Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Canada 