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What is Stephen Harper Afraid of?

| July 14, 2011
Conservative leader and Canada's Prime Minister Harper pauses while speaking during a campaign stop at an automobile parts factory in Brampton

Stephen Harper shared his views on international affairs with Maclean’s magazine last week, and it wasn’t a pretty picture. Harper’s world seems to be full of danger and struggle. In response to open-ended questions on foreign policy, he repeatedly came back to these themes. Most interestingly, he offered a Manichean vision of international relations as a struggle between good and bad, and of moral clarity as the greatest asset and most reliable guide to foreign policy.

War and conflict figure prominently in this story. In the interview, Harper traced a connection between war and the emergence and development of the Canadian nation, arguing that the War of 1812 “essentially began to establish our sense of national identity” and was the “genesis of the geographically wide and culturally diverse nation we have today.” He then explained that Canada has consistently been “on the right side of important conflicts” – including the Second World War and the Cold War – “that have shaped the world and that are largely responsible for moving the world in the overall positive direction in which it is moving.” There is a theory of history encapsulated in this short statement – one that emphasizes, again, the enduring struggle between moral forces, and the transformative and redemptive potential of this struggle. These “big conflicts,” he explained, have been “the real defining moments for the country and for the world.”

Kenneth Whyte, who conducted the interview, probed further: “You suggest that we are in one great conflict, or that we’re heading to one that we need to be prepared for.”

Harper responded: “I think we always are.”

Let’s pause for a moment. After describing a pattern of historic confrontations through to the Cold War, Harper suggests that we are either in the midst of a new monumental struggle, or we are heading into one. That’s remarkable news. It would seem important to learn more about this.

But when asked about the nature of the present threat, the prime minister seemed to grasp for a response:

“Well, I think it’s more difficult to define now. We know there are challenges to us. The most obvious is terrorism, Islamic extremist terrorism. We know that’s a big one globally. We also know, though, the world is becoming more complex, and the ability of our most important allies, and most importantly the United States, to single-handedly shape outcomes and protect our interests, has been diminishing, and so I’m saying we have to be prepared to contribute more, and that is what this government’s been doing.”

The fact that Canada may need to “contribute more” to protecting our security may be true, but that portion of Harper’s response tells us nothing about the threat itself. We are left with “Islamic extremist terrorism” as “a big” threat. Is it the big one? Are there others?

The world is a messy place, so I empathize with the prime minister when he talks about the difficulty of defining threats in a complex world. But let’s be clear: complexity itself is not a threat. Nor should we respond to complexity with simplistic theories of history or vague allusions to looming conflicts.

If Canada faces a clear and present danger, Harper should tell us exactly what it is. Otherwise, he should stop scaring people – and himself.

Photo courtesy Reuters.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Yes harpo, we all know you are a henny-penny “the sky is falling” caricature, prior to you it was bush, and now you are a “bush wannabe”…… but, what’s your point?? or do you have one? Personally, I think not! I think you will say and/or do anything, to support your (owners) ideas in order to use our country, our $$, our resources, until there is nothing left of it, at least nothing that any of us will want. You are a charlatan, a dictator, a thief, a liar, and a greedy-gus beyond imagination, and a disgrace to our country. You are the laughing-stock of the world, everyone knows the corps. own you and that you will kiss butt to fulfil any request they make. If you had any cajones, and we all know you don’t! – you would try to emulate ‘a real man’ – (foreign idea to you I know) – and start to take pride in our country, stand up for our country, stand up and actually represent the people of our country!

    Do I have the right to speak for the majority of Canadians that didn’t vote for you, didn’t want you or your so-called government in the H of C?? You’re damned right I do!!

    If you can stand there and say that what you are doing is what Canadians want, then I can stand here and tell you that just about everything you say is a freakin lie! You don’t represent Canadians – never did – likely, unless you are struck by lightening, never will. No wonder you can’t ever give a straight answer!

    • fundy lady

      you sound really intelligent and articulate. Very mature also.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you! How very kind of you…….

        • Greenmoon

          Um, I think she was being sarcastic………at least I hope she was.

          • Anonymous

            lol – i knew it … was just being facetious! Read you on disqus – and liked what i read!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

        CheenaEagle has a feather stuck up his/her buttt … and is claiming that PM Harper does not represent all of Canada after a fair and democratic election. These nutbar types fantacize overthrowing the duly elected majority gov’t of Canada and replacing it with a coalition political junta. You can’t reason with them because they are on the verge of violence and only their cowardice restrains them.

        • Anonymous

          Oh, poor poor Fred … think i’ve run into you before. you’re the neocon that can only start calling ppl names (just like your party), instead of trying to have a reasonable dialog. Guess you won’t even take the time to research what I commented on eh? sigh … Oh well, I tried…….

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

            Re: “…calling ppl names .. instead of trying to have a reasonable dialog.”

            Oh, you mean like this?:

            “You are a charlatan, a dictator, a thief, a liar, and a greedy-gus beyond imagination, and a disgrace to our country. You are the laughing-stock of the world, everyone knows the corps. own you and that you will kiss butt to fulfil any request they make. If you had any cajones, and we all know you don’t! – you would try to emulate ‘a real man’ – (foreign idea to you I know) – and start to take pride in our country, stand up for our country, stand up and actually represent the people of our country!”

            Q.E.D.

          • Anonymous

            Pointing out the contradictions in what they say is futile. If they didn’t notice the glaring inconsistencies before they hit the POST button, they never will.

          • Anonymous

            Dear RR – no contradictions – please read my response to Freddie – hope that clears things up!

          • Anonymous

            But Freddie, I wasn’t directing that to/at you, i was speaking, very specifically, to harpo – he was the target, not you!

          • Dirtyrat

            And your post above represents “reasonable dialogue”?

