Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two Presidents and a Petulant Partisan

Would it surprise you to know that during the press conference at the conclusion of the SPP meeting, Harper used every opportunity to swipe at Dion? No, I didn't think so.

Here is a man, who is supposed to be discussing serious issues concerning this country and ALL of it's citizens, but of course, that is beyond his capability. He concerns himself with his base. That's it, that's all.

Taking a question, from a Fox News reporter no less, (who incidentally was grinning while it was asked, so it was set up), what they thought of the rumours of a "super highway" etc. and the protests. At the nub of his question, was the issue of secrecy and did they think that was was fueled these rumours. Both presidents answered rather generally, mostly touting the usefulness of the meetings, though Bush provided Harper some cover by suggesting it was humorous. Calderon also stated that it was most important to explain clearly to their respective citizens what the meetings are about.

Did Harper do that? Of course not. He took the opportunity to take shots at Dion, lumping him in with every conspiracy theorist out there. Of course, Dion said none of the things that Harper accused him of. He requested that Harper advise Bush that the diversion of water would not be included in any discussions.

We all know that as a part of the North American Future Project 2025, that water was up for discussion. It states clearly that the US and Mexico will eventually run out of water and that Canada possesses 20% of the world's fresh water. Given that reality, the report suggests that options should be explored to determine what can be done about this. Specifically:

Because water availability, quality, and allocation are likely to undergo profound changes between 2006 and 2025, policymakers will benefit from a more proactive approach to exploring different, creative solutions beyond the current transboundary [sic] water management agreements that the United States has reached with both Mexico and Canada. One such option could be regional agreements between Canada, the United States and Mexico on such issues as water consumption, water transfers, artificial diversion of fresh water, water conservation technologies for agricultural irrigation, and urban consumption.

Even though several agreements pertaining to surface water and water quality are in place between the three countries, little or no policy has been formulated concerning ground water.

We know that the jurisdiction of water lies primarily with the states in the US and our provinces here, but the report goes on to say that, the two countries must work out these bureaucratic challenges particularly if the overriding future goal of North America is to achieve joint optimum utilization of the available water and to implement.

There is no conspiracy theory here, these are stated goals put out by one of the working groups, presented to the SPP. No one is making this stuff up. Now, by having that stated goal as just one aspect of what the SPP is looking into, does not mean that Canada has agreed to anything and Dion didn't say that. He said, if this is on the table, you must make Canada's position clear, and that is, we are not prepared to do this. I'm speculating now, but I presume his concern lies in how we negotiated energy, that is, if there is a shortage, we cannot cut off the US, to divert what we may need here to take care of Canadians.

Call me crazy, but isn't the job of the PM to put Canada and Canadians first?

Apparently not so with our current PM. He's so consumed with scoring political points, that he takes an issue as serious as this to make jokes and deride the opposition and that "left-wing media", laughs with him.

Most Canadians of course will not have seen this press conference. Dim bulbs like Taber and Duffy are sure to play it up, but in the end, that means little. What is more concerning, is that Harper has nary a clue of what it is to be a statesman. I for one am beyond tired of having a PM with the instincts of an 8 year old guiding this country.


Anonymous said...

Common KNB why do you have to resort to name calling your better then that! You disagree with Harper fine but name calling common please.

knb said...

I'm sure you didn't mean common, but maybe come on? But name calling? How did I do that? That is what Harper did today in calling Dion a "conspiriacy theorist"...patently false.

That is the thrust of my post John. I do believe that the current PM behaves in a juvenile manner and we saw it today. The other two, as much as I hate Bush, (and he said some pretty silly stuff), acted with decorum for the most part. Calderon was a statesman...though he droaned on and on. Harper was juvenile. There is no other way to put it and he didn't answer the pseudo question.

Fact's would have been nice, instead he mauled Dion...that is childish.

Anonymous said...


"I'm sure you didn't mean common, but maybe come on? But name calling? How did I do that? That is what Harper did today in calling Dion a "conspiriacy theorist"...patently false."About (common) i meant come on thanks typo. For you calling Harper names you called him a Petulant Partisan! Harper on Dion he is right 100%. You have to listen what he (Dion)says sometimes Knb.

"Calderon was a statesman...though he droaned on and on." If
Calderon was our P.M. you would hate him just has much you hate our P.M. Mr. Harper. He will be saying the same thing, has Mr.Harper and Bush are going to say in their Countries. Don't you think they didn't agree
before hand to what they are going to say in their
respected countries with
what the media is today internet etc.etc.etc...?

