If you wonder why Canada's international reputation is in tatters, consider a recent incident. Jeffrey Simpson writes:
A Conservative senator of Vietnamese heritage has pushed through a private member’s bill recognizing the flight of Vietnamese people to Canada after the fall of Saigon and the arrival of Vietnam’s Communist government.The government is rushing the bill through the Commons, to the delight of those who favour it. The good senator has also lobbied, thankfully without success, for Canadians to fly the old red-and-yellow-striped South Vietnamese flag, instead of the yellow-starred banner flown by today’s Vietnamese government – the same government with which Canada is negotiating within the Trans-Pacific partnership and with which Canada generally has sound bilateral relations.No matter. At a recent Vietnamese cultural event attended by Mr. Harper and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney, the hall was decked out in the old flag. Worse, Mr. Kenney paraded around with a version of it draped across his shoulders, like a middle finger held up to the Vietnamese government.It’s a wonder Hanoi didn’t withdraw its ambassador from Ottawa. Instead, the Vietnamese embassy sent a protest note to the Department of Foreign Affairs, which, of course, is helpless in the face of political dog-whistling.
Last time around, Harper and Kenney were buying the votes of women who wore niqabs. No longer. They have become inconvenient. And all votes are interchangeable.
Strange, isn't it? Harper's election message is that you can trust him better than any of the other leaders on offer. But that's only half of his pledge. What he doesn't add is "until you become inconvenient." Those who doubt that part of the pledge should ask Garth Turner, Rahim Jaffer, Helena Geurgis, Bill Casey, Nigel Wright and -- oh yes, Mike Duffy -- if it's true.