            “You are a charlatan, a dictator, a thief, a liar, and a greedy-gus beyond imagination, and a disgrace to our country. You are the laughing-stock of the world, everyone knows the corps. own you and that you will kiss butt to fulfil any request they make.”

            Yes, that’s a fantastic jumping off point to start “researching what I commented on.” You actually made me laugh with that one. At you. Not with you.

          • Anonymous

            Dear dirty – no contradictions – please read my response to Freddie – hope that clears things up!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Mckelvey/724341566 Dylan Mckelvey

          It seems that Harper’s propaganda machine has worked perfectly on you.

          I understand that majority governments have been elected in the past with under 50% of the vote. That anybody accepts this is beyond me.

          Also, a coalition is a perfectly democratic form of government seeing as we don’t vote solely for a party leader, we vote for our MPs, if they want to band together to form government, they are allowed to do so.

          • Anonymous

            It’s not something that’s happened occassionally. It is the norm in Canada. We accept it because our system works, and has worked since Confederation. Only two governments in Canadian history have had more than 50% of the vote – Diefenbaker landslide in 1957, and Mulroney tidal wave in 1984. Nice of you to be so supportive of Brian Mulroney, since he is one of only two PM’s to ever get a “legitimate” majority.

          • Donh

            What is there to accept? If people don’t vote then what should we do in response? The majority of voters who bothered to vote voted for the conservatives, more specifically Harper. Just because that majority of voters is in fact a minority of Canadians means…what? Cancel government?

          • SeekingTruth

            Donh said “The majority of voters…voted for the conservatives… Just because that majority of voters is in fact a minority of Canadians means…what?”

            Correction: The Conservative candidates got more votes than any other party, but not the majority of votes. 60.4% voted for other parties. Voter turnout: 61.4%
            Popular vote: Con 39.6%, non-Con 60.4%
            (NDP 30.6%, Lib 18.9%, BQ 6.0%, Grn 3.9%)
            Seats: Con 53.9%, NDP 33.4%, Lib 11.0%, BQ 1.3%, Grn 0.3%

            (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2011)

            Donh said”…means what? Cancel the government?”

            Alt idea…There is a growing movement for electoral change to ensure the number of seats reflect the preferences of the voters (http://www.fairvote.ca)

            In terms of what Harper might be afraid of… I think he is afraid of people seeing the true effect of what he wants to do.

            His major strategies have been to prorogue parliament, hide the costs of legislation and stifle debate.

            In addition to winning seats where they have traditional support, the Conservatives were able to win more seats by tipping the balance in ridings where the popular vote was close. This is a good strategy if you want power, but does not reflect the values of the majority. In his acceptance speech Harper acknowledged that he won a majority of seats but not the popular vote.

            Harper can push legislation through now, but may be afraid people will remember the cost when the next election comes up.

            It is difficult to know how those who didn’t vote would have voted. Here are a couple of Globe & Mail articles about the effect of voter turnout:
            http://www.behindthenumbers.ca/2011/04/14/who-benefits-from-low-voter-turnout/
            http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/how-parliament-would-look-if-only-youth-voted/article1747999/

        • MSFU

          We acknowledge Harpers majority government. We acknowledge the election results. We understand that elections are part and parcel of a democratic system. However, may I remind you that democracy, by definition, requires much more than elections. Democracy does not materialize once every four years; it is a process that needs to take place every day. For a government to assume voting alone represents all requirements for a democratic society does not only fail its citizens but also fails its own institutional role which renders it obsolete. The dangerous illusion that voting alone brings about democracy is an ideological veil aimed at limiting the rightful engagement of all Canadians in politics.

          Is this a concept that is too challenging for you to understand?

        • MSFU

          OH by the way, did you know that Hitler was also democratically elected by 37% of the population. Way to go Fred. You can sit there and criticize and call as many names as you like.

          It is obvious that with internet surveillance, censorship, dictated wages and pension on workers while gov. staff retire with $3.3 million dollars is the epitome of democracy.

          Canada is getting closer to China and its communist structure. It only takes just a little critical thinking and connecting the dots to see it.

          How about you take some time off from calling people names and actually try connecting the dots…

  • Anonymous

    A perfect example of Conservatives being ruled by their enlarged amygdala.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      … or Jack with his swollen and inflamed prostate …. and BoboRae with his injured ego ….

      • Anonymous

        Another perfect example of being ruled by a swollen amygdala. Lashing out with ad hominems.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

          HEY!!!! … I stated facts … you blurted rubbish … from your swollen amygdala … so obvious … LOL

  • Huckleberry Farper

    I had always thought that Harper suffered from sociopathy and paranoid delusion and this is further proof.

    “Kudos” to the idiots that voted this guy his majority and even bigger “kudos” to the lazy slobs that didn’t bother to vote at all (sarcasm).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      True sociopaths always think others suffer from paranoid delusion … like those who think they should have won the election because 60% of Canadians didn’t vote Conservative.

      Kudos to Canadians who wisely and prudently voted in a Majoriity Conservative Gov’t led by All-Canadian PM Stephen Harper (and not that neocon interloping imposter the Liberals were flogging in futility) … for Four more years …!!!!

      • guest

        The true NeoCons are the Reform/Alliance coalition currently in power. The thinking process of our PM is laid bare in this and numerous other articles that are currently being aired. The majority of Canadians do not support this imperialist path and as more truths are unveiled even the silly propaganda being spewed will be understood as such by more and more reasonable people. This government has a powerful propaganda machine so please try to read “between” the lines a little more.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

          Generally speaking, “neocons” are liberals who have gone partly conservative. Ignatieff was known in the USA as the preeminent academic neocon providing support for the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld regime and their adventures in the ME.

          What you and most insecure Leftovers fear is the fact that Western Canada now starts at the Ottawa River because a “majority” of Canadians voted Conservative. Eastern Canada is Quebec and the Maritimes … both “have-not” economic basket cases.

