Stephen Harper spoke to the press in Vancouver today, and they were allowed to ask questions. Here's one of his answers (emphasis mine):
CONTINUE WITH EMILY CHIN FROM FAIRCHILD.
Question: PRIME MINISTER, REGARDING THE EARTHQUAKE HAPPENING IN JAPAN, AS WE KNOW, JAPAN IS ONE OF OUR MAJOR TRADE PARTNERS. I'M JUST WONDERING YOUR CONCERN ABOUT ANY IMPACTS ON OUR ECONOMY.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper: WELL, WE'RE OBVIOUSLY LOOKING AT ALL THOSE THINGS VERY CAREFULLY. OUR FIRST CONCERN, IN FAIRNESS, IS WITH, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES AND OBVIOUSLY ALL OF THEIR FAMILIES AND LITERALLY AT THIS POINT TENS OF THOUSANDS, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HOMELESS. SO OUR FIRST CONCERN AS A GOVERNMENT IS ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP JAPANESE AUTHORITIES COPE WITH THIS CRISIS. NOW, JAPAN IS A WEALTHY COUNTRY. JAPAN IS A WELL ORGANIZED COUNTRY WITH LOTS OF ITS OWN RESOURCES TO RESPOND TO THESE KINDS OF PROBLEMS, BUT, AS I SAID EARLIER, WE'VE MADE IT VERY CLEAR TO THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT THERE'S A RANGE OF VARIOUS SERVICES OR SUPPLIES THAT WE COULD OFFER IF SO DESIRED, AND I GATHER THERE'S A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT THEY WILL CALL UPON US TO ASSIST THEM WITH. THAT IS OUR PRIMARY FOCUS. OBVIOUSLY WE'RE ALL WATCHING THE NUCLEAR SITUATION, YOU KNOW, WITH I THINK QUITE A BIT OF CONCERN FOR THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN. SO WE'RE JUST TRYING TO BE HELPFUL IN THAT REGARD. I DON'T THINK THERE WILL BE IMMEDIATE ECONOMIC IMPACTS ON US. OBVIOUSLY, THOUGH, YOU SEE THE DROPS IN THE STOCK MARKET. ALL OF THESE THINGS SHOULD REMIND EVERYBODY -- SHOULD REMIND EVERYBODY IN CANADA AND SHOULD REMIND ALL THE PARTIES IN PARLIAMENT THAT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY REMAINS EXTREMELY FRAGILE. IT DOES NOT TAKE VERY MUCH TO MAKE US ALL, AND NOT JUST IN CANADA, THE UNITED STATES, ALL AROUND THE WORLD, TO MAKE EVERYBODY VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT'S COMING NEXT IN THE ECONOMY. WE'VE BEEN THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME. IT'S GETTING BETTER, BUT IT'S STILL QUITE FRAGILE. SO I DON'T WANT TO PREDICT HOW THAT'S GOING TO UNFOLD. I THINK THE JAPANESE WILL FIND THEIR WAY OF COPING, BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THIS SHOULD BE A WAKEUP THAT WE CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE OUR FOCUS OFF THE ECONOMY AND GET IN TO A BUNCH OF UNNECESSARY POLITICAL GAMES OR, AS I SAID, AN OPPORTUNISTIC AND UNNECESSARY ELECTION THAT NOBODY IS ASKING FOR.
Yes, why not use a question about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that has killed thousands, and triggered a still ongoing nuclear crisis, to score domestic political points against your opponents? And just what is he claiming? That an election could cause an earthquake? Take our eyes off the economy for one minute and the earth could shake? And as for all this focus on the economy, let's remember that Harper called the 2008 election just as the economic downturn was beginning to become clear. Of course, the great economist assured us then that if we were going to have a downturn at that point, we'd have had one already. So what does he know?Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers