Sunday, July 05, 2015

Is It Time to Skewer Harper With the F-35 Fiasco?

Probably the question should be whether Mulcair or Trudeau have the political acumen to bloody Stephen Harper over his blunders and deceit in Canada's F-35 saga.

We know now that Harper's obsessive drive for a single source procurement on a "buy before you fly basis" was insanely reckless.  Harper owes a profound debt of gratitude to the parliamentary budget officer and the auditor general for stopping him cold in his tracks before he could ink a deal for 65 of these hyper-costly and deeply flawed airplanes.

Harper, with his early insistence that no competitive fly off was necessary, came awfully close to saddling Canada's air force with a terrible airplane for decades to come.

Harper needs to be called out on the floor of the Commons for what he tried to do, what he very nearly did and what would have befallen the defence of Canada had he not been derailed by Michael Ferguson and Kevin Page.

At the very least Mulcair and Trudeau should extract a commitment from Harper that there will be a full, open and competitive fly-off of every fighter on the market that can perform the full range of multi-role fighters - close support, tactical bombing, air combat and air defence/interception.  Invite Lockheed to bring their F-35 if they dare and let us see how it goes, head to head, against Rafale, Eurofighter, Griffen, Super Hornet and the latest F-15.  That would probably be the last we would hear from Lockheed which would send a clear message to every other American ally signing up for the F-35.


Toby said...

Yes, Mulcair and Trudeau should skewer Harper at every chance they get and Harper's support of the F35 is a great target.

Canada did have another option, the Arrow II. See here. Of course, Harper vetoed the Canadian option. A former Conservative vetoed the original Arrow. It must run in the Party.

The Mound of Sound said...

I've always found the Avro Arrow business unconvincing, Toby. Sure they have some old plans but so what? You wouldn't build that airplane again. Aeronautical design and technology has come a long way since the Arrow which was purpose built for one role - interception. Today the most capable interceptor in the West remains the latest variant of the F-15. I don't buy the idea that an aircraft as huge as the Arrow was could handle the full gamut of roles - close air support, tactical bombing, and dogfighting.

Anyong said...


Anyong said... why aren't they doing it.

Dana said...

A couple of years ago Junior said, grinning like an inebriated chimpanzee, that he would not participate in a negative campaign.

When questioned as to precisely what he meant by that he said things that led me to believe that he would not be referring to his opponents very much at all. Only to what his policies would be and not what the policies of the present government have wrought upon the land. He would consider that to be "negative campaigning".

That was the precise moment at which I began to doubt him.

I hope Mulcair isn't as precious.

I repeat - I don't care who defeats Harper, but he *will* have to be defeated. There will have to be someone willing to fight, to attack.

Smiling and waving and blowing smoke rings out your ass isn't going to do it, Justy Wusty.

Anonymous said...

Damn, why don't the NDP or Liberals recruit their next leader here? All the right answers without even asking.

The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, I almost flipped my biscuits when I was confronted by a Conservative, smear-Justin ad the other day. It recalled the global collapse of 2008 and asked the viewer whether they would have wanted Junior at the wheel to steer Canada through that sort of crisis.

The ad, of course, implied that Harper handled it well when, in fact, his response was awful. He began with the deceitful excuse that "no one saw it coming" when in fact plenty of renowned economists including Nouriel Roubini and Nobel laureates Stiglitz and Krugman were warning anyone who would listen months in advance. It was Harper's bullheaded ideology that got in the way and kept him from hearing those warnings. On my book shelf I have a copy of Krugman's 2005 book, The Great Unraveling.

Harper chose not to see the obvious because it didn't suit his plans. Then, when Canada was overtaken unawares, the government defunded and completely unprepared, Harper foisted a cowardly and incompetent 'stimulus' budget that achieved very little for the $50-billion in debt he had to saddle the nation with.

There's a difference between 'going negative' which has a connotation of skulduggery and misrepresentation and attacking Harper on his record of incompetence, favouritism, abuse of democracy and scandal. Holding him accountable for every excess he has inflicted on this country is not "going negative." It's politics and it's entirely legitimate. No, it's essential and it's their duty to take Harper to task and hoist him on his own terrible record.

Christ these two disgust me. Imagine what Junior's old man would have done to Harper. There would have been blood and flesh all over the floor.