Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Canada is back, baby!

Lord knows Prime Minister Stephen Joseph Harper has been called many things. But don’t you dare call him a liar. This was him last Canada Day:

"The news is spreading throughout the world: Canada's back," Harper told the crowd of about 35,000 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday.

And oh, how right he is. Canada is back alright, and with a vengeance. Just take a look:

CNN: Canadian foreign minister resigns

Washington Post: Canadian foreign minister quits over secret papers

Hindustan Times: Ex-lover costs Canadian foreign minister his job

Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network (Yes, Iraq): Canada Foreign Minister resigns

Radio Australia: Canada's foreign minister resigns after document debacle

Daily Mail: Minister resigns after leaving files with 'biker chick'

Evening Post: Minister quits post after error

Sydney Morning Herald: Good night and very bad luck

The Australian: Canadian foreign minister Maxime Bernier quits over bungle

USA Today: Canadian minister resigns after leaving classified docs at ex-girlfriend's house

New York Times: Canadian Official Quits Ahead of Ex-Lover’s Interview

The Independent: Foreign minister of Canada quits over 'biker's moll' girlfriend

The Gaurdian: Minister quits over security lapse

The Scotsman: Minister quits over lost files and biker gang links of ex-girlfriend

The Telegraph: Canadian foreign minister Maxime Bernier resigns over secret document row

ABC News: Canada's Foreign Minister Resigns

And there’s a few more here too.

That’s a whole lot of back. Thank-you, Stephen Harper, for restoring Canada’s position on the world stage.

Mission accomplished!

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sassy said...

Also ALJAZEERA Canada FM quits over document row

McLea said...

I'll admit this a rough calculation, but I threw together an estimate of the number of people outside of Canada that care that the Canadian Foreign Minister has resigned. Here's what I came up with:


I'll send you the spreadsheet if you want.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I got another rough calculation. This is an estimate of the number of non-Canadians who are going to vote in the next Canadian election. Here's what i came up with:


Sorry, no spreadsheet available.

Funny that so many foreign newspapers and websites would carry news that zero readers care about. Them foreign media sources must not know their readership as well as ol' McLea knows 'em.


McLea said...

Ah, well you learn something everyday. Apparently newspaper's only carry news that people care about. I never knew that!

Now honestly ask yourself this jimbobby, if I were to go through today's Toronto Sun, how many "news items" do you think I could find that noboby cares about? I'll set the over under at 15. Tell me which side of the bet you want.

JimBobby said...

if I were to go through today's Toronto Sun, how many "news items" do you think I could find that noboby cares about?

Nobody? You mean the Sun editors are so out of touch with their readership that they pay reporters and copy editors and printers to develop, research, edit and print stories that are of interest to absolutely no readers? None?

I don't care about baseball stories but that doesn't mean I don't think anybody cares about baseball stories. I don't care about fashion stories but other people do. I do care about politics and I read teh Sun Comment section onSundays. Some peoiple toss that section and only read the sports.

You may not care about Bernier';s resignation. Strange that you bother commenting, though, if that's the case. You may think you know what people care about in every other country of the world but I suspect the news editors in those countries have a much better handle on their readers' tastes than you.

If you continue to insist that absolutely zero foreign readers have any interest at all in the abrupt resignation of Canada's gaffe-prone Foreign Minister under a cloud of security concerns that include links to biker gangs and organized crime, I don't have much regard for your nose for news.

Jeff posted evidence of international interest in the Bernier Biker Babe Bungle. You can try to downplay it and you have tried. You ain't convincing anyone. Harper said he didn't take the subject seriously. He found out that he should have been taking it seriously. He thought nobody cared. He found out that do care and it does matter when you have an incopmpetent Foreign Minister. It does matter when Canada's reputation is damaged by such a bungler as Bernier.


Jeff said...

You know how once and awhile on the news here in a "on the lighter side" we'll get news footage of parliamentarians brawling in the legislative chamber in Malaysia or South Korea or something? Well, this is like that. Do I care about the crazy brawling parliamentarians? Not particularly. I always laugh though, and say "boy, they've sure restored their position on the world stage!"

James Curran said...

In the past 24 hours, over 434 people have ended up at my blog by searching the words "Julie Couillard". Of those, 91% are rom outside of Canada. So yes, the rest of the world does want to know about the Bernier Affair.

Oxford County Liberals said...


The fact you admit to reading the Toronto Sun for your political analysis pretty much destroys your credibility.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I read it too, Scotty. That's on accounta two reasons. First, they can't sell enough copies of the Sun so everybody in my whole little town gets the Sunday Sun delivered to their door for free. This has been goin' on for about 3 or 4 years now.

The other reason is that my good friend John Fewings, the political cartoonist sometimes gets published in there.

That Lorrie Goldstein gets my blood pressure up pretty much every Sunday.


McLea said...

Here's a better question for you guys to help you better understand where I am coming from:

If you're some engineer in Oslo, why the hell should you care if Canada's Foreign Minister got sacked? Of what consequence is it in your life? How can it affect your opinion of Canada when you have no opinion of Canada in the first place?

Honestly jimbobby, what's your opinion on Panama, or Laos? If you do, for some incomprehensible reason, do have an opinion on these countries, how would it change if you heard their foreign minister got sacked for sleeping with a biker chick? What is the likelihood that you would manage to retain this pertinent piece of information in your brain for longer than a week?

Seriously, the effect of this "story" on Canada's world image is zero. No one cares about Canada in the first place, and they're sure as hell not going to start caring after this. So let's stop pretending like this is some scandal of international consequence, because it isn't. I mean, it amazes me that you guys think, in a world where 99.9999% of the global population couldn’t even name Canada’s prime minister, that people would actually give two shits about our foreign minister. Honestly, think about what you are saying.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! McLea sure does have a low opinion of Canada's place in the world. I thought Canada was back, like King Steve said. I thought us sendin' our kids to fight and die in Afstan bought us some respect in the world.


Anonymous said...

"According to Montreal-based media watchdog Influence Communication stories about Bernier and Couillard ran in 575 media outlets in 44 countries around the world during the first 48 hours."


Barcs said...

Are they interested in the news JAmes or just in more of the newsworthy photos of the former model in the story?

Like this one... A simple black and white headshot of the woman at the center of it all.

Well no it is one that is designed to catch as much of the cleavage as they can.... newsworthy reporting:


I wonder how her credibility shot up overnight? Last week she was a bimbo biker chick who was selling Canadian secrets to the highest bidder, to her former associates in the Hells angels, even to foreign interests. Last week the liberals couldn't get enough mud to drag her name though..... Today she is the star witness with untouchable credibility.

Why? oh yeah. instead of being involved with a conservative like she used to be... this week she attacked one of them.

Instant credibility.

Maybe you could get her and Schreiber to be candidates in the next election.

ottlib said...


You and your Conservative friends keep telling yourself that.

Whatever gets you through the night buddy.

But, this is big news and it has gone international.

Of course it will disappear from the international media tomorrow but we can count on it going for awhile in Canada which is what you and the Conservatives really need to be worried about.

These kinds of things are government killers.

Barcs said...

"These kinds of things are government killers."

You presuppose that Dion is actually going to vote against the Conservatives sometime before the election happens in November 2009.

But not that you mention it... you are right.

I do remember the Chretien government falling over Ms. Parrish insulting a president. President Shrub was it??

The whole reason Clinton isn't being elected this year was because of her comments on Canadian vs American Bacon.

Khadar and Guantanamo are the entire reason president Bush will not be running this election.

Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev greeted western nations in 1956 "We will bury you"... And lasted only a day (and 10 more years give or take)

Not to mention he lasted only hours (And about 6 years) after a shoe banging incident at the UN in 1960.

(ohhh but there was rioting and killing in the streets... why the population dropped by 2/3 in just 3 days in the anger...lol right)

Keep spinning about the disasters of the century ottlib. Harper is responsible for them all and he will never survive longer than Dion decides.



