Saturday, November 24, 2007

Losing Friends and Making Enemies

So, Harper's pal Howard is done. Rudd is not perfect, but at least as it relates to Climate Change, he's on the right side of the issue.

Unlike our esteemed Bully in Charge who apparently strong armed 50 other countries into adopting his ridiculous, aspirational targets.

While this seems somewhat unbelievable, ottlib has explained that these summits are all about presenting a united front and Harper went there armed with that knowledge. In other words, like a 5 year child, Harper dug in his heels knowing that the rest of the group would come around to his view, simply because they require consensus. Of course Harper's gang is going to tout this as a major victory, but that is utter nonsense.

"Canada led the way," said spokesman Dimitri Soudas

No, Canada blocked the way to progress. In my view the oft used phrase "Canada is Back" is shorthand for backwards.

While I understand why consensus would be important from a diplomatic point of view, I do wish someone would publicly put this man in his place.

I doubt for instance that Gordon Brown is very happy with our PM and I'm quite certain that a number of commonwealth countries have walked away from the summit with less than warm feelings toward Canada.

A diplomat from another Commonwealth country described Canada's position - that there's no deal unless everyone agrees - as a recipe for inertia on climate change.

Perhaps we'll have to wait to see how this plays out.

What Harper has done is disgusting and he has now made his game plan very clear. He will maintain this position in an effort to hold back any future progress on the file. He'll hide behind the fact that not all developing countries will accept the same targets as an excuse to continue to do nothing here. My hope is that he won't be given such an easy ride in Bali next month. Australia's change of government is one good sign.

In spite of Baird's petty attempt to keep the Opposition out of the loop, Environmental Groups are offering them spaces in their delegations. That is another good sign in that they will not be able to spin, or rather at least they will be called on it.

I don't know if the media will finally call the government to task on this, but it's about time that they did.

21 comments:

rabbit said...

Unlike our esteemed Bully in Charge who apparently strong armed 50 other countries into adopting his ridiculous, aspirational targets.

I'm not Harper's biggest fan, but I've never understand Liberal's habit of referring to him as a bully.

What does this mean? That he plays hardball? That he knows how to exploit the opposition's weaknesses? That he knows how to get his agenda through with a minority government? That he knows how to get his way?

Big deal. A PM that doesn't know how to get his way isn't much use to anyone. There's been lots of "bullies" as PM - Chretien and Trudeau both played hardball - particularly the latter, who savaged some competent but less than magnetic tory leaders in a not-always-scrupulous manner.

I think it's a mistake for Liberals to be calling Harper a bully. For many, this only suggests that the Liberals are allowing themselves to be bullied, suggesting that they are not fit for office.

knb said...

Rabbit, what you describe is not a bully, with the exception perhaps of the word exploit.

Harper does not operate as you describe though, imo. He deals with issues with a pettiness and vindictiveness that has rarely been seen in this country.

A bully is a small man that acts and talks tough and is happier keeping people in line through intimidation. Bullies operate from a position of power. That power is generally perceived power rather than real.

That is Harper's style and there is no honour in that.

Consider other leaders around the world who operate in that fashion. What do we call them? It's far more damning than the term bully. I won't use that term because what Harper actions result in are far less severe in most cases, though there is a radical argument to made vis a vis his ignorance about Climate Change.

I'm all for playing hardball and pushing through your agenda. There is a way to that with honour however and Harper is not doing that.

He pushes his weight around without any regard to what may lay in the considerable wake he leaves behind.

I haven't said the Liberals have been taken in by this behaviour and in spite of every attempt by Harper to put that image out there, Dion's not buying.

Harper's arrogance is on display with more and more frequency. In my view, it comes off as bully behaviour.

You're entitled to your view of course, but I don't share it.

knb said...

btw, what is your view of what Harper accomplished in Kampala?

ottlib said...

knb:

Actions like the ones that Mr. Harper took this weekend have a nasty tendancy to come home to roost when you least expect them.

I am convinced one of the reasons why the other European NATO powers have not stepped up to replace Canada in Kandahar (sp) is the Harper governments stubbornness on the climate change file. A simple rule of diplomacy, you have give something to receive something. Of course that is not the only reason but Mr. Harper's actions on climate change has probably made some of our NATO allies even less inclined to help out Canada.

This government has been taking since they came to power and it will come back to bite them eventually.

I think you are going to see the first sign of push-back in Bali. The Europeans have invested way too much in Kyoto to let if fall by the wayside. They are going to defend it and since the Bali meeting is the first of many instead of just a Summit there will be less incentive to find a consensus.

Indeed, the Bali meetings will begin a process that will more resemble the world trade talks. You might note that they are anything but civilized with different government blaming other governments for lack of progress.

It is expected that virtually the whole industrialized world, except for Canada and the US, will put forward positions to continue and toughen the existing Kyoto framework. If that happens Stephen Harper will find himself in a very difficult position.

rabbit said...

