Monday, July 30, 2007

Did the heat get to Deceivin' Steven?

I’ve had this article bookmarked for awhile but haven’t gotten around to posting it. These are comments made by our illustrious Prime Minister during his recent trip to Latin America (h/t):

In a rare and surprising shot at the U.S., Harper said Canada shared America's desire for free and open markets, democracy and accountability. But in a speech to a business crowd in Chile, he added Canada differs from the U.S. in its policies of "social cohesion," such as universal health care, equalization and other progressive institutions.

Unlike the United States, which has a checkered history of interests and interventions in Latin America, Harper said the region has nothing to fear from Canada.

"It is not in our past, nor within our power, to conquer or dominate," he said.

Don’t worry, we won’t try to invade you like those Americans, who hate progressive policies.

Have a Liberal PM make those same comments and the shrieks and howls of anti-Americanism would resonate from the loony right columnists and bloggers. I must have missed their similar condemnation of Harper’s remarks.

It is nice to see Harper trying to carve-out a positive role for Canada on the world stage however. It wasn’t that long ago after all that he said:
"Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status..."

Speaking about, cough, boasting about social services, glad to see Harper, um, boasting about our social services like universal health care (we're totally first rate now that the Cons are in power though, so it's cool). It wasn’t that long ago after all that he said this about a two-tier system:
"Well I think it would be a good idea. We're alone among OECD countries in deciding that we'll have a two-tier system, but our second tier will be outside the country where only the very rich and powerful can access it and will be of absolutely no benefit to the Canadian health care system."

It also wasn’t that long ago that Harper decried Liberal TV ads that ask “voters to choose between a country like Canada with generous social programs, or a country like the U.S. with its lower tax rates, referring to tax cuts proposed by Harper” as anti-American, and, get this, a potential cause of terrorism:
"I think given the security situation it's not appropriate for any political party to do anything that would encourage anti-Americanism or break down that co-operation at this point," Harper said after U.S. officials announced an increased terrorist threat Wednesday.

But I’m sure Harper’s asking Chileans to chose between Canada’s generous social programs and the U.S.’s history of invading Latin American countries is totally different. Somehow. Maybe the difference is that its worse? I dunno.

Anyway, lastly, on Harper's Latin American adventure and supposed foreign policy shift this Liberal reality check is worth reading.

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