          Soon it will dawn on Western Canadians that separation from Eastern Canada will be the best solution to national aspirations. All the angry, unhappy Leftovers can then emigrate to Eastern Canada and live in that socialist paradise.

          • Dr.Obvious

            Quebec actually contributes a vast portion of Canada’s GDP. In 2010 it was the second largest economy in Canada. It also has a consistently growing economy as opposed to the 3 other largest Canadian economies (Ontario, Alberta, and BC) which all declined.

            Also, what we fear is that our country is now run by a man who clearly has issues with control, and terrible notions on governance such as dumping tax money into privatized prisons while crime (in particular violent crime) is at a 50 year low.

            Also, name-calling? Really??

          • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

            Quebec is STILL making things. Yes, they haven’t disposed of their manufacturing sector. They actually export wind turbines to the USA. I think that Ontario and Quebec should, together, form a new nation and leave the rest to the Facsists.

          • Ruth Dunlop

            You may want to take a closer look at Harper’s genealogy before you start slamming the Maritimes. Joseph Harris Harper, Stevie’s dad, left Moncton NB. in the ’50s and went to Toronto where Stevie was spawned. The Harpers have been in the Westmoreland County area of New Brunswick since the late 1700′s when they immigrated here from Yorkshire England. His family history is way more Maritime than it is Albertan.

          • DMsmith

            Unfortunately, Ruth is right, and as a resident of New Brunswick I am not proud of the fact, especially since I grew up in Yorkshire and then spent many years in Alberta…I seem to be dogging Harper footsteps wherever I go. Not a proud Canadian right now.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

            35% of Canadians voted Conservative, this is hardly a majority, and of those about 60% still support the government. Apparently the rest got a government they did not want. This Fascist government has to go, by whatever means necessary, and I suggest that those who voted for it should leave Canada or face prison sentences, what they have done amounts to war.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

          They’re Fascists, not Neo Cons. The Democrats in the USA are Neo Cons.

    • Fred_hayek100

      I too must be a sociopath. I feel nothing but pride and pleasure as I witness the pain and anguish of angst-ridden, hand-wringing progressives as they watch what they thought was their country yanked from under their feet. Enjoy the next 4 years. I know I will!!

    • RH

      I would’ve voted if there was a candidate in my area who represented my views, but there wasn’t, so I didn’t.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lorincdm Lorinc Del Motte

        I felt the same way: Harper is a machine boss with a persecution complex, Ignatieff was a neocon, Layton struck me as slick and shallow with no substance, the Bloc had no appeal for me because I’m a New Brunswicker, and I was worried that the Green party would be hard green.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

        When in doubt NDP or Green.

    • the_idiot_you’ve_never_met

      I guess I’m an idiot and the kicker here is you don’t even know who I am!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

      People who fail to vote should receive a monetary fine and or prison sentence. Not voting in a democracy is equivalent to bombing the nation.

  • http://twitter.com/a_UsualSuspect Kelly

    If Obama appeared on TV and said “the world is a messy, complex place but there is no evidence this complexity is a threat to America…” he would be laughed off the stage and removed from office.

  • fundy lady

    I am sure you are no where near as intelligent as the PM, so don’t bother even trying to understand anything as complex as global and historical international developments. Our PM is an important figure on the international stage, and I believe in time history will prove him to have been a serious minded political figure who endures and has great vision. Not you though.

    • MSFU

      What??? Important figure on the international stage? Holy where did you get that? Our reputation has decline so fast with the asbestos export, support of countries that engage in human violations, and for not recognizing Palestine as a state… Woman, you need to read.

    • Artangeles

      Harper only sees the world complexity through his economic christian eyes. Burn the witches that’s what church people always do. Murder those that do not believe as you do. He may well become a figure that becomes marked in history as one of the worst warmongers Canada ever produced. He will certainly receive the award as the worst steward of the natural world and of the people that he is supposed to lead.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who doesn’t think the world is a dangerous place should read some history.

    • Artangeles

      Starting with the history of Churches. Thats where most of the wars and conflict are born.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Stothart/528963923 Harold Stothart

    This column seems to want to slur Harper bigtime. Ignore it.

  • http://twitter.com/Rose215 Rose215

    This is a narrow and mean-spirited “take away” from a thoughtful and wide-ranging interview. Harper gives us a much clearer picture of his thinking regarding foreign affairs than Liberals ever did (check out Dreamland for a good analysis of the lack of an articulated policy reflecting our interests that we have suffered for years.) Your commentary is classic example of seeing only what you expect to see — neither thoughtful, nuanced or well supported argument.

  • dsaar

    CheenaEagleGraham
    Seek help.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————–What could there possibly be to be afraid of other than the fact the world economy is in the crapper and unlikely to recover(Which history shows always leads to WAR on a major scale), the world reserve currency that ALL countries trade in is in the crapper, All signs point to a staple food shortage world wide, the enviro carbon scam continues to rob countries of the energy needed to even begin a recovery, Islam continues on further conquest while the world sleeps or HELPS, Marxist Obama,Communist China, The massively corrupt UN, Putin’s regime, A bankrupt EU and if that’s not enough there is the erratic behavior of our SUN, The speeding up of the celestial progression, the wandering magnetic north, the gaps in our magnetic field and the recent tilting of Earth’s axis after the Japan earthquake.
    Naw it’s all good, nothin to worry about.

