Can We Trust This Guy?

Well, after missing his opportunity to address the United Nations last year, in lieu of a double double and a tour of an Ontario Tim Horton's plant Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed this week to grace the body with his presence. Contrary to all the spin at home, the delegates were less than impressed. 

They packed the house for Obama - no real surprise there- and for Doris Leuthard   a Swiss politician and   member of the Swiss Federal Council and head of their Federal Department of Economic Affairs but when Harper's turn to speak came up, the place emptied out. Not a good sign for a leader trying to hustle a seat on the Security Council.

Despite his past criticism of the international body and working multilaterally in general, he praised the UN's record. I thought Harper spoke well and said a number of things which rang true for me. He cited the United Nations for their good work, recognized Canada's contribution to the body over several decades and praised Canada's traditional multilateral approach.

The problem is, I just don't trust the guy. He is a shrewd politician. His record clashes with his rhetoric.
  • Under Harper's direction in 2007,  Canada was one of only four countries to vote against the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
  • When it comes to global warming Canada under Harper's rule has been noteworthy for its obstruction of meaningful and serious efforts to tackle this most urgent of global issues. At last year’s COP15 UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, The Harper government was singled out for condemnation.  George Monbiot a respected British environmental scholar and activist said, “This thuggish petro-state is today the greatest obstacle to a deal in Copenhagen.” As leader of the opposition Harper once called the Kyoto Protocol "a Socialist Scheme."
  • His stance on international law defies logic.  His is the only western government to leave one of its own citizens, Omar Khadr, languishing in America’s illegal concentration camp, Guantanamo Bay.
  •  Rather than keeping Canada's even handed approach to the middle east under Harper Canada become Israel's best friend, supporting them through their worst  transgressions and alienating most Arab states.

Most UN delegates either went for an early lunch or some say, they boycotted Harper's speech. No doubt they have been watching Canada's less than stellar performance internationally.  Actions speak louder than words and no doubt the greatest stumbling block to winning the seat is Harper's record. So who knows? 

To be honest I am not sure I want our country to sit on the Security Council under this Conservative government.  It saves the embarrassment later on.

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree with you more on this. Nicely put.


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