KNB I just wish you can take off those rose-colored glasses when
it comes to Dion and the Liberal Party of Canada.
Don't come up with 66% and Mr.Harper playing to his base that's crap. Our P.M is a great leader whether you like it or not sorry but the truth hurts I know.

knb said...

You're wrong John. He plays to his base, that includes you and that is one third of country, period.

He is a terrible leader, I know you love him, but he has exhibited the the traits of the very worst kind of leader we have ever seen.

Go ahead and love him...but I really think you do not understand where he would take this country.

I'm not suggesting this is where he is going, but would you be cool with a meld to America?

Anonymous said...

Knb first I would like to say that I aplaude you for not being insulting because we disagree politically I respect that on your part.

Now I don't know how wrong you are when it comes to Harper and his
Conservative party.

"Go ahead and love him...but I really think you do not understand where he would take this country." I do understand
where he intends to bring our country. That is prosperity lower taxes a more fair tax system i should say. Tougher on crime not the revolving door that we have in our
justice system. NO it doesn't mean the death penalty.

He keeps out of the provinces business unlike
the previous Liberal government.

This government leads
example just look at the
stock market the past few weeks you didn't see this government panic now did you? They (Cons.) could have easily said the wrong thing thus put our
markets on a down ward spiral in which would have put us in crises. I could see it right now Dion,Layton the newspaper headlines left wing blogs the left in general would all be saying see see is this the government you want for this country right?

"I'm not suggesting this is where he is going, but would you be cool with a meld to America?" Its not the end of the world the U.S.Sorry I don't understand what your implying sorry!!

Steve V said...


Please cite one example, on the international stage, wherein Harper hasn't attempted to score partisan points. Include Harper's ministers, both Baird and Ambrose, who seemed more concerned with criticizing the Liberals at international events than moving forward, and you see a sad pattern.


One person's "name calling" is another's "accurate read of the situation". I prefer the latter :)

p.s- I hadn't visited today, prior to my post, or I would have linked to your excellent post.

knb said...

Thanks Steve, I'm so glad to see you here and fair enough.

Anonymous said...

Steve :

"Please cite one example, on the international stage, wherein Harper hasn't attempted to score partisan points. Include Harper's ministers, both Baird and Ambrose, who seemed more concerned with criticizing the Liberals at international events than moving forward, and you see a sad pattern." Steve your not serious are you? The Liberals do it all the time thee NDP does it all the time.They are criticizing the Liberals,because they keep saying that they are better then the cons,are the conservative are just defending them self against the attacks period. Now I'm going to ask you the same question!! Please cite one example where Dion or Layton hasn't attempted to score partisan points
can you? Please don't give me the excuse its there job because they happened to be the opposition. If they have the right to go all over the place and criticize the government for this and for that,then don't be surprised if the government defends them self with the same viger
the opposition criticize!

"One person's "name calling" is another's "accurate read of the situation". I prefer the latter :)" I agree with your statement but not in your favor if you know what i mean.:)

Steve V said...


Nice dodge. Can you give me one example where Martin referenced Harper on the international stage? How about Chretien? Heck, Mulroney for that matter. You can't, because it is standard procedure to be high signal, apart from vague references, when on the international stage.

Anonymous said...

Steve I'm talking about Dion and Layton!!! I think i mentioned it in my post
so nice try!!

Anonymous said...

I just wish that our P.M. Continues and expose
them Dion and Layton for what they are even if it disappoints the left.

Steve V said...


Are you that thick? There is a difference between the domestic arena and the international stage. I was giving you example of other PM's, in the same circumstance. Your Dion and Layton tirade is irrelevant to the notion of diplomatic tact.

Anonymous said...

Steve Our P.M. will use and should use whatever arena he has at his disposal to defend him self is that clear enough for you i guess not. Its because he (Harper) is talking to the Canadian public can you understand it? I dought it will get threw to you SIR !!

Scotian said...


Bingo and right on target. I'm calling it a night soon so I am not going to leave a full comment here now, especially since I came here from Far and Wide and just left one there on this. I do think this is a very revealing occurrence regarding the true way this PM thinks/operates and that he places his partisan interests above all others in priority, even the national interest which he is clearly ignoring when he plays partisan domestic politics like this on the international stage. As I said at F&W this is exactly what I expect from Harper, it is what I have repeatedly said Harper will do whenever given the chance, and that it can be clearly traced back to Harper and his inner circle consulting with and taking lessons from some of the ugliest political operators of this generation within the GOP/movement conservativism (Reed, Norquist, Luntz, etc) combined with his being a Straussian in his core ideological beliefs.