    • Anonymous

      Dear dsaar – I did not say there was nothing to be concerned about …. what I said reflected on the point that he couldn’t answer a simple question. Perhaps you should read it again – harpo and his buddies are a large part of the reason the world economy is in the tanker – also that, in case you hadn’t heard, Canada’s role/reputation has changed, from Peacekeeper to Warmonger, with harpo in the lead.
      Yes, I don’t deny there will be a staple food shortage; and a pertinent question to ask regarding that is ‘why’ the Federal gov’t(s), Canada and the U.S. are continuing to allow local boss hawgs to threaten people that are growing their own food – imagine, fines and jail time for growing your own foods!!
      Innocent women/children being bombed in Libya – for what? Oh, right, “for democracy”; if that’s true, (and harpo is especially on board with that) why are most of the Libyans demonstrating that they want the gov’t they presently have? Hmm, interesting .. I have a theory about that – it’s really about their gold mostly, then oil, both of which Africa has in abundance.
      Now, there are some things to think about that are really scary! Oh, and let me just nudge your memory about how he has no concern for the peoples of India/other poor countries he is sentencing to death – where he is shipping Canada’s asbestos. And no concern about continuing the worst environmental disaster in the world – the Tarsands!! lol – just noticed H Stothart’s comment about ‘slurring’ harpo – No Harold, it’s stating the truth about him!! Do some honest research – but please be sitting when you do it….

      • Anonymous

        He didn’t answer the question because he didn’t want to. There is enough going on in the world that adding more issues publicly only causes greater worry. Remember he sees all the intelligence and threat reports everyday. Sometimes its better to hold your tongue than to say everything you are thinking. I think the PM chose discretion.

      • Dirtyrat

        “The worst environmental disaster in the world – the Tarsands.”

        You complain that the world economy is in the toilet, yet you’d willingly shut down the largest, most profitable industry in the country. And you admonish others to “do some research”?

        Seriously, how does one even begin to confront such cognitive dissonance?

        • MSFU

          LOL is your own limitation that is caught up in a superficial contradiction. If you have the time, think a little more before you type… think about the issue within a context of the larger neo-liberal agenda whereby the economic crisis is actually created by the same policies you are trying to defend.

          See, contradiction is inherent in capitalism. And this same contradiction is what will bring capitalism to its end. I am sorry you dont see how this might be possible because you only engage at a superficial level.

          Is the largest, most profitable industry in the country worth the environmental damages and the social implications of its profits. I dont think so. But then, i am pretty sure you cant really think that deep.

  • Anonymous

    Harper lives in the land of delusion and illusion and he’s scared stiff of it. The problem with giving him power is that he will make very bad decisions concerning reality. Watch out Canada your biggest threat is Harper and his “complex” illusions.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      You are either ignorant or drunk or both ….

      • Dirtyrat

        Ignorance.

        I’ve been drunk before, and I’ve never posted anything as self-contradictory as Tarnfeathers.

        Harper is “scared stiff”, yet in the same paragraph, “…your biggest threat is Harper.” Really now, who is scared stiff?

        • Anonymous

          Funny, I don’t see his comments as self-contradictory at all …… I think he’s absolutely right! harpo is scared stiff, cuz w/o his owners/handlers he has no idea(s) of his own. He depends on those who pull his strings to give him direction, and it never occurs to him that he is being used for THEIR benefit!! …. that’s what makes him Canada’s biggest threat!

      • Bugzy

        One could say the same about you FRED A. I would add stoned for the past 5 or so years. Be careful what you wish for Fred. One day you will eventually grow up and start using a bit of common sense instead of being blinded by hate and showing blinded hate for those who do not agree with you.

        And I agree with Tarnfeathers. our biggest threat is Harper the man with a talent for lies, bullying and lack of keeping promises he has made and also by a bunch of followers and supporters he has developed who are as sick as he is.

      • MSFU

        AND YOU ARE BLIND AS A BAT…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

    PM Harper is right to anticipate and prepare for a world conflict around the Middle East. Islamic extremist terrorism is on the rise and the vanguard of Islam is in Canada … almost a million. Should there be a holocaust unleashed in the ME, you can bet that Canada will get torn apart by the covert terrorists in our midst, particularly in our major cities. They can easily disrupt our essential infrastructure in retaliation for Canada’s participation in ME conflicts.

    We know Harper’s Canada supports Israel, and if the ME goes up in flames we will get drawn in. We will also be at risk for domestic sabotage, and that is why our military and police must be shored up.

    10,000 homegrown terrorists easily armed with 10,000 Chinese AK47s (@$1,000 = $10 Million) could quickly overwhelm our police and military. Canada is a sitting duck for volunteer terrorists in our midst … believe it. Perhaps that’s why Harper is retaining the LGR list of loyal Canadians with rifles as a home militia he can call upon to fight for Canada in Canada.

    Let us heed PM Harper’s concern for Canada’s welfare and security in a dangerous world, because somebody has got to be “afraid”.

    • Anonymous

      Given that approx. 1.3 million immigrants were welcomed into Canada since cons. came into office, I wonder that this didn’t occur to them before! DUH!! And no, ‘harpo’s canada’ doesn’t support Israel – harpo and his party may, but definitely not the majority of Canadians!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

        I suppose in your twisted extremist mind a majority of Canadians support Hamas and Hezbollah … but not the Israeli democracy. Well, we know know where your loyalties lay … and it’s not with a democratic Canada.

        Just think of this …. 10,000 homegrown terrorists armed with 10,000 easily obtainable Chinese AK47s (@$1,000 = $10 Million) could quickly overwhelm our police and military. Of course you wouldn’t fear that outcome because we know where your loyalties lay.

        • Greenmoon

          Um…..Fred……….you sound as paranoid as Harpsie. As if the rest of the free world would let Canada be invaded or terrorized. C’mon, ……the terror in this country is committed by a developing police state and the sale of our country to the US, all at the hands of Canada. Thanks to him, we are a laughing stock around the World.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

            Greenmoon …. PM Harper is a forward thinking leader who must consider all possibilities … from a global economic meltdown to homegrown terrorists in our midst and they are there ready to move against a democratic Canada once the order is given to launch attacks. Of course there are naive Canadians who would stick their heads in the sand and declare all is well in Canada and the world at large … if only Canada was loved more and without a majority Conservative gov’t.

