Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bullyboy Bluster

Stephen Harper keeps saying "My way or the highway."

The response keeps being "Ok then, the highway it is."
By most accounts, Stephen Harper and his government were humiliated Tuesday at the United Nations, losing a coveted Security Council seat to Portugal. The defeat is still the buzz of official Ottawa and political spin doctors have been working overtime.

Cabinet ministers and even the Prime Minister's own communications director, Dimitri Soudas, are blaming Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff for torpedoing the deal. This, after he publicly declared Canada did not deserve the seat because of the Harper government's foreign policy.

The Liberals, meanwhile, are blaming Mr. Harper and his international policies for the loss. Mr. Ignatieff has accused the Conservatives of ignoring the United Nations.
Potentially having even more dire consequences than the Security Council seat loss is the recent dust up with the United Arab Emirates, where the government's tough guy, 'take it or leave it' bluster ended with Canada having to walk away from a multi-million dollar air base and featured Canadian government ministers being banned from entering a putative ally's airspace - all to protect the business interests of a private corporation.
Ottawa's eviction from a Mideast military base has exposed a rift within the Harper cabinet over how far Canada should go to satisfy its Arab hosts: an internal debate in which Stephen Harper cut Defence Minister Peter MacKay out of negotiations.

Canada is set to vacate Camp Mirage, a once-secret military installation, by Nov. 5 after failing to reach an agreement with the United Arab Emirates over what would amount to compensation for nine years of accommodation near Dubai.

The UAE has been seeking additional lucrative landing rights for two state-backed air carriers at Canadian airports, and Mr. MacKay was one of several ministers, including Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and International Trade Minister Peter Van Loan, who had favoured doing more to help the Arab ally, a senior Conservative MP said.

The Prime Minister ultimately cut these ministers out of negotiations, the official said, favouring the forceful arguments against big concessions advanced earlier this year by former transport minister John Baird.

The loss of the base has left some cabinet members frustrated and angry at how Mr. Harper handled it.

"[It's] all gone because of a fit of pique and a hard [core] position that is truculent and unreasonable against Canada's short- and long-term interests," the MP said.
'Out of touch, arrogant and dictatorial' are by now well established descriptions of this, the most secretive and PMO dictated government in Canadian history.  We knew that Harper's machivellian scheming always has a tendancy to slam up against his own bitter hatred of dissent and opposition, his bully boy need to 'stick it' it to anybody who challenges him. 

He'll never learn and we can expect further sudden reversals as those he deals with refuse to take having sand kicked in their faces lying down.

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