*excuse me I fell of my chair for a sec there*


Keep in mind that if we choose to replace Harper... Dion needs a couple policys. (other than a famed carbon tax not laid out yet that will do everything from curing the sick to showering the taxpayers with money.... IT might even turn water into wine if you spin enough). He needs a record that says that says he is different than Harper. (He says he is different then he and his caucus vote to support Harper). He needs to take a stand that doesn't involve him eventually sitting on his hands after a tirade.

As bad as you can make Harper look (and you are not doin a real good job outside of the spin job that makes even the NDP look rational).... I can't give Dion my vote until he does something that makes him look like a better choice than Bernier.

So keep on spinning about how Harper will fall over this or that or the next thing (Did you know that Harper is responsible for the common cold and Mold and rain on the weekend?) And those are definite government killers.

Because that is how you are going to get him reelected.

burlivespipe said...

Barcs, something tells me we're not interested in your vote. You like mcflea, are lost in space.
As to the biker chick's credibility, it seems that's not really what's in question on this whole thing. If i was you i'd be considering what kind of magic potion you need to concoct to restore or paint a reputation that's flattering to your own sorry team, so-called run-away leader included.
Can't try the ol' buy a dying MPs vote - done that.
How about blame an independent gov't appointee - nope, none left.
I got it, you can pull out the ol' Homer Simpson -"hey look up there!" and run away very clumsily...
Of course, had this happened during a Liberal gov't, you'd be calling it a misunderstanding...

Jeff said...

Let me make this as short as possible, and therefore hopefully more understandable:

Harper says Conservatives will raise Canada's standing around the world. Bernier scandal in headlines around the world makes Canada look stupid.

That's the opposite of what he set out to do.

Mike514 said...

A minister made a mistake, admitted it, and resigned. He is no longer a minister. I'd say that's pretty good.

Rather than being satisfied, the opposition would rather keep it in the news. Why? For their own self-serving interests.

What more is needed? An investigation? Fine. Bring on the investigation. But let's be honest: The only reason the opposition wants an investigation is not to get to the bottom of all this. It's simply to tarnish the Tories' public image.

Jeff makes the point with his post. "Hee hee! Look at Harper! He's an international embarrassment! Hey everyone! Let's point and laugh!" I'm sure Jeff, Jimbobby and others have all delighted in the events surrounding Bernier. The very thought that people in Vienna, Auckland or Lima might care about Bernier's misfortune seems to be a Liberal partisan's wet dream.

This self-serving attitude from our political parties (yes, that includes the Tories) is part of the reason our voter turnout rate is so bloody low, and dropping. We saw it with Schreiber, Cadscam, Naftagate, and we'll see it again and again.

(and anyone else notice how Jimbobby managed to write a whole long comment without once using Whooee?)

Mike514 said...

I forgot to add: The unfortunate side-effect of all this self-serving interest by the opposition only leads to further tarnishing Canada's international image. It doesn't help when the NDP is calling for someone's dismissal every week. It doesn't help when committees and investigations are started simply to make the Tories look bad (and if you deny that, look back at transcripts from the Schreiber committees. Just one example: when Jean Charest's brother was mentioned, all of a sudden the Bloc members stopped caring about Harper and Mulroney, and suddenly wanted to know more about Charest's involvement. Charest Charest Charest until they were blue in the face. Why? To help their PQ brethren find ammo to attack the Quebec Liberals). Pure self-serving drivel that even Jeff has to admit is hurting Canada's reputation.

No, Jeff, the Tories don't hold a monopoly on hurting Canada's international reputation. If the Liberals had been in power these past 2 years, we'd see headlines like "Canada Minister "not losing sleep" over deaths in Qana" in international papers. Or how about "Canada's PM wants NATO forces in Pakistan"? How would that help Canada's international profile? Hint: it wouldn't.

