Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just What The World Needs


Bob Fife reports, in the Globe and Mail, that Stephen Harper will resign his seat before Parliament resumes in September:

“He is not going to be there when the House returns in September,” one close associate said. “He has had some good conversations about what is next for him. … He has some board discussions happening and he’s looking at some options about setting up his own institute.”

Apparently, the institute will focus on foreign policy:

The institute is in its early stages of discussion, but friends say it won’t be academic or domestic-policy focused, such as the conservative think tank founded by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning. Mr. Harper’s interests will be directed largely at global “big picture” issues that he has espoused over the years.

His former policy director, Rachel Curran, said once Mr. Harper leaves politics, he will want to champion global free trade, building on his success in negotiating deals with South Korea and the European Union, as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“He spent tremendous time and energy really concluding these trade agreements and opening up trade corridors,” Ms. Curran said. “He has got a really recognized expertise and a lot of respect internationally in terms of his kind of knowledge.”

She said Mr. Harper will also want to promote his geopolitical thinking – whether it’s on human rights, the promotion of democracy or standing up to authoritarian regimes.

Mr. Harper knows something about authoritarian regimes. He'll need money to fund the institute. Word has it that he has been spending time lately with Las Vegas casino magnet Sheldon Adelson. His base might be a little concerned about where the money comes from. But one suspects the base is not on Harper's mind these days.

No, he's thinking about the world. And that's just what the world needs -- more Stephen Harper.

Image: pressprogress.ca

19 comments:

Rural said...

With the Crown not going to appeal the Duffy verdict I guess he figures its now safe to loose his parliamentary immunity, or could that just be coincidence?

Owen Gray said...

I can't help but think that's a significant factor in the timing of the decision, Rural.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's curious that a man who has had absolutely no vision, domestically or internationally, would launch a foreign policy institute. You need to have a distinguished career on the world scene to pull that off, not necessarily Kissinger-grade but significant. Harper never achieved that stature globally. He led no great international initiatives, championed nothing of consequence at the UN, the G7, NATO. Trudeau Sr. had his north-south initiative.

My guess is that Harper's foreign policy institute would be a glorified import-export business, something that prairie Tory MPs seem to find attractive in their retirement.

Steve said...

Harpers world closing jobs in a neighbourhood near you, and yes gardening is now illegall.

Owen Gray said...

And some people claim he's been a resounding success, Steve.

Owen Gray said...

That's exactly how Harper defined foreign policy, Mound -- making bigger profits for Canadian business.

Anonymous said...

Basically he saw the scorn piled on Prentice and waited for a little time to pass. We may get a hint at what his agenda is if he speaks at the CPC Policy convention in Vancouver this week.

Gordon Campbell's sycophantic experience in the UK will make him a perfect partner for hooligan Harper.

Toby said...

What is it with Conservative Prime Ministers that they have to seek their fortunes in the US? It makes me wonder if they get rewarded for services rendered.

Scotian said...

My guess is that the funding for such an institute will come from those same American right wingers he was funded by to become CA leader in the early oughts. After all, to this day he has never released who funded his leadership race, and I truly believe it wasn't just the Canadian energy sector but also those right wingers like Adelson who fund the vast right winger welfare system in the US who wanted to get rid of the socialist example of Canada that undercuts so many of their domestic aims by simply being here and proving social programs can and do work for the benefit of all.

People need to remember how much time Harper spent while as NCC head sucking up to the far right in American politics, especially the money and infrastructure men like Adelson. There is a reason why the CPC governed like the GOP, it wasn't coincidence, and neither do I expect him to not be taken care of by those forces that supported and funded his rise to power in the first place. That is, after all, how they operate, and no doubt hope in the long term to continue to be able to use Harper as a way of undercutting Canadian values.

Owen Gray said...

It will truly be interesting to see who funds The Harper Institute -- if, indeed, that information is ever made public. By the way, it's good to hear from you, Scotian.

Owen Gray said...

Good question, Toby. It's clear that the American Right had a great deal of influence in the Harper Party.

Owen Gray said...

And the show rolls on, Anon.

Scotian said...