We also saw how far Harper was willing to go with the politics of partisan destruction with the Grewal affair and his covering up of CPC wrongdoing in creating a bogus recording giving the appearance of Liberals from the PMO committing criminal acts when in truth they did no such thing. Harper covered it up once the fraud was exposed by denying any wrongdoing by the CPC in any manner, that all of it was from the Liberals and that any suggestion of CPC wrongdoing was the Liberal war room and the liberal media bias/conspiracy out to hurt Conservatives. This despite from the moment of creation/recording to the time the CPC released it through the LOO these tapes were solely in CPC custody alone, so the editing had to be by CPCer(s) and either the LOO managed to miss such obvious editing or were a party to it or didn’t even bother to make sure they were unaltered despite swearing up and down when they released the May 31 05 recording that they were completely unedited and absolutely conclusive. A man that can sanction that and be a party to such has no honour, no respect for the law, and no respect for the truth and worst of all no respect for the voters/citizens of the nation by misleading them on such a serious matter. Partisanship before all else is what this incident showed then, just as this pettiness on the international stage showed again.

Great post KNB, but then I have come to expect good quality work from you, despite what your detractors would argue. Indeed, the fact you have a clearly dedicated Trolletariat member on full time assignment shows you are doing a good job IMHO. After all one knows a person’s worth as much by the enemies they collect as well as the friends they claim.

Have a good night.

wilson said...

'Fact's would have been nice, instead he mauled Dion...that is childish.'

...that is politics.

Knb, Dion said: that the PMO and Bush reps were liars and Bush & Harper were holding secret meetings (by definition, a conspiracy theory) ;
he did so very publicly, on the eve of an international meeting, and refused to provide proof of his allegations.

Inkind Harper publicly (baited) responded to him.
Tit for tat. (in English and French)
Wasn't Dion expecting his allegations to be answered?

Perhaps Dion should get more advice from Chretien and less from Lizzy.

Red Tory said...

Steve — "Johnny" is as thick as the day is long.

Anonymous said...

Johnny just doesn't get it does he. He's representing Canada (ugh) and he takes inhouse partisan shots - bringing out Canada's dirty laundry so to speak. A PM just doesn't do this when they are with leaders of other countries - why even Bush doesn't do it - it's called statesmanship. It's childish, tacky and embarrassing.

It would be like Harper bringing up fights he's had with his wife to the international scene.

He's an embarrassment that's for sure. He just doesn't know how to be PM - you know an adult with some dignity and finesse when representing us.

Anonymous said...

Red Tory

You want to see thickness just look into the mirror and you will see it.

Anon(7:33 AM) i just wish people like you would have the courage to sign their post.Want to know embarrassment its people like you and others who tries to find all kinds of excuses to vote for Liberals. The same party that robbed us the tax payers blind when its still in the news today here in Quebec I don't care what you or anyone on the left says about this. Would anyone of you people bring someone into your home after it was discovered that,that person stoled from you? Let me guess I think not right? Because that would be stupid and dumb,and yet this is what you people are doing on the left with the Liberals.

So Red and Anon you want to know thick and embarrassment look into
the mirror.

ottlib said...

Personally, I had a good chuckle when Mr. Harper took his partisan shots during the press conference. Or more specifically it was the goofy look on Mr. Bush's face and the raised eyebrow on Mr. Calderon's face that made me chuckle.

Both of them know that you should not do such a thing during the final joint press conference of an international summit. So I guess you can say I was indirectly laughing at Mr. Harper making an ass of himself with our two continental partners.

Some would say that my humour is misplaced because he represents Canada and I would usually say that is true. But look who he was sharing the podium with. George Bush. A president that makes Richard Nixon look visionary and a paragon of popularity.

The summit was a joke and Mr. Harper's statement was the punchline. Who says Conservatives do not have a sense of humour?

On a totally different note knb, do not discourage the likes of johnny and his ilk from cheerleading Mr. Harper when he does this kind of thing. One of the reasons why the Conservatives have not been able to sustain support above 36% is their petty partisanship. As far as I am concerned Liberals should be cheering them on every time they do it because it is proving to be such a winning strategy for the Conservatives.

knb said...

Thanks for your comment Scotian.

What I find fascinating, is that the media continuously supports the claim that Harper is not the scary being he has been portrayed as and as evidence for that, they point to his platform. That they are unable to see through the cellophane, is bizarre to me.

