Friday, February 01, 2013
Our Fractional Prime Minister
Surely any responsible policy making process requires that all relevant circumstances be considered. If you omit an important factor then you might come to a false assessment, perhaps even dangerously wrong. Yet time and again Steve Harper shows that excluding relevant factors is essential to his policy making. There's a real wanton recklessness to that.
I suppose Steve Harper could be considered 3/8ths of a genuine prime minister for he excludes as much if not more than he considers.
Take our militarized foreign policy. That appears to have been outsourced to Capital Hill and the Pentagon. Peter MacKay seems as happy as a puppy after he's been to Washington to collect his latest marching orders from the U.S. Defense Secretary. Remember last time? He came back delirious, babbling about how Canada needed to establish a powerful and permanent military presence in east Asia. He and Harper have been pushing to buy a light bomber that's totally unsuited to any genuine Canadian needs but is a ticket to the first ranks of America's aerial Foreign Legion. If you don't get that, Google "Operation Chimichanga."
Our economic policy? As a freshly-minted Petro-State a lot of that too has been outsourced. We're driven by the demands of the mainly American petro-producers who run Athabasca and the wishes of our customers, the U.S. and China. They rattle our chain and our ears perk up, pronto. Meanwhile the legacy economy is allowed to get by pretty much on its own.
Domestic policy? Law and order, that's it. Steve's fundamentalist urgings make him a real crime and punishment guy. Well, in truth, crime continues to fall as it has for years which kind of exposes Steve as really mainly a punishment guy. There's more than a little kinkiness in that. I wonder if Steve has a closet full of leathers and cat o'nine tails whips? Punishment and retribution, that's the order of the day. It appeals to Steve's vindictive streak.
And to expedite his fundamentalist-driven policy making, Steve loves to clear the decks of unwanted, extraneous factors like facts and science. Extraneous things, like the census. That's nothing but a huge bag of those dirty facts. And science! Why the federal public service is full of scientists busy doing, well, science things. We can't be having that bunch of loudmouths spouting off information. Nobody needs to hear that, especially our fractional prime minister. Best we simply gag them.
The one thing above all else that Harper exiles from his policy making is the reality of climate change what he, not that many years ago, dismissively denounced as a "Socialist plot." He claims that he's seen the light but actions speak louder than words and Harper's lack of action speaks volumes. As Harper's longtime buddy, Tom Flanagan, acknowledged, Steve's stock in trade is in “appearing to make a difference without actually changing anything.”
So Steve doesn't actually deal with problems but he's a master at planting the illusion in the public's mind that he's making a difference without actually doing anything in reality. And so a great many relevant facts and circumstances never are allowed to intrude on Steve's decision making which then becomes conveniently detached from reality.
When you add up all these deficiencies, it's easy to come out with the 3/8ths of a prime minister result. Steve doesn't want to lead Canada. Steve wants to run Canada's economy and he thinks it's fine to run it free of facts and science and reality. It comes right back to his raging fundamentalist instincts and that's just sad.