Monday, September 10, 2007

George misses the point, but maple leaf just bores

I shall return to Canada’s Stephen Harper, mainly because George W is simply far more interesting. APEC showed the best (or worst) from the leaders from the eastern Pacific Rim.

George was a study in the inability to comprehend. To be fair, George had a few hundred aides in this masterpiece so we are starting to believe he is a magnet for stupidity. Works for me, given our almost former PM is so attached.

Mr Bush, President Sir etc, obviously had no idea that he was at an economic forum with a focus on Pacific Rim countries. Mr Bush had a message, and a message, and a message… Forget the matter of fitting the agenda.

So what did Mr President first want to talk about? Let’s try:

Iraq, not really on the agenda, but he tried.

War on Terror folks? Sorry Pres, seems no-one gives a rats arse there either.

Iran then, let’s try Iran…. No luck there either.

Then George really reaches into the bag of tricks:

Democracy, let’s promote democracy!!! This is when the emergency medical crews turned out to deal with the mass hysteria among the 21 leaders and their keepers. Bloody democracy! That is a novel idea.

The old Maple Leaf

Then there was Stephen. I recall campaigning against Harper’s conservatives. Partly because they aren’t; even Harper promised that he had no ideology, no fire; I think Harper is safe, but so are condoms. The point being, something gets lost in the translation or lack of it.

Did I say translation? He gave a speech that was boring in two languages - English and French. I have grown to like Harper, well he’s a bloody economist, boring or not I think he tries to think.

I’ve developed a measured admiration for Stephen Harper. Sure he wants to survive politically and is willing to sacrifice bits and pieces to achieve that. But I have a growing feeling that, economically at least, Harper is a pragmatist working hard to maintain a reasonable balance.

Don’t whip me for that. The political reality is that there is not much else. It is better than the attempts of his buddy in DC. Nothing can ever be good enough in politics, but an awareness of economic realities isn’t a bad start.

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