That comment is not borne out of partisanship. It is my incredulity at the lack of intellectual curiousity that I see in the media.

knb said...

wilson, perhaps Dion was baiting, though frankly, I simply see it as the work of the Opposition party to keep government on it's toes. Surely you remember Harper doing that?

That said, Dion was not petty, but rather he made his case in a straight forward manner.

Would I have like to have seen more proof? Yes. But the history of the desire for the US and Mexico wanting some assurance of water, is well established in this group, as I cited. If he has more info of those studies being furthered, I'd like to know. Perhaps there is governmental secrecy involved? I don't know, but Dion is a pretty straight up guy, so I'm sure he couldn't expose, or he would have.

Harper on the other hand was petty. On that stage, (the world), you leave partisanship out of the equation and you show yourself to be a leader. Did Chretien do that, Martin?

Harper rules by the politics of division, plain and simple. You seem to like that, I happen to think it's very bad for the country.

Harper leads all right, but he leads only you who follow without question and critical analysis. Fine by me.

knb said...

Anon: It would be like Harper bringing up fights he's had with his wife to the international scene.

Interesting analogy...and a good one at that.

knb said...

ottlib, I get your sense of humour, ;).

As far as I am concerned Liberals should be cheering them on every time they do it because it is proving to be such a winning strategy for the Conservatives.


Scotian said...


I know what you mean regarding the media's lack of intellectual curiosity in actually examining Harper's history and background in detail; it is not like it is hard to find out after all. It bothers me too, which was one of the main reasons during the last election I was writing about it wherever I could online so as to let people know what Harper truly was as opposed to the image being sold.

As for the platform bit, while that is supposed to be indicative of how someone will govern it rarely tends to be born out post election to any major degree, and reporters should understand that especially those that claim to be political reporters. I think though it comes down to being easier to simply use the platform as a basis and not stir up too much trouble than to do the hard work which not only takes more effort in and of itself but also increases the risks for negative blowback from that political campaign. Although given the Harper/CPC belief in the liberal media bias/conspiracy already I fail to see what difference that would make in looking deeper into Harper.

In the last election I think it was Liberal fatigue and the running of what was if not the most terrible election campaign I have ever seen comes a close second by Martin combined with Harper's good campaign and his at the time appearing to be on top of the reasons why the Libs needed to go. As I am sure you recall I was furious at the pass they were giving Harper during that campaign, after all he was about to become PM and quite possibly with a big majority (assuming the more normal response to turning out a lengthy and corrupted party from power that usually occurs), so the responsible thing for political reporters to do was carefully examine his history and see how well what he was saying now matched up with what he has said in the past. If they didn't match then they needed to look for where Harper changed positions and how he explained how he came to the new position and why the older one was wrong, but we didn't see that did we. Even to this day Harper gets far less scrutiny than he deserves, which given the extent he has barred the media from examining his government (cabinet meeting times secret, give me a break) and his history of demonizing them as a conspiracy out to get him and his party makes little to no sense to me.

I suspect some of it is based on who owns the major media sources, and as for CBC, well we know that CPCers see that as socialist central as it is, and that while CBC may run something that is no guarantee the other media sources privately owned will. I remember how different the coverage was from CBC versus both Global and CTV last election, and it horrified me to see just how blatantly in the bag for the CPC the private broadcasters were acting.

This is a problem that needs being dealt with before we have no way of trusting what our major media sources are telling us as we have seen happen to the formerly respectable sources in the US media like the NYT, Wash Post, network news shows including Sunday political shows (Meet The Press being Cheney's favourite place because of how they could control the message on that show according to docs released during the Libby trial as one example). I just hope we are able to do so before our major media are as easily sold propaganda as we saw happen to our American cousins.

knb said...

Scotian, thank you for engaging me on this topic. Most people reduce it to nothing, but I'd like to discuss it in an environment that is curious.

I'm off here for now, because my partner is home and it's our time.

I hope to really respond tomorrow.

knb said...

Scotian: I just hope we are able to do so before our major media are as easily sold propaganda as we saw happen to our American cousins.

While I wholeheartedly agree, I'm not sure how we can fix it. Watching the press conference I found myself waiting for someone to ask something of substance, something about Khadr and Guantanamo for example, but it is always the same old, soft lob's. No one seems prepared to challenge him. Perhaps it's the fear of never being called on again, as we saw in the States. Bizarrely, the worse the PMO treats the media, the more they seem to fawn all over Harper.

Whatever it is, I really want to find a way to make it an issue, so, as you say, we can change it.