Title: Holy Bizzaro World, Batman!
Description: discuss the possible decline and fall of the Harper empire based on recent events regarding Harper's handling of the Afghanistan issues as well as the Environmental issue. ( more )
Tags: Harper Baird Dion environment Canada Afghanistan global warming election
Lloyd MacIlquham, B.Sc., M.Sc., J.D.
Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
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Meanwhile, back in the Bat Cave . . .
Robin and Batman discuss the possible decline and fall of the Harper empire based on recent events regarding Harper's handling of the Afghanistan issues as well as the Environmental issue.
Robin: Holy allergies, Batman! are my eyes deceiving me, or does Steven Harper look tired.
Batman: It is allergy season, Robin, but I am not so sure that its pollen thatís got to him.
Robin: Another riddle Batman?
Batman: Well, Robin, it may be that weíre seeing a crack in the dam so to speak.
Robin: How so, Batman?
Batman: Apparently Harper right from the start of his term as Prime Minister has insisted on doing everything himself and not leaving anything to his Ministers or others.
Robin: But he is the leader, Batman.
Batman: Thatís right Robin, but todayís societies, especially in developed, economy based, societies, are very complex. The issues are complex and the solutions even more so. Quite simply, one man cannot run an economy and society the size of Canadaís.
Robin: But why do you say there are cracks in the dam?
Batman: Well, Robin, it seems that he has made a number of mistakes, lately, some which may prove quite serious down the road.
Robin: So, you mean, Batman, the dam could burst!
Batman: Thatís the possibility, Robin. Recently the Minister of Defence announced the purchase of 100 tanks that the Dutch government had mothballed. He touted that Canada needed them now for the Afghanistan war and would be able to use them for the next 10 to 15 years.
Robin: But, Batman, Canadaís present tank situation is in great disrepair.
Batman: Well, Robin, so is Canadaís intercontinental ballistic missile program.
Robin: But, we donít have one and as a society we donít want one. Further, it doesnít make sense in the post Cold War environment.
Batman: Thatís the point, Robin. These tanks could only be used in all-out-ground combat i.e. war. In 2003 Gen. Hillier was apparently quite happy to get rid of the tanks in favour of a single wheeled-vehicle platform since tanks had little utility in post Cold War operations. Use of tanks represents a serious escalation in fighting in Afghanistan.
Also, our mission in Afghanistan was extended by Harper until 2009, if Canadaís needs tanks in Afghanistan, then it would make sense to make some kind of arrangement until then, for example, leasing them for two years.
Robin: But, isnít that what Canada is doing for 20 tanks from Germany?
Batman: Thatís right Robin, and the question is why couldnít they do that to fill all their
Robin: But, how is that a blunder by Harper
Batman: Well, Robin, the Liberal party will probably raise Afghanistan as a key issue in the upcoming election.
Buying tanks for use in Afghanistan and for the next 10 to 15 years raises the implication that the Harper government is looking to extend the war there past 2009. In fact they voted against the recent bill brought forward by the Liberals to end the mission by 2009.
Robin: But so did the NDP
Batman: Yes, Robin, but as we have discussed before, that may just be Layton trying to maintain what power and influence he has and so we should probably discount that.
Robin: Thanks for the insight, Batman. Please continue.
Batman: If the election were in the near future, Afghanistan would be a big problem for Harper. However, if the election were in a year or more, so in mid to late 2008, Harper would simply have to sit tight since any criticism could be answered by pointing out that the mission was only extended to 2009.
By the Minister of Defence making the announcement about tanks and their use for the next 10 to 15 years, it will be very difficult for Harper to take this
Robin: Holy, losing your grip, Batman.
Batman: Of course, the current situation with respect to Canada upholding its Geneva Convention obligations is a prime example of things getting out of control for Harper and he now has two of his Ministerís in on it, with all three making statements that donít seem to fit in with what the others are saying. It may be that he should have left
everything to the Minister of Defence with clear instructions for others to keep out.
Robin: But, Batman, the Minister of Defence was being pounded. Shouldnít other Ministers come to his defence.
Batman: Not when it confuses and obscures the real issues, Robin. The Canadian people have a right
to know and the Harper government has an obligation to tell them, and in a clear and timely fashion.
Robin: Holy lack of Clarity, Batman!
Batman: Harper appears to be losing his grip with respect to the issue of the environment as well.
Robin: How so, Batman.
Batman: Harper introduced the Clear Air Act which received a very negative re-action. He then invited the other parties to make amendments, which they did. It would seem that if Harper re- introduced the amended Clean Air Act it would very likely passed into legislation.
Then, if the election were a year from now or so, when the current dust has settled, he might very well respond to criticism on the environmental issues by saying that he was the one that brought all parties together on this, the most important and non partisan of issues facing us, not only as a nation, but all humanity.
This is what the Canadian people expect of their leader and this is how a minority government ought to work. However, now, it appears, that Harper will not bring this bill as amended forward and so let it die.
The Minister of Environment, just yesterday introduced new regulations under the existing legislation regarding pollution and global
Robin: But, Batman, didnít Harper reject Stephane Dionís argument that the existing legislation is sufficient to deal with these issues, when he introduced his ill-fated Clear Air Act.
Batman: Apparently, so, Robin.
Robin: And, Batman, now they are using the existing legislation to make regulations to give the impression that they are ďtoughĒ on pollution and try to justify not re-introducing the new version of his Clean Air Act, which he himself, invited the other parties to amend.
Batman: Once again you seem to have a clear assessment of the
Robin: Holy Bazzaro World, Batman, what is going on?
Batman: Maybe Harper is trying to convince everyone that the Conservatives, in reality, have a chaotic agenda and not a hidden agenda.
Weíve got to get our Canada back, Robin, before its too late.
© Lloyd MacIlquham, all rights reserved, 27 April, 2007