KnB:
It doesn't matter what you actually think of Harper. It's besides the point.

So long as Liberals keep referring to Harper as a bully, people will think Liberals are going for the pity vote, and treat it with the disdain it deserves. It plays right into the tory's attempts to make Dion look like a natural-born loser.

Even if you think Harper is a bully, you should think twice before using the term. Not for Harper's sake, but for the Liberals.

knb said...

Great points ottlib. The lack of NATO support intrigues me, in fact it has intrigued me for some time.

My gut says that Canada hasn't pushed for relief in Kandahar, but my mind tells me that Canada is ticking off countries one at a time.

Indeed, the Bali meetings will begin a process that will more resemble the world trade talks. You might note that they are anything but civilized with different government blaming other governments for lack of progress.

You're correct, my hope therefore is not unfounded. Thanks for that. I'm more angry about what Harper has done than I realised. I don't generally carry anger, but this has dogged me all day.

BTW, I meant to link to you through the post but must have been distracted by anger. It's corrected now.

knb said...

rabbit, I hear you, but I'll continue to use it where I think it's applicable.

people will think Liberals are going for the pity vote, and treat it with the disdain it deserves.

Here I disagree. Most Canadians are not into the bully thing. It takes a specific mindset to see things as you do.

I apologise, I cannot remember your affiliation. NDP?

I do understand your point though and I do not for a moment believe the Lib's should whine as it relates to how they are being treated by the con's. How the Con's treat others is fair game though and that is a strength of the Liberal Party...like it or not.

rabbit said...

I am unaffiliated. I consider myself a classic liberal (as opposed to a progressive one), which leaves me high and dry so far as Canadian (or American) politics is concerned.

This leaves me free to criticize the whole bleedin' lot of ya.

knb said...

A classic Liberal? That's sounds like a neo-liberal to me, in which case I'd expect you to side with Harper in current parlance.

I'll not judge though and allow you to express what you mean by the term.

Where does Libertarian fall on your political scale?

rabbit said...

I don't know what neo-conservatives or neo-liberals really are. If someone could give me firm definitions I would be glad to describe why I'm probably not one. I suspect people often afix the "neo" label because it sounds vaguely insulting or radical, without themselves knowing what they mean.

Our political terms have become so hopelessly botched that it has become difficult to have a sensible discussion about them.

Classic liberalism is close to libertarianism, but the latter often implies an Ayn-Rand extremism, so I avoid the monicer. You will find classic liberals skulking in many different parties, secretly directing the affairs of man without the public's knowledge or consent, all part of a vast world-wide conspiracy. Free Masons, Knights Templar, 9/11, that's us.

Okay, I exaggerate. But the
Wikipedia definition is tolerably close to my views.

In short, the primary responsibility of government is to allow citizens to carry on their lives as they see fit, subject only to those constraints that are necessary for a functioning society. In a happy coincidence, such individual freedoms are perhaps the most potent force for the common good. Of course, that word necessary is a real bone of contention.

Such a view is often in conflict with both progressive liberalism and (true) conservatism. It's utterly in conflict with socialism as interpreted these days.

So far as judging my politics, fire away. I recommend you really lay in to them.

knb said...

Rabbit, thank you. Your response was honest and full and there is little I respect more than that.

I suspect people often afix the "neo" label because it sounds vaguely insulting or radical, without themselves knowing what they mean.

I suspect you are right, but I'm not of that ilk. I do indeed attach the neo-con label to Harper and Bush, but I do not do it without knowledge. It's become contemporary parlance as you cited.

From what you have written in my mind I will associate you with neo-liberalism, in it's true sense.

It's a very old view and you strike me as being on the young side of the equation, but one never knows.

That there are many who feel like you, I have no doubt.

There is no one you can really turn to now though, correct? I see your closest ally in Harper, albeit not ideal.

You answered a whole heck of a lot, but you didn't speak to how you feel about what Harper has done in Kampala. I'll take that as an undecided.

I suspect you beleive the science, but you are unsure if government should interfere.

Thanks rabbit. It's rare to have an honest discussion in this forum.

Indeed I'll refer to Rand etal in the future, but do not assume that means I or others do not know their history.

We may throw those terms around liberally, but we speak to today's limp argument.

Sad in a sense, no?

burlivespipe said...

India was at the table and was willing to take a step and sign on to the orginal declaration. Somehow Harper didn't see that getting one of his 2 enabled countries to move forward wasn't enuf. That would have pretty much isolated China and the US, but instead the Harper small minds decided that Canada should be holding onto 'aspirational dreams' of healthy lungs and a healthy planet. Kinda like Harper's aspiration to have capital punishment restored, women back at home, and oil industry-owned for-profit prisons pasted across Canada...

Anonymous said...

KNB:

"A bully is a small man that acts and talks tough and is happier keeping people in line through intimidation. Bullies operate from a position of power. That power is generally perceived power rather than real".

