Friday, April 21, 2006

Harper's Agenda - Thin Ice

Stephen Harper and his conservative government are on thin ice. Apparently, no one has the courage to tell him. There is a reason for this. We are now learning from Harper’s actions that he is a Prime Minister determined to force his personal agenda on the voters. If you oppose him then you are his instant enemy. It is ironic, but I see similarities between Harper and the late former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.

Harper got it going early when he appointed a liberal to his cabinet and then appointed an unelected Senator, appointed by Harper, to his cabinet. The Harper conservatives have always been opposed to such appointments.

Harper then met with US President George Bush and Mexico President Vicente Fox. Harper came away from the Cancun summit with absolutely nothing on the important issues respecting Kyoto, softwood lumber and border security between Canada and the US. Harper found out he is a little fish in a big pond at his first official visit with President George W Bush.

Harper then sent Peter MacKay to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She was polite as MacKay heaped praise on her, but it achieved absolutely nothing. Rice simply patronized MacKay and then retired to more important matters on her agenda.

Harper then claimed in a media report that he was in the dark on the issue of his Environment minister’s office muzzling a federal scientist, Mark Tushingham. Now that is what I always wanted, a Prime Minister that is in the dark after less than three months on the job. Mark apparently wrote a novel entitled, Hotter than Hell and was to speak about his novel at a luncheon in Ottawa until an email from the Environment minister’s office warned him not to attend the event. The irony here is that all this occurred at the same time that Harper introduced whistle blower legislation intended to protect civil servants like, Mark Tushingham, when they feel the interests of Canadians are more important than the personal agenda of any Prime Minister. The legislation apparently doesn’t apply if your opinion opposes that of Prime Minister Harper.

On the painful issue of gas prices, Harper is on record as saying, get used to it. That is not what Canadians wanted to hear. It is not what Harper’s policy used to be when he was in opposition. Harper is winding up a five-city tour today in Toronto and on each stop he has very determinedly laid out his personal agenda with a bravado attitude suggesting it is his way or no way.

Harper leads a minority government that is on thin ice with many huge icebergs around him, but with no caution he is still on full-speed ahead just like the Titanic. He is systematically building an enemy list that will eventually bring him down in icy waters.

Stephen Harper you are on thin ice. Slow down or risk the icy waters.

Finally, Stephen Harper may be the Prime Minister, but I am a free proud Canadian he cannot muzzle. Although this may pain the PM and his operatives, I have been a conservative for nearly fifty years. Get used to it!