March 30, 2011

Stephen Harper Explains Minority Government For You

TVOntario hasn't had a lot of hits lately, apart from the Polka Dot Door reunion special Polkaroo Christmas: Home From Rehab. So it's something of a surprise that a clip from a 1997 TVO interview Paula Todd did with Stephen Harper, in which neither party attempted to channel remarks through stuffed animals, would achieve prominence in this year's federal election campaign.

  • Category : Canadian Politics

December 14, 2005

Stephen Harper's Withdrawal from Iraq

At the heart of the US scandal over the outing of a CIA agent is an assertion made by George W. Bush in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union address. "The British government has learned", said the President with stirring confidence, "that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa".

It was an odd turn of phrase, given that the US did have a bit of money budgeted for evaluating claims like this on its own. The careful wording looked especially well-chosen when, on March 7, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency told the U.N. Security Council that documents purporting to show Iraq tried to buy uranium oxide from Niger were "in fact not authentic".

  • Categories : Canadian Politics, US Foreign Policy

June 28, 2002

Suicidal States and Their Terrorist Allies

The phrase "freedom-loving" was on President Bush's lips at almost every stop of his first European tour last June. He'd developed the same practised fluency with it, despite his short time in office, that boxing promoter Don King has with the words "outrageous accusations". Whether in Madrid, Brussels, or Warsaw, there was nothing the President wanted to talk about more than freedom-loving nations, freedom-loving countries, and freedom-loving peoples. Evidently delighted after pronouncing each variant correctly in Spain, he made a point of rubbing tiny President Aznar's head for continued good luck.

  • Category : US Foreign Policy

April 25, 2002

The Meaninglessness is the Meaning

I have to admit I was concerned about the "binding" referendum we're having in B.C. on "the principles to guide the provincial government's approach to treaty negotiations". But I relaxed when I saw the proposal that "aboriginal self-government should have the characteristics of local government, with powers delegated from Canada and British Columbia." I'm comfortable with this type of language, as I used it with great success in my own New Year's resolutions. I don't say that I made any verifiable commitment to eat more vegetables, but I did resolve that the principles to guide my approach to nutrition should include consideration of foods which have the characteristics of vegetables. By the end of January I realized that vegetables can be eaten with barbecue sauce, and that they share this characteristic with ribs, chicken, and any number of other savoury health foods.

  • Category : Canadian Politics

February 15, 2002

Bush's Axis of Evil

Perhaps fearing that the day's events were not surreal enough, former US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on September 11 2001 that the kamikazes who'd struck America with passenger jets had demonstrated the need for a National Missile Defense system. When the interviewer pointed out that such a system could not have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Mr. Weinberger obligingly shifted his position: the tragedy showed that the US needs a National Missile Defense system in addition to something that would have prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. So great was his enthusiasm for the proposed cloaking device that even the northward progression of killers bees would have proven its necessity, or at least proven the need for NMD plus something that would stop killer bees.

  • Category : US Foreign Policy