Yes, the Tories might be hurting Canada's international reputation. But for all of us to A) delight in such behaviour, and B) act like our own parties wouldn't do the same is ... I don't know. Insert your own adjective here.

JimBobby said...

(and anyone else notice how Jimbobby managed to write a whole long comment without once using Whooee?)

Nice to know at least one reader hangs on my every word. Thanks, Mike514.

Canada's reputation isn't being tarnished by the opposition or the foreign media or the bloggers. Canada's reputation is being tarnished by the actions of Stephen Harper. He has consistently appointed cabinet minsters well above their capabilities. Some speculate that he appointed weaklings in order to maintain control.

When the Grits were running the show, it was their asses on the line wrt international relations and our reputation. Now, it's the Con's who need to shoulder the responsibility that comes with forming a government. It's called accountability.


Oh yeah... Whooee!

Barcs said...

Lol... the story was soooo important to the international community:

David Akin who is on site with the politicians in Europe this week picked up the local morning paper....

A beautiful picture of Ms Couliard, and the next photo over was a very nice photo of a businessman named Michelle Bernier.

Such an important story and the photo of the beautiful former model was right... just not the right photo of the guy (Maxime) that the story was actually about.

And as mike was so kind to remind us.... It wasn't Mr. Bernier or even Mr. Harper that suggested invading Pakistan....

Too bad you can't lose Dion just by shuffling cabinet eh?

Mike514 said...

While I wasn't quite agreeing with Jimbobby, I'll agree that Harper has appointed MPs who weren't quite ready for prime-time into sensitive portfolios.

As for the opposition not hurting Canada's reputation... I beg to differ. Every party contributes to Canada's negative reputation abroad when they harp endlessly about Harper and his government (get it? Harp? Harper? Haha!), particularly when certain subjects don't merit such attention. Why? For their own interest, not for the good of this country.

Remember the whole "Did MacKay call Belinda a dog?" controversy? Wow... The opposition kept that in the news for a full week. I certainly wouldn't be proud if that was broadcast all over the world.

Bernier made a mistake, admitted it, resigned. We should all be glad he did the right thing (resigning, not the mistake). Let's appreciate that, rather than react with glee when it's published in the back page of the Zagreb Chronicler.

As for Jeff's point: Yes, Harper wants Canada to maintain a certain image abroad. Did he break a promise? Technically yes, but it was unintentional, and his "promise" wasn't quite on the same level as, say, promising a certain type of policy and then not delivering. Conversely, should we excuse Dion for making blunders simply because he didn't "promise" to enhance Canada's reputation abroad? I hope not.

I come to this blog for intelligent discussion, and Jeff almost always delivers. He's free to write what he wants, but I expected something more constructive and discussion-oriented from Jeff. His post seems petty and smug, has nothing constructive to add, and shows he has a bit too much time on his hands... not quite what I typically expect from this blog.

Nonetheless, I look forward to future posts from Jeff and always wish him well.

Mike514 said...

Two other points: Anyone else notice how the story lists Toronto as the source city in some articles? It was such important news that the foreign media couldn't be bothered to send their Canadian reporters to Ottawa.

Also: Maybe this news is international because it's so odd? A minister resigning because of his ex-girlfriend? The biker link? If he had simply left the documents at a random friend's house (an ugly friend's house??) this story wouldn't get outside our borders.

Saskboy said...

"If you're some engineer in Oslo, why the hell should you care if Canada's Foreign Minister got sacked?"

Let's try this one instead:
If you're a member of the Privy Council of a foreign nation, are you going to be thrilled that Canada might have access to some of your Secret documents when they have people like Bernier handling them?

Mike514 said...


Let's try this one:

If you're a member of the Privy Council of a foreign nation, are you going to be satisfied that Canada's foreign minister was relieved of his duties when he carelessly handled documents?

And would said Privy Council accept that it was the right thing to do? I would hope so.

Certainly the situation would be made worse if, for example, Harper dismissed Bernier's carelessness as harmless, and rejected his resignation. I think that would make quite an impression on other Privy Councils.