & bullying
all unwilling to play on the streets, rinks or leagues with rules

fer gawd's sake, Canada ... wake up ! ! !

Owen Gray said...

Our prime minister is a frustrated child, salmander, who attracts other children to his bandwagon.

It's long past time for Canadians to impose some adult supervision and send Stephen to his room -- the one in Alberta, or Etobicoke.

Kirby Evans said...

The only comfort I find nowadays, politically speaking, is in the fact that men like Harper always defeat themselves through the conviction that they cannot be defeated. Thus one has only to wait for the inevitable over-extension and the walls come crumbling down. With men like Harper is not a question of "if" but "when." Unfortunately that is cold comfort for the many people's lives that have been destroyed, nor for our children who will suffer the environmental impacts of Con decisions.

Owen Gray said...

Men like Harper always seal their own fates, Kirby. Unfortunately, gigantic egos can -- and most often do -- cause catastrophic destruction.

The Mound of Sound said...

I don't know what to make of this, Owen, by my main Tory source from Ottawa mentioned in a recent e-mail that he suspected the prime monster might step down in July. Some vague mention of some commitment Mrs. H. has coming up.

I have tried, repeatedly, to get some indication, anything, about what that meant has clammed up. He will not respond. He did, however, speculate that, if Harper stays, he might try another post-Labour Day snap election call.

Owen Gray said...

I get the impression that it's hard to tell what Harper will do, Mound. He appears to keep his own counsel. And he doesn't ask others for advice.

Any speculation must be based on the man's character. And resignation or a snap election both seem to be plausible.

Kirby Evans said...

@ Mound - There is a lot of speculation about Harper lately. I have heard it from all quarters. I find it hard to imagine that Harper would step down, but people like that live in a very different space from the rest of us so who knows. But, despite the speculation, I really don't see him calling another election. In a minority position he had a ready made excuse, but calling an election before time now would be incredibly unpopular even with his base. There would be no possible spin for an election (unless he did resign and they had a new leader), and there would be a huge backlash. But then again, my track-record on political predictions is like a bad gambler at the track.