The question and the answer it elicits reveals Harper as using his position as PM , equating it with American Presidential executive power , to change Canada's fifty years of 'Liberal' foreign policy. While being a minority government! The media focused on the first paragraph of what he said here, the second is far more revealing.
QUESTIONER: Unfortunately, not my question. My name is Kate Kroeger. I'm with the American Jewish World Service. And my question for you, Prime Minister, is a broad one. Do you think that in Canada you're entering the era of minority government? And if so, what do you think the implications are for Canada projecting and executing a coherent foreign policy?
HARPER: Well, Canada now has had two minority governments in a row. If the various conservative parties had been united over the past 14 years, which they weren't until recently, we would have had minority government over that entire period as well. So I think with the current political alignment -- I'm probably not supposed to say this, my election strategist won't like it -- but with the current political alignment, I think the possibility of minority government at any election, including one in the near future, would loom very high.
Does it affect Canada's foreign policy? You know, in terms of the day-to-day setting of priorities and taking of positions on the world stage, not very directly, because quite frankly, this is largely under executive authority. I may be criticized in Parliament for it, but in most cases, if I can make my case to the Canadian people, I can pursue, you know, an aggressive or well-defined foreign policy. And I don't think our government, on anything from the Middle East to -- you know, to Afghanistan to climate change, has had any hesitation in taking well-defined stands and stands that are sometimes highly criticized in Parliament itself.
The opposition parties represent the majority of Canadians while Harpers government represents the minority.
Ironically he goes on to say this.
One of the problems in pre-democratic or non-democratic societies is that the political culture of leaders of all factions is aimed at total and complete domination forever. And you don't just -- you know, you don't just win an election; you then figure out how you're going to wipe out your opposition for good, you know, through any means necessary. And I'm concerned about this. I'm concerned that as Western nations, we don't fully understand this.
And you know, I think we often rush into certain types of democratic processes in non-democratic societies where the outcome will not be a free and democratic society. The outcome will be the majority outvoting the minority or some group, you know, and I've -- if I can speak bluntly, thinking of Hamas and Hezbollah, who see the vote as only one of a number of tools to pursue their political objective, not as a commitment to the democratic process inherently.
A criticism which could equally apply to Harper and his pals. Kettle, pot, black.
Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
UN, Harper, PM, CFR, Canada, Conservatives, executive authority, politics, international-relations,