            As for ‘paranoia’, methinks that resides in your mind … “police state”?? … oh come off it …!!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Mckelvey/724341566 Dylan Mckelvey

            I can’t help but point out that there wouldn’t be nearly as large of a problem with religious extremism from Muslims if it weren’t for our neighbours to the south pillaging Iraq in the name of their right-wing ideologies. They hollowed out the country and angered all of the citizens there as they did it. They left Iraqis with nowhere to turn but religious extremist groups.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

            … and Harvard professor Doktor Ignatieff supported the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan to the hilt and even advocated “lesser evils” such as “torture, targeted assassination, denial of rights, preemptive war” … all in defence of his beloved America.

            Didn’t year you complaining about that …!!!!

          • MSFU

            Paranoid is what Harper as proven by his own answer. You are clueless…

        • MSFU

          where is the evidence of this? where are you pulling this numbers from. are you an expert in the field? and AK47 is being sold by the USA to Mexican drug lords who massacre their own people… so… i am assuming you just dont really engage with the news. Probably spoonfed with 45 sec clips on tv…

  • http://twitter.com/Druids Terry Wiens

    Mr. Harper has a very dangerous thinking process. In less than five years he has alienated us from the internatinal community while polarizing a nation. This polarization has contributed to an increase in hate crimes in Canada not seen in the last twenty years. This type of bigotted hate shows up in many online posts being spouted against anyone who may express a difference of opinion with the Harper ideology. If you disagree you are automatically a “leftist, lazy, pinko”. And he has managed to do without telling anyone a thing except rhetorical lines from his well scripted play book. It seems to think Canadians don’t want or need details.

    • http://twitter.com/Rose215 Rose215

      Harper has not polarized the nation — the nation has been polarized for a very long time, though our awareness of this increases with the availability of online dialogue — and the situation was exacerbated further by the minority Parliament we had for a number of years. Let us not blame Harper or Conservatives for the bigotry shown in online posts. To be fair, there is plenty of bigotry displayed on both sides of the political spectrum. (I see many references to knuckle-draggers, red necks, Jesus freaks, etc. coming from the left.) Your own views express hostility toward Harper and his supporters, supported mostly by rhetoric and buzz words with no substantial argument to back them up.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry Rose – rhetoric and buzz words are the fodder the cons. use….. they have nothing else. And sorry, T. Weins, for responding to the response ……. lol …

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

          Iggo lost, harpo won and Jacko is now a quebecois mouthpiece. Strange though it’s BoboRae and Coderre on CTV News standing in front of the Champlain Bridge in Montreal declaring that if the bridge collapses it’s the fault of the Conservative gov’t … but not the Charest gov’t ….!!!!

          Talk about rhetoric … because Liberals have nothing else ….LOL

        • MSFU

          So this must be where Harper supporters come to add their support.. they do not dare doing it on twitter… lol

          To those very optimistic about Harper’s strong stable economy: we will hit a financial crisis similar to the US probably next year… and it wouldn’t matter whether you voted for CPC or not Harper won’t be there for you. His cuts and austerity measures will slowly begin affecting your lives as well…

          He promised you jobs yet instead of creating them he is constantly cutting them. He is also cutting funds for education and arts… let’s hope your children are the kind that do not enjoy education…

          You can support him all you want, but your interests are not Harper’s interests. And the sooner you decide to actually remove the ideological veil and examine the present situation, perhaps you will start understanding the outrage and sense of indignation that is materializing in Canada.

          I bet Harper supporters are also unaware of the global revolt taking place that started in Tunisia to Egypt, from Spain to Greece, Ireland, France, and even Britain. Revolutions also happening in south American countries and one is soon to happen here… so inform yourselves and watch the world start rejecting governments that prioritize corporate interests while ignoring the real needs of Canadians.

          Check it our: Spanish Revolution. Italian Revolution. Greek Revolution. Irish Revolution. French Revolution. Brazilian Revolution. Mexican Revolution. Also in New York & Boston…

          While the world is waking up, you are still living within an ideological narrative.. dont you watch the news? Today, it was reported that Al Qaeda never existed and it was actually crafted to invade Middle East…

          You need to start waking up for your own sake.

          Hey Cheena! I am here in Solidarity! love!

          • Anonymous

            Are you a member of the Weather Underground? You do realize that various “progressive” malcontents have been calling for “revolution” since the 1960s don’t you? With exactly the same results.

          • MSFU

            LOL is that proof of your conceptual limitations? Think human revolution revolving around ideas of humanity and solidarity before profits. HOW ABOUT THAT?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      Terry Wiens asserts: “Mr. Harper has a very dangerous thinking process.”

      How would you have classified Dr. Michael Ignatieff’s “thinking process” and had been elected PM of Canada?

      In his 2004 treatise entitled “Lesser Evils” he advocated “torture, targeted assassination, denial of rights, preemptive war” as necessary evils to defend his beloved American republic.

      One must wonder what he considered “Greater Evils” … and what he would have unleashed on Canadians had he been elected PM of Canada.

  • Anonymous

    In an information age when there is an abundance of information and no ability to filter and when we have the strongest communication systems (social media), but no way to get a message across to the people, complexity is the biggest threat of all. Simplifying probably is the only way to solve the problem. In the wars of old, it was easy to identify the enemy, but such is not the case today.

    In managing any problem, awareness of a possible threat is a key first step. Any strategic management course will tell you that. Breaking the problem/threat down comes soon after and developing a concrete risk management plan is critical. We should be thankful Harper is such a big picture thinker and that he is willing to consider all the threats even if he can’t yet articulate all of them. It is a far better stance than keeping your head in the sand. Someone famous once said, “Those who choose to forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.” I know that’s not an exact quote, but the point is clear.