Oh Knb you mean someone like Jean Chretien when he threaten his own party to call an early election,because he wasn't happy that some of the liberals weren't happy with him.

I bet in your mind this you would call a great leader.

When S.Dion went in front of those same countries that Harper was,and signed Kyoto accord that some of the countries would play under different rules then Canada and others.
This is who you and the
rest of the left would call a big Leader.But of course when Harper says that everyone has to play by the same rules he is of course characterized has a big bully go figure.

"btw, what is your view of what Harper accomplished in Kampala"?
Let me answer it if I may! Simple everyone plays by the same rules period.
Example lets take a sport analogy (Hockey)you have two teams one of them is in first place the other is in last,does this mean the stronger team has to start the game with one goal down,to give the weaker team a chance to win? That's crazy!

What do you call the leader of a party that keeps going to the media with their strategy, someone with leadership qualities? I could on with this.

People who call Harper a bully sorry to say but I don't think they know what they are talking about.

Want bullies here are some,the leader of north Korea,the leader of Iran,the former leader of Iraq Saddam, and Hitler etc etc etc.
I know I'm forgetting others. Do you think that does citizens were or are able to disagree with them the way you disagree with our PM S.Harper?

Thank You:
Mary B.

Anonymous said...

KNB

Let me also add this I'm a Right wing and proud of it. People who say that they are centre in my opinion are people who don't know where they stand or people who are left wing,but don't want to admit it for some reason. At least this is my opinion.

Mary B.

knb said...

Well said burl.

John, oops, Mary, I won't go your ridiculous analogy. You obviously do not know what you are ta;king about.

People who say that they are centre in my opinion are people who don't know where they stand

What a typical response from the right. Black and right wing, oh sorry white is the extent of your ability to view the world.

You do know that animals have the ability to see more nuance and colour than that, don't you?

No, you probably don't. What a pitiful world you exist in.

Too bad. We're only here once as they say and you've wasted all of that time walling yourself up.

Pathetic and sad.

Anonymous said...

Knb:

"John, oops, Mary, I won't go your ridiculous analogy. You obviously do not know what you are ta;king about".

First let me say who the heck is John, I have no idea? But thats your problem. You were talking about Harper being a Bully fine show me how Harper was the Bully at this meeting?
Also how can 50 Countries be bullied by Canada? We are not this big powerful country like the U.S.with 300 million people.

"Too bad. We're only here once as they say and you've wasted all of that time walling yourself up".

How can we have a civilized conversation by insulting people like this? Apparently it seems the only way to converse with you is to agree with you. Now this is Pathetic big time.

Mary B.

knb said...

John...give it up.

I didn't say anything earlier but your style, even while trying to disguise it, is clear.

Again, you fail to understand that I can track where your posts originate from, even if you try to re-route it.

Use your own blog to slog your kool aid. My aim is to elevate the discussion. You simply regurgitate nonsense.

Your indignation is hollow and no one here buys what you attempt to sell...even those on the right.

Blog your heart out, but leave me alone, please.

Anonymous said...

Knb you have a serious problem i suggest that you get help quick,because your cracking-up.

My name is Mary not John your imbecile or can't you read?

Mary B.

Scotian said...

KNB:

So Mary B is our Trolletariat member in good standing John, eh? Now why does that not come as any surprise to me I wonder? Thanks for the heads up, although I have to admit I was starting to wonder about that already because of the stylistic similarities in arguing that appear in each identity’s comments.

knb said...

Indeed Scotian. Were you or I to write in our own style under an alias, I'm pretty sure it would be detected.

Interesting that he took a woman's name no?

Why he's chosen me, I have no idea. Overall he shuts down discussion or at the very least he debases it.

I don't have a huge following here, but I'd like to discuss fact and leave nonsense and kool aid out of it.

Scotian said...

KNB:

My style is way too distinctive to not have that happen, of that I am quite sure. Not that I would even bother trying, personally I find the notion of sock puppeting so as to make it seem there are more supporters of my positions than myself dishonourable as well as dishonest and one of the few things I have of value in my life is my sense of honour and that I would betray were I to practice such.

I may be a long winded and at times tedious writer, but I am honest about it and my views and why I hold them, and I think that tends to come through to all but the most partisan of my opponents, even when some of what I might say bothers some. I am also not a party partisan despite the repeated attempts of many of my critics to brand me as a Liberal operative of some type, and that gives me a level of intellectual freedom that
I value, indeed it was that need for that freedom that prevented me from becoming a party partisan growing up despite being taught and raised by a major political operative as her protégé.

Well, in any event, thanks for letting us know that Mary B is in fact John, for while I tend to suspect different aliases of being sock puppets of certain people I tend not to accuse them of being said people unless I have something which I find conclusive usually via mistaken reference to something said under the other alias by that new alias linking them since I do not have the back check ways via things like ISPs.