Owen:

Been spending this year online mainly in the American political scene with the primaries, its been a fascinating year on both sides, disturbing as Hells too, but still, something any serious political observer shouldn't miss. I still pay some attention to the Canadian scene, but not to the point of commenting as a rule, but this idiocy with "Elbowgate" *rolls eyes* was enough to bring me out. I'm with Parker Donham on this on, I believe his blog is called The Contrarian. It figures a fellow Bluenoser would see it the same way I did.

Part of the reason I've been staying with the American side is to further decompress from the decade of darkness and the stress it put on me, I've never had to be that monofocused in my political life, and it took its toll on me, especially in the first half when I was still being mocked for my Cassandra warnings and statements that no matter what one thought of the Libs they were still infinitely better than ever letting Harper be PM, and Gods Forbid a majority PM. I did so despite my health issues because it mattered that much to me, and I truly believed and still do that the future of this nation was in peril from Harper and what he sought to achieve. Thankfully it seems so far much of his damage is being rolled back faster than I dared hope to see, but there is still a looooong ways to go, and some of the precedents he set can never be merely wiped away, that is the problem with precedents after all, it makes it easier for the next wannabe Harper to act in such a manner because they are there.

So I decided to decompress with American domestic politics, both for the change of pace and how it is less personal for me and therefore less emotionally stressful, and also because it is like a good whetstone in keeping my political analysis skills sharp. After all their political environment is much more conflict driven and messier than ours and if one can read through the rapidly churning multiple leveled dynamics of their politics and see clearly, then one can do so with ours, so long as one also understands the underlying process structures and dynamics native to each, which I humbly suggest I have shown I do. As well, this year is a fascinating year with all that has happened on both the GOP and Dem sides of the process, and the rise of Trump is something I am quite troubled by, and the way Sanders has show himself to be one of the nastier political operators (he claims to be a positive issues driven campaign yet runs some of the ugliest smear campaigns against the Dem party and Clinton herself as corrupt, and the process except when he wins, as illegitimate, which is a very dangerous game to play) despite his near sainted image to his supporters has been very illuminating to see managed, if also more than a little offensive to me on the personal level.

Anyway, that's what's been up with me in my online life, the offline of course I still tend to keep private, never been a social media type, still have neither a Facebook account nor a Twitter one, and still loving my life, and enjoying the freedom from the Harperium.

Owen Gray said...

Politics south of the border is far from boring this year, Scotian. It will give you plenty to read about and plenty to comment on. I suspect it will also give you plenty to worry about.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Harper , the fanatic Neoliberal will be promoting global Neoliberal policy. His backers will come from the 1%, all Neoliberals. He doesn't need to worry that domestically he didn't succeed in changing the Canadian government from a democratic one to a Neoliberal Market State.Justin trudeau is doing that for him. He's excellent at destruction, as he has shown in his attempt at destroying the Canadian democracy created by previous Prime Ministers including going back to Sir John A. Macdonald, whose focus was on Nation Building. His advice to the powers that be, especially the US will be suggestions(he doesn't hold ideas)on how to dismantle democracies in secrecy in Nations who are resisting Neoliberalism. The US already knows how to force countries into accepting Neoliberal governments, but Harper may be able to add something new, after all he spent 9+ yrs dismantling democracy mainly in secrecy as the PM Canada.

His supposed expertise in negotiating trade deals is a farce. If they passed the Neoliberal smell test and gave all the power, including legislative power to the global corporations, he signed them. Along with being a failed economist, even with legitimate deals, he was lousy at business negotiations. Each time he gave away the farm.

Launching a Foreign Policy Institute, simply means setting up a club backed by the global elite to promote Neoliberalism and US/NATO Imperialism.

Harper holds 2 fundamental beliefs, Neoliberalism and Evangelical Fundamentalism and both are implicitly dogmatic and authoritarian concepts. On Foreign Policy and on the international stage, intellectually he has nothing to contribute. No one who is not part of his foreign policy club is interested in what he thinks.

Owen Gray said...

I have a hunch, Pam, that the real global players know that Harper has nothing to offer.

Anonymous said...

Dahdaleh is a name worth looking into as a potential funder.

TPP is a disaster for Canada.

Owen Gray said...

The Canadian mover and shaker who's been charged -- but not convicted -- of bribery and mentioned in the Panama Papers, Anon? Interesting speculation.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I never thought about that Owen, but I think your hunch is right.