Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Consequences Of His Inaction


There are some who believe that the deal which the United States and China reached on greenhouse gas emissions will force Stephen Harper to act on climate change. But Jeffrey Simpson warns that such optimism is misplaced. To begin with, the Republican dominated congress will act immediately to nullify the agreement. And, of course, Harper is philosophically a Republican:

When a leader such as Mr. Harper spends the better part of a decade not even speaking about the issue, let alone the rest of what political leadership entails, there is almost no chance the general public will be alerted to its importance. This is especially true of the leader’s natural political followers.

Leadership means a willingness to spend political capital on an issue, and in Canada’s case, there is no such leadership at the top. That this absence would suddenly shift as a result of a China-U.S. understanding is improbable in the extreme.

There are several reasons for Mr. Harper's refusal to act:

First, Mr. Harper doesn’t like the issue of climate change. He avoids it wherever possible and looks distinctly uncomfortable when forced to discuss it. He considers it a political and economic loser.

Second, the core of his party doesn’t like the issue either, believing climate change to be unrelated to human activities, too expensive to worry about, or a plot by lefty enviros to nail: a) Alberta; b) jobs; and c) “hard-working taxpayers.” Canadians who want more action won’t be voting Conservative anyway.

Third, Mr. Harper dislikes being pressured. When it happens, he prefers to push back rather than yield. Call it stubbornness. Call it principled. It’s how he is. The idea that he would be pressured by a “deal” whose impact won’t be felt for decades belies everything we know about the man.

What some call stubborn others would call pig headed. As for principles, we've seen Mr. Harper shred his principles in the pursuit of power. If power depended on limiting greenhouse gas emissions, he would move.

But the Prime Minister calculated long ago that power lay in the other direction. He is quite content to let the planet suffer the consequences of his inaction.


the salamander said...

.. Its most likely that Stephen Harper's foggy evangelical notions couple with hysterical events in his life & upbringing. Junior employment as a mailroom clerk must have grated horribly against his narcism.

Jump ahead in time & we see a political animal who embraces his own specific vision of how the bounty of the earth, its environment & creatures are there for mankind to conquer, enjoy, utilize.. while awaiting some sort of future 'rapture'

There's lots of other nasty derivations that spring from such a shallow distorted omnipotent belief system. One being that not only is he the smartest person in the room.. he's also the smartest person on the planet.

Owen Gray said...

The French have a phrase for it, salamander: "Le nombril du monde" -- which translates roughly as, "the belly button of the world."

thwap said...

Simpson neglects to mention that harper is a bought-and-paid-for oil-industry shill.

A shameless one.

And a stupid, ignorant, deluded man.

Owen Gray said...

He is a shill of long standing, thwap.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

"If power depended on limiting green house gas emissions, he would move."
You've nailed it Owen.

Owen Gray said...

It's all about staying in power, Pam. The longer he's there, the more incremental changes he can make.

mogs moglio said...

I don't think Mr. Harper ever grew up and matured he is still an adolescent.

Owen Gray said...

He still appears to have adolescent dreams of grandiosity, Mogs.

Anonymous said...

Regardless, he and his machinery hold the levers of state power and will use it relentlessly. We will have a view of the future at about 10.00 pm on Monday night with the Whitby-Oshawa results.

That's a riding very close to home for the CON's. Lose it and we're into a full-blown election, whenever he perceives LPC/NDP to be at their weakest.

We live in interesting times and the country will bear the scars.


Owen Gray said...

I agree with you, Anon. Fixed election dates mean nothing to Harper. They never did.

If he thinks he has an advantage, he'll call an election.

ron wilton said...

harper is not now, or ever was, or ever will be, a leader.

To his flock he is a shepherd and his sheep dogs are well defined and work tirelessly to keep the flock as ignorant and dumb as sheep can be.

To most Canadians he is a Judas goat trying to 'lead' them down a path of certain destruction.

To the rest of the world he is a bumbling fool.

Owen Gray said...

I'm no fan of Vladimir Putin, Ron. But having dealt with Harper this week, I wouldn't be surprised if his opinion of Harper was in the same neighbourhood.

Anonymous said...

Harper is rabid to be a powerful big shot, on the global governance scene. Harper had given a speech regarding, global governance for Canada. To me Harper is a sick sociopath and needs a full mental evaluation.

Harper's religion doesn't believe in climate change and I am furious Harper is running this country, based on his religious beliefs. Hitler too governed Germany, based on his cult.

Harper called Russia and Putin evil Communists and then, sold Canada to Communist China. Now China is financing Putin. Russia and China are laughing, all the way to the bank because of, Harper's utter stupidity.

Russia scooped a NG with China. Russia just scooped another huge trade deal with China. Harper was rude and insulting towards Putin again. Now I wonder what other deals, Russia will scoop with China?

If Harper's mouth was a little bigger, he could get both his feet in it.

Owen Gray said...

He is unaware of -- or he doesn't care if -- he is an international laughing stock, Anon.

Anonymous said...

What are you saying, "But having dealt with Harper this week, I wouldn't be surprised if his opinion of Harper was in the same neighbourhood"? Does that mean Putin thinks Harper "is not now, or ever was, or ever will be, a leader"?
Do you really think that's Putin's opinion of the man, a man who dressed him down, face to face, and is today applauded by the rest of the world for having had the gumption to do it while others have not?

Owen Gray said...

No, that's not what I'm saying, Anon. I understand that the G20 leaders all put pressure on Putin.

But I'm sure they didn't do it as Harper did. Smiling, shaking his hand and telling him to get out of Ukraine displays an ignorance of how to go about things.

What Harper did he did for show -- for the folks back home.