On fourth thought - Macleans.ca

On fourth thought


November 13Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s jet-setting fall tour won’t include a stop at a global climate change summit in Copenhagen next month.

November 14Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s aides say he will attend a key climate change summit in Copenhagen next month, but only if it appears that other world leaders plan to show up … Harper aides say if Obama goes to Cophenhagen, Harper likely will attend.

November 25The White House said Wednesday that Obama will be in Copenhagen Dec. 9 for the opening of a major climate-change summit … The Canadian government lauded the “important step,” but the Prime Minister is still refusing to make a stop at the 11-day meeting… “I have always been clear; if there is a meeting of all major leaders involving climate change, I will, of course, attend,” Harper said in the House of Commons.

November 26Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done an about-face and will attend the Copenhagen climate-change meeting next month. A spokesman said Harper decided today to attend after the American and Chinese presidents announced that they will show up.


On fourth thought

  1. "Canada's Back" I see.

  2. It's truly embarassing to have this man as our Prime Minister.

  3. I hope Harper stands firm against the eco-fascists and doesn't let Canada before a victim of the global warming carbon scam.

    • I see you are spelling fascist correctly now, just as I recommended. Unfortunately, I see that you did not look up what the word means yet though. I am very disappointed Dakota, I thought you were making quicker progress than this.

    • He doesn't seem to stand firm for anything, really does he?

      Keeping up with the Obamas will prove hard for the Harpers.

  4. become, not before

  5. Well, he has to go there now to undermine the conference.

  6. Do you think it is easy to make itineraries?

    • Do you think it is easy to show leadership?

      • He's just visiting.

        • Don't you mean:

          Stephen Harper – Just following.

      • Do you think it is easy to understand science?

  7. has anyone stopped to think that since Obama seems to be lining up their policy with ours (who would have thought) that maybe both Barrie and Stevie are playing tag team with other vested interests. Speaking as someone who has spent a great deal of time and energy in negotiating between gov't agencies it sure seems that way to me. The rest is for public and media consumption!

    • Other than doing anything athletic or physically active, that is Harper in a nutshell. Good find.

  8. I can hardly wait for the photos.

    • I hope they have nice washrooms.

      • LOL

  9. "”I have always been clear…"

    Harperese for "If you don't believe me, you can look it up. Just not now…"

    • Just like “Now, let me be totally frank:” is Harperese for “I’m about to tell you a bald-faced, if plausible sounding, lie.”

    • "And I promise to provide you with the supporting documents… just not now"

  10. I would refer you to a Well's column on Harper. So I would interpret this more as Harper thinking there was more going to happen…

    The quote

    "•Stephen Harper views a meeting as either a solution or as a waste of his time. He is almost always sure it will be the latter. But he will test whether it is the former. What he will not abide is a meeting that is merely a prelude to more meetings."

    From this article


    • Wells also talked about Harper seeing issues and policies as political swords or shields (he would never, of course, see them as governance): if he is vulnerable on an issue, he'll take it on but not do anything or much to shield himself from losing votes among those who may care about that issue.

      Thus, he goes to Copenhagen.

      • Fair enough, thats another reasonable guess.

        This could well be a sheild tactic. Yet, if there is nothing of substance to the meeting it is hard to see how he gains. That the two largest emitters are there says something may happen, which means being there helps him make the issue the shield..

        Perhaps the answer is both.

        • With the shield, it is not what he gains but what he doesn't lose.

          And here, the only point to going is to eliminate anyone saying "everyone went but you didn't". He's not going to win votes because of going, but he's going so as not to lose any.

          To go a bit deeper, I think they thought skipping out on the UN climate talks last month for a donut show would be a winner among Canadians. I don't think it was a loser but it was close. To have skipped out yet again would have been.

          Now he has no intention of doing anything in Copenhagen except show up for the photo op, but the important thing for the CPC is that the Liberals don't get to use his absence as a shield to show how little he gives a crap about the environment. Thus, it's a shield.

          • I agree. It's a shield. If Harper didn't attend, the Liberals would be running ads claiming that Harper shunned Copenhagen so that he could visit the Canadian bobsled team (or whatever).

          • Which we all know is where he would much rather be.

            That is, in a photo op, doesn't matter with whom or doing what or where, but the man does like his photo taken.

          • Convincingly argued

          • "…skipping out on the UN climate talks last month for a donut show would be a winner among Canadians."

            In corresponding news, Tim Hortons will be shuttering the doors of their donut science lab during the week of Harper's 'just following' tour…

    • then why didn't he just say he would not attend without an agenda he could live with rather then all this dithering….

      is SH trying to make PMPM look like a strong decision maker?

      • He said he would go if other world leaders went. Now that the leaders of China and the United States are attending, Harper will attend.

        Not really a dither.

        • respectfully CR even SH disagrees with you. as quoted above (did you read Wherry's post?).

          In continuing his refusal yesterday he said ”I have always been clear; if there is a MEETING of all major leaders involving climate change, I will, of course, attend,” Harper said in the House of Commons.

          emphasis mine of course

          • Obviously he changed his mind, but I don't really see it as a Martinesque dither. He's going because everyone else is going: a "critical mass" of leaders, as Soudas said. When the PMO announced on November 14 that he wouldn't be going, it was probably because he expected that many other world leaders would also skip the event (due to a lack of consensus in the informal pre-summit negotiations).

          • some dithering is more worthy of the name?

            the stakes could not be lower than on our little debate here CR, so i don't want to consume more of either of our time, but I do think it is worth pointing out that his decision on this in no way amounts to any kind of deep seed administrative principle like Vnce was tying to pawn on us.

      • Not that I have any interest in defending Say Anything Steve, but I don't think this is dithering. He made a decision not to go unless others went. Others are now going, so he is going.

        More a follower than a ditherer.

        Stephen Harper: Just Following.

        • uhm, see my reply to CR Ted… i think he is both a ditherer and a follower

  11. Why doesn't Harper eliminate the middle-man (himself) and just have Obama tell us what Canada's environmental policy is going to be?

    • As long as Obama tell us when he is on Canadian soil, then at Harper can claim he fulfilled his promise of a "made-in-Canada" environmental plan.

  12. Copenhagen is a sure thing, like Nortel, Enron, Bear Stern, Lehman, BreX. At least no one got burned on any of those, after all the smart money was on them and they never get it wrong…right?
    Oh, correct that, the smart (inside) money was naked shorting them and fleecing the street investors. Surely the Wall St. skanks aren't part of AGW??? Nah, no insiders would be lining up to finish us off and take their business elsewhere.

  13. Stephen Harper: Not a Leader

  14. Full Hansard quote from the 25th:

    "Mr. Speaker, I have always been clear. If there is a meeting of all major leaders involving climate change, I will of course attend.

    I would just note that President Obama has not confirmed his attendance at the leaders' meeting in Copenhagen. In fact, I have discussed the matter with him directly".

    Translation: As soon as I hear it officially I'm in as well.

    As for the 13th agendas normally do not list events that could happen in certain conditions. Hypothetical questions usually descend on staffers as on the 14th.

    Carry on, but do try to look at what was said before getting your knickers in a knot.