    • Anonymous

      I am sure Harper gets a lot of his foreign policy ideas from John Hagee of the Cornerstone Baptist church in San Antonio Texas.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

        ^^^ neuro-psycho-whacko^^^

  • Anonymous

    Harper is a neocon and quite possibly a Christian Dominionist who sees the world in the same light as Sarah Palin and John Hagee.One of his top ministers Jason Kenney is almost certainly in that mould. They long for Armageddon and the return of Jesus. Of course Christians have been looking forward to that for 2000 years. These are dangerous people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      Our current society and western civilization evolved from Christian values. Perhaps you would prefer to live in Cuba, Venezuela, China, NKorea …. or is your credo “submit or death” …??!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Mckelvey/724341566 Dylan Mckelvey

        And we’re rightly trying to make the shift away from that.

        Lets not revert back to the ways of our black-hating, gay-bashing ancestors, please!

        Also, Science is a good thing! Harper doesn’t seem to think so, though. I’ll see you in the dark ages.

      • Anonymous

        I am somewhat loathe to respond to your comment, you make so many that they actually are quite boring. I will however try to explain to you that rejecting Christian Dominionsm is not rejecting Christianity per se. I would also add that I have no intention of leaving my beloved Canada and I am too much of a gentleman to suggest that you should go somewhere although I must admit that Hell rings a bell.

    • Anonymous

      Kenny is a Catholic, not an evangelical revivalist. Nice try though.

      • Anonymous

        Christian Dominionists are not confined to any one denomination of Christendom but cross the whole spectrum.

  • Robertjb2

    Too bad that the war on terrorism is totally exaggerated and used as a club to justify an out of control militarist corporate welfare state and the abrogation of freedoms and civil liberties.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-Mckelvey/724341566 Dylan Mckelvey

      Oh I know! Iraqis are much more hostile now than we ever could have imagined them to be before the invasion.

      Back then, a majority of them would have supported a secular government… now, they’ve turned to religious extremism because that is all that has been left to them in the country that the US hollowed out. Now Harper cites Islam Extremists as a source of danger. Of course they are! I’d be shocked if they weren’t angry at the rest of the world for what happened.

  • Robertjb2

    Too bad that our media, totally derelict in its duty, and lacking in any real integerity, continually fail to address the critical issues of our time in an honest, forth right and insightful manner. The media is part of the problem, part of the political corruption and the moral and political decay just becomes more pervaisve. Time to start asking the hard questions and quit lobbinjg soft pitches.

  • Robertjb2

    Canada led by Harper, like other NATO countries, has simply become a toady to US foreign policy. The US is in the business of manufacturing fear, fascism and fiscal ruin for all.

  • Anonymous

    I get the sense that Harper sees foreign policy principally as a way to throw raw meat to his right-wing base in a policy area where he thinks most Canadians won’t object because they don’t care.

    I’m undecided on whether he is right or wrong in his expectations of non-conservative Canadians, but it seems likely that Canada will continue to be the global flag-carrier for foreign policies that will win applause from two influential constituencies — his base, and U.S right wing bloggers — while alienating two constituencies that matter little to him – most of the world, and the majority of Canadians.

    It’s going to be a long slog for Canadians.

  • http://twitter.com/Real_Dr_Roy eapr9

    So much for the cic being non partisan. I quit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      The CIC will soon lose it’s government funding and vanish … just watch.

  • Dirtyrat

    “What is Stephen Harper afraid of?”

    Reading the comments here and elsewhere, I notice a very consistent theme: Progressives call Harper “paranoid” and “reactionary” for believing the world is a scary, unstable place….. then go on to warn of all kinds of environmental, economic and social calamities – caused by Harper. Very often these views are expressed in the very same post!

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people capable of such extreme congnitive dissonance lack the self-awereness to identify the glaring contradictions in their message.

    Here’s a clue: The “Stephen Harper is a big, bad, scary monster” theme that worked so well for you in the past isn’t working anymore. That horse is dead; all further beatings are futile. At least TRY to come up with something else. It’s not as if you lack the time. You’ve got four years.

  • Brucegardens

    Mr. Harper is all about republican scare tactics. It worked for him in the last election and in dealing with any one who opposes the Harper Docturine. Just look at the CRTC. Canada’s budget was never balanced and never will be under the “Harper Goverment” As a great economist he seems to have forgotten that cash is king and quandered the liberal surplus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-A-Quesnel/100000572311867 Fred A. Quesnel

      The “liberal surplus” was not “profit … it was “over-taxation”. PM Harper and Finance Minister Flaherty are committed to reducing oppressive “liberal” taxation and allowing Canadians to handle their own money instead of inefficiently filtering it through gov’t hands.

      Libs + Dips = High Taxes … for services of little to no value to the beleaguered Canadian taxpayer.

      Death to the Taxmongers …!!!!

      • MSFU

        You advocating violence… nice… you must be harper himself. i will take note of this. i will remember you and your call for death.

  • Anonymous

    If Harper had said that Communist China emerging as the world’s largest economic power is a threat, he would have been skewered by progressive op-ed authors for months and would have had to deal with Chinese trade abrasions. What I’m seeing here is anger from the jackals deprived of their meat.

    And as horrifying as it may seem to elite cosmopolitan internationalists, not everyone desires a national leader whose first priority is appeasing the “international community”.

  • Lancemacho

    And who says that the US being able to “shape outcomes and protect our interests” is a good thing? Are those intrests commercial? In which case, it is good for those directly involved. What if those interests clash with the “greater good” interest of allowing others to develop in ways they see fit (assuming they are not in direct assult on us)? Is the US protecting those interests? Hardly….

  • always Maple

    Harper’s is absolutely correct and only an ignorant person would think that all is peaceful and the world isn’t facing constant threat . Only a few jurisdictions have true peace which themselves are constantly under pressure from outside extremist view. The fact is there is more turmoil over the world than peace and peaceful regions often hold a tenuous peace. I think Harper is only remarking on the obvious that we must always be diligent in protecting what we have and not relying on others to do it for us. I think to suggest he is fear mongering is once again ignorant in the same way to suggest that Canada’s military history is peacekeeping only. Canada has always taken a stand based on our moral principals and should continue to do so if we wish to protect what we cherish.

