Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Of Jellybeans and Statesmanship

So I succumbed and decided to watch the closing comments of the leaders at the Montebello Summit. And, as I knew he would, Stephen Harper didn't fail to disappoint. If anything, he's consistent.

When all three leaders were asked by a reporter at Fox News to address the concerns of SPP critics about a progressive loss of sovereignty, George W. Bush and Felipe Calderon spoke at length in vague generalities and empty platitudes about the benefits of partnerships and strategic alliances. You know, the usual leader-speak.

But our own Dear Leader took the opportunity to deride the Opposition in public, and he did so in both English and in French. Apparently, the CEO of a jellybean manufacturer complained to him that regulations for the production of jellybeans differed in Canada, the USA an Mexico. Asked Harper, "Does the standardization of jellybeans pose a threat to our sovereignty? Maybe Mr. Dion thinks so...".

That the increasingly rotund Harper would choose junk food as the launching point for his partisan attack was mildly amusing. But watching our portly PM conduct himself in this manner, I wondered why he has such a strong affinity for the low road. The airing of domestic political squabbles on an international stage is an embarassing act of petty vindictiveness. Harper should be ashamed of himself. But he won't be.


Gayle said...

He will not be ashamed, but he does not care if the rest of us are embarassed.

Anonymous said...

He's so vindictive and immature. He brings out Canada's dirty laundry so to speak in front of the world. Not even George Bush does that. Harper is no statesman and he's a total embarrassment.

Perhaps he should talk about fights with his wife or something.

Hey, Harper, jellybeans is not the issue - it's our dead pets, contanimated produce - you know, the stuff that makes you sick and maybe even die.

Harper must eat jellybeans because he afraid to eat the green stuff from California.

He really is getting to be a slob isn't he? I mean Bush and others, like Chretien, keep fit. But not our rolly poly lazy PM.

He's not grown up enough for the job that's for sure.

wilson said...

Hmmmm, so I wonder what the International community thought of Canada's opposition leader accusing Bush and Harper admins of lying, and making the world listen to his conspiracy theory.

Harper's answer to Dion's attack was a great shot.

MD said...

Wilson - I think you're missing the point of the post. Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. He used his speech representing Canada at an international summit to make partisan attacks against a domestic opponent. That is considered very poor form in any country. There is a reason why neither of the other two leaders (who both have plenty of domestic critics) didn't stoop to doing the same thing. In fact, both of the other leaders have political opponents who have actively argued that they won their respective elections fraudulently. But when they represent their countries internationally, they don't use the occasional for partisan sniping. Gayle is right...Harper's behaviour is embarassing to Canadians.

Red Canuck said...

Wilson - You must be vying for some sort of CPC Footsoldier of the Month award or something.

I wonder what the International community thought of Canada's opposition leader accusing Bush and Harper admins of lying

Probably nothing. The "International community" doesn't give a rat's ass about our domestic politics. After all, how shocked and disgusted were you to hear that George Fernandes accused Manmohan Singh of "betraying the nation"?

Guess what, Einstein? Opposition leaders everywhere accuse their governments of lying. That's kind of what they do. You may recall your own Dear Leader did the same thing when he was on the other side of the aisle.

But it doesn't give heads of state an excuse to go around making partisan stabs at domestic opponents at international events. Only a classless knuckle-dragger like Harper would embarass himself (and the rest of us) in that manner.

Amanda said...

It was kinda funny - not riotously funny, and probably not the right time or place.

Was Dion right, btw? Was water discussed at the SPP? Was it just a conspiracy theory?

Red Tory said...

Hmmm. I hadn't considered this particular take on the his remark. Interesting.

Red Canuck said...

RT - Perhaps I came on a little strong. His comments don't substantively change anything one way or the other. But I just find that this government has made a habit of 'campaigning' at inappropriate times. Rona Ambrose pulled a similar stunt during her brief tenure as Environment Minister.

For all the abuse that Paul Martin took at the hands of Harper, I can't recall an occasion when he sniped back at an international event.
IMO, Harper has yet to show the tact that one expects of a man in his position.

Bowler said...

There is an even stronger quote in the linked article: "If it were China, they would have settled it with one bullet in his head." Now, that's an attack!

Red Canuck said...

Bowler - Heh. Yeah, I liked that little nugget too. So deliciously over the top!

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