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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 07:48 AM

Could Foreign Policy Be Stephen Harper’s Achilles’ Heel?

By Yves Engler

Sunday, December 23, 2012

According to a recent Leger Marketing poll Canadians care a great deal about their country’s international standing. Sixty-four percent of respondents said that “our country’s reputation in the world” was “very important” to them and 29 percent said it was “somewhat important”. After universal health care, Canada's reputation was of second most importance among a dozen symbols, achievements and attributes (the monarchy and war of 1812 were at the bottom of the list).

Yet Harper’s policies have spurred an unprecedented international backlash against Canada. And, after nearly seven years of this government’s more belligerent and corporate centric foreign policy, displays of opposition are growing.

According to a video making the rounds online, during the Palestinian statehood vote at the UN two weeks ago foreign minister John Baird was the only speaker who wasn’t cheered by the General Assembly. This is only one sign of the growing awareness of the Conservatives’ extreme pro-Israel policy. The day before the UN vote the Toronto Star ran a picture of Palestinians marching on office of Canada’s diplomatic representative in Ramallah carrying signs with a dog snout superimposed on Harper’s face next to the dismissive slogan “this dog doesn’t hunt”.

In another example of the world’s growing disdain for the Great White North, at the just completed Doha round of international climate change negotiations Canada won (with New Zealand) The Colossal Fossil, the Fossil of the Year Award. Unbelievably, this was the sixth year in a row that the Conservatives have won this award given out by hundreds of environmental organizations to the country most actively obstructing global efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

More: http://www.zcommunications.org/could-foreign-policy-be-stephen-harper-s-achilles-heel-by-yves-engler

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Reply Could Foreign Policy Be Stephen Harper’s Achilles’ Heel? (Original post)
polly7 Dec 2012 OP
riverbendviewgal Dec 2012 #1
Joe Shlabotnik Dec 2012 #2
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #3
MAD Dave Dec 2012 #4
jambo101 Jan 2013 #5
Joe Shlabotnik Jan 2013 #6
Ravajava Jan 2013 #7

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 10:00 AM

1. I have a great deal of disdain for Harper too

He has brought my Canada down in the world. We are losing the respect we once had. I will work with many others to ensure his party goes down in the next election.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:27 PM

2. All very true,

but I think the Idle No More protests could escalate into a nightmare for Harper. Especially if Chief Spence dies, or violence breaks out. If Harper doesn't pacify them, pipelines will literally become targets.

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:18 PM

3. I doubt they will. We're still embarrassingly backwards on First Nations issues.

Drives me right up every available vertical surface, but it's also sadly true. Ugh.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:59 AM

4. Idle No More

Last edited Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:26 PM - Edit history (1)

I can't imagine a scenario where PM Harper can deal with Chief Spence and Idle No More and still maintain any sense of his current policy stance. He has shown over and over that he will not be forced to do anything. And when he does he and his cronies use any viable technique (proroguing parliament twice) to side step the issue.

I was recently at a northern mine site in Saskatchewan which is staffed primarily by First Nations people. One gentleman remarked that he thought that PM Harper would be assassinated. I think that would be very extreme and unfortunate for Canada but I believe it indicates the growing dissatisfaction with PM Harper and his brand of politics. I believe that Idle No More and Chief Spence will be PM Harper's downfall

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:41 PM

5. Harpers achillies heal?

The Liberal party getting a competent leader, Marc Garneau is looking very credible at this early stage of the game..
Trudeau? maybe in the future but he's a bit wet behind the ears at this point..

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Response to jambo101 (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:31 PM

6. Good lord.

If the Spaceman, or the Patrick Swayze of Canadian politics are our only hope, then we're doomed.

Neither of these two stooges are even remotely progressive, and both are beholden to further tax cuts for big business and increased foreign ownership and exploitation of natural resources. I hope voters have the smarts to dig for their policy positions and disregard the optics.

(Lately the CBC is having quite a love affair with all things LPC )

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 01:23 AM

7. Funny, now that you mention it

It's interesting that you bring this up. I come from a traditionally Conservative Family, but everyone's starting to reconsider their allegiance, and foreign policy plays no small part in that decision.

On The Colossal Fossil award, that really doesn't surprise me. We have the Conservative Party in power and they are beginning really focus on taking advantage of the oil sands. Environmental regulations are probably the last issue on there minds. What I believe has happened is that the Conservatives have calculated that if the economy does well enough, then Canadians will ultimately ignore the other issues on election day, and for the most part, I think they were correct.

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