    • Artangeles

      There will never be peace in armed camps. Most world leaders are creating war for financial gain. Live by the sword die by it. If Canada is built of the foundation of an arms industry we will not have peace. This is the direction Harper is taking us. Into the abyss of pain suffering and death. If you do not wake from your slumber you will die in your sleep.

  • Artangeles

    CANADA read as CAN America Dominate All
    YES, with PM Harper at the helm of the CON-SERVITUDE party the American take-over is almost complete. We can now rejoice in becoming America’s military puppet.

  • SeekingTruth

    I am respectful of posts that forward dialogue* related to analysis, because I can learn from them. I am disapointed by sarcasm and posts that demean* those with different political ideaologies, because they widen the gap between neighbours. Imagine attending a Canada Day BBQ where people just insult each other. Now imagine people are curious to understand each other. Which one would you rather attend? This forum is a valuable opportunity to learn from and ask questions about each other and explore ideas about our complex world. Consider sharing your knowledge rather than your attitude. Please bring your higher self to the discussion.

    *dialogue = communicate to achieve understanding
    *demean = communicate to reduce another’s dignity (make oneself feel more important)

  • Anonymous

    I began to worry about Harper’s agenda when. Harper gave a speech, at the Council of Foreign Relations, in New York, Sept 25/2007. He fully endorsed the N.A.U.

    Wikileaks has said, the N.A.U. is just around the corner. The American people, are dead set against the NAU. They fear being overrun by Mexicans. The U.S. people want to keep the U.S. sovereign. I’m sure, Canadians feel the same about Canada. The American people are going to fight the NAU, to the very last ditch.

    Then I read. Harper delivers his speech, on Global Governance for Canada. Everyone present were shocked by what Harper said.

    Harper gave, banks, mines, huge corporations, gas and oil company’s, billions of our tax dollars. I watched that motion pass, on the House of Commons TV channel. He also gives them, large tax reductions. He gave them another reduction, which comes off Canadians paychecks. Why is Harper giving our tax dollars, to the wealthiest corporations in the world?

    I was also alarmed when, Harper had Guelph University stormed, to stop the students from voting. They even tried to seize the ballot boxes. Canada is supposed to be democratic. An article in an Australian newspaper said, how badly Canada’s democracy was being eroded.

    Harper has caused Canada, to be disrespected by many country’s. He embarrassed Canada, at Copenhagen. He lost Canada’s seat in the U.N. Whenever there is a meeting of Nations, Campbell always angers, the other politicians. At the last meeting, Harper refused to co-operate with the other Nations.

    Harper is in trouble with Europe, over the dirty Alberta tar sands. They are banning the dirty tar sands energy. Scientists have found acid in the ocean, right up to the shores of BC. They had thought, the acid was way out in the deep. The acid eats the shells off crustaceans. Coral reefs are turning brown. The oceans are dying. They have absorbed all the carbon monoxide they can bear. This is a serious wake-up call. We need to start using renewable energy. At some point, mother nature has to trump greed.

  • Anonymous

    I read. Harper at the meeting of, the Council of Foreign Relations, in New York, Sept 25/2007. That is an eyeopener.

    Harper sent his henchmen to storm, Guelph University to stop the students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes. That is a paranoid dictator. That type of behavior, has been common to many dictators, through the ages. Stalin and Hitler murdered millions because of paranoia. Because they were horrible, evil persons, they thought everyone else were just like them. Millions of innocent people lost their lives for, doing absolutely nothing wrong. Harper is so paranoid, about scientists publishing their results, he has muzzled them. Scientists are forced to have their results, heavily edited by Harper’s henchmen. More paranoia.

    Harper wasn’t in contempt of the House for nothing. He also had a 3X convicted felon working for him. There is $50 million missing. Harper was beside himself, rabid and frantic to win the election. The American people are dead set against the NAU. They despise Harper and say, his election win was rigged. They say, the robot calls to aid Harper, came from the U.S.

    Harper has grandiose ideas, he wants to be a super power, for our vast source of energy. He wants all that power and glory. That’s why he freaked out during the campaign, even begging for a majority. However, other country’s politicians are snickering at him behind his back. One said, Harper is a petty gasbag. He is known for his arrogance, being stubborn and being impossible to work with.

    He embarrassed Canada in Copenhagen. He lost Canada’s seat in the U.N. He threatened Russia over territory in the high Arctic. At meetings of the Nations, he always manages to anger, pretty much everyone else present. He refused to co-operate at the last meeting. The grand daddy of all embarrassments, was he sent, the corrupt, evil, thieving criminal, ex Premier Campbell of BC, to England as High Commissioner. England may wake up and find, Campbell has thieved and sold, their entire marine fleet.

    Harper should keep his mouth shut, and be thought a fool, rather than opening it, and removing all doubt.. He is consistent at, making an ass of himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorincdm Lorinc Del Motte

    It’s official, Harper’s nuts!

