Anyone harbouring any doubts that Stephen Harper doesn't have a clue how to lead Canada in tough times need only look south of the border to Barack Obama.
Let's see, Harper has had the levers of power in Canada for better than two and a half years. Harper's an economist and he has all the economist advisers from the finance ministry and the Bank of Canada at his beck and call.
Barack Obama, by contrast, won't even be in office for another month. He too has a gaggle of economic advisers, people that he cobbled together since his win in the November 4th presidential election. He doesn't have the levers of power, not yet anyway.
America's meltdown is far worse than anything we're facing in Canada but, then again, they've had neo-cons in power for eight years, us less than half that. And yet it's not Harper but Obama who is going to his public with a clear vision, optimism and a path forward. By contrast, our bungler in chief looks a lot like the bungler in chief who pretty much landed America in the mess Obama will inherit.
Harper is unclear, uncertain, hesitant. From the array of messages he's fed us since Obama was elected it's obvious he doesn't have a clear grasp of what's coming our way much less of what to do about it. One week we're going to ride out the storm, the next week he's talking about a "technical recession," the week after he's acknowledging a real recession, likely a severe one and lately he's even mumbled something about the possibility of a depression befalling Canada. Taxi drivers are more clear headed and consistent than our prime minister, pardon me, our economist in chief.
Somehow the Americans got the "take-charge, roll up your sleeves and get at it guy" and we're still stuck with Elmer Fudd and his bumbling, angry munchkin of a finance minister, L'il Jimbo. It's no wonder the Obama cabinet is so indifferent to Harper's gang - they know our bunch is clueless and they've got far too much on their plate to waste time on pointless chinwagging with irrelevant pols like Harper and his ministers.
Harper never had any great depth of talent in his caucus to work with from the get go. It didn't matter much when he took over. The treasury was full, the economy was strong and all he had to do was hand out money. Ask your next taxi driver if he could handle that job. But we're paying the price for a caucus full of third-string bumpkins and hack ideologues now.