  • http://twitter.com/mollyalice99 Molly Grove
  • http://twitter.com/jackie_t07 lilmiss2010

    What happens when the majority of eligible voters dont vote? What if the people no longer think any of the candidates are worthy voting for? Maybe we need to introduce Bill C999 that allows people the right to revoke their right to be governed by the eligible candidates and government if the majority refused to vote? If we were a democracy you would think we would not only have a small handful of candidates to vote for, but also have a system where the people can (peacefully) vote no to a government that is no longer serving the best interests of the majority. Canada is far from a free country, and more like a friendly dictatorship. In BC you can work full time, and still go into debt every month just paying rent and buying groceries. Modern day slavery is rampant if comparing income to cost of living and amount of work performed. Instead, we are oppressed until the people bring about a revolution. After 6000 years of failed governments throughout the course of history, you would think we would learn by now. I want the monetary system gone. Replace it with a Resource Based Economy in which all of the worlds resources are declared a common heritage of all the worlds people. The separation of the classes needs to go, along with all forms of discrimination. We could stop competing with each other and start cooperating to build communities that are sustainable. Build things to last as long as possible instead of breaking down so companies can maximise their profits. Inventions should not be patented… The whole purpose of inventing something is to make the world better, not to use new technology to oppress the majority of the population. We currently have the technology to build Resource Based Economies that are operated mostly with technology that currently exists. Machines can currently replace 97% of the working people! Currently as technology advances unemployment will continue to rise. Instead of shortening work days and increasing wages companies have utilised these technologies in big factories while laying off huge numbers of people. Instead of helping the people, technology has become a tool to oppress us, and until we dissolve the monetary system we have a right to fear advances in technology. Companies flaunting “green energy” were, for years, lying to us selling the public products that were no more “green” than regular products. Meanwhile calculators operated by solar power have been around for a few decades, yet why sell solar power to us? They would start losing money if we reduced consumption. Why don’t we have transit operated by the push and pull force of magnets?

    It’s time for change. Technology has advanced incredibly fast over the last 50 years. It’s time we catch up to the benefits they were meant to provide for all of humanity. Equality worldwide is actually possible. In a Resource Based Economy, instead of being taught a false reality of food scarcity, there would actually be an abundance for everyone and not just some people. In the words of Jacques Fresco inventor of The Venus Project, “If you don’t want war, poverty, hunger, we must declare as a common heritage the worlds resources for all of humanity.” This will be the biggest hurdle to jump to see history in the making. Watch Jacques Fresco talk about The Venus Project on YouTube. If you like his ideas talk about it with others. I guarantee you will never look back to our current government because it is absolutely backwards from the direction we should be moving.

    • carpenterdave

      If you work every day of your life and you are going into debt you either don’t have any self control or financial discipline or you don’t live in Canada. Changing the leadership isn’t going to help anybody master their personal finances. I recommend reading some books and talking to people who are successful with their money. The people with the lowest income in Canada today still have it better than slaves, in my humble opinion.
      Also, all this talk about a resource-based economy sounds like what the bolsheviks had in mind. Communism failed because people respond to incentives and the incentives sucked in the communist system.
      Furthermore, there are people out there who will sell you solar power, but it’s a lot more expensive than conventional forms. Maybe if you master your personal finances you can invest in solar power, make better technology that can produce electricity cheaper, and create an enormous benefit to everybody! Much better than complaining about money. (And there ARE trains that use the push/pull power of magnets in Japan: they’re called maglev trains and they use a shitload of electricity.)

      • lilmiss2010

        Well in my humble opinion, so long as you are a consumer in today’s world, you’re getting screwed. Remember the old telephones that we used to use? You know, how you could beat the crap out of them and they wouldn’t break? Now we have the cheapest plastic things that break if you drop it once. Funny how big businesses profit when people have to continuously replace items that are purposely made to break easily. Back when phone companies had to repair phones they made them strong and durable so they wouldnt have to send repair man to fix them. Instead of making things to break as soon as the warranty expires, in a Resource Based Economy items would be built to last as long as possible. Meanwhile, all current big businesses profit more if we consume more. Therefore, almost everything we buy is junk. It also explains why I refuse most medication. Our Universal Health Care may sound great, and it is for pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs. They also benefit from people being sick, so they don’t really want people to be healthy do they? Check out clinicaltrials.gov or MAPS (Multidisciplenary Association Psychedelic Studies). MAPS latest studies involve treating patients with PTSD with MDMA. Now solar power we have been using in calculators for how long? Yet big businesses would have lost a lot of money if we would have become self sufficient a long time ago. While our government has been promoting “green” technology for how long? Good advertising for companies that care little about saving the planet, if you ask me.

        The reason I complain about money is because it corrupts everything it touches. Greed gets the best of people, and children die of hunger and preventable diseases. These things don’t just happen in other countries, but in Canada too. The average cost of a home in Vancouver is $1,000,000 and if you have read enough books to know everything about being financially responsible please enlighten me. Explain to me how someone (for example working 40 hours/week @ $10.50/hour who is a single parent that pays $850/month in daycare and receives $386/month in child tax) can own a home in Vancouver and how they would achieve that? Keep in mind the cost of living in BC. I really am curious because maybe I just need some insight from someone who has a strategy.

  • sociologist

    Fascist pig.

  • Gyhollo

    Why is anyone surprised at Harper peddling fear?
    Those who studied history know that all right wing governments live off fear!

  • Jrm619

    Readers should verify for themselves te links between Harper’s thinking and the Dominionist religious/political movement. Start at places like the Dominion Outreach Centre in Gloucester (Ottawa) and Bill Prankard, James Dobson, Charles McVety, etc. Scary folks who believe in a Christian government with biblical laws. Big in the US, but common in circles here like the religions associated with the old Social Credit, etc. Start with the Gloucester group, and follow links with in links.

  • Marilyn19505

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. Of Harper.

  • Bob Vincent

    Moral Clarity? Does he understand the meaning of either term? Does he understand what using them together means?

  • Emmanuel Reddekopp

    This is an unsual slap to Harper and government. Harper is knows the problems and doesnt deny that there is a problem. This article likes to sprinkle cupcakes over every issue and say, “Everything is going to okay”. Harper understands what problems are ahead, and is doing everything he can to be prepared for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariadne.etienne Ariadne Etienne

    Harper is afraid of Democracy, transparency, media, knowledge, and the intelligent class of people who understand what he is (sociopathic fascist) and what he is doing (selling a nation for a staggering profit). The man must be stopped at all costs. The entire conservative party should be in prison while the RCMP investigates the literally tens of thousands of crimes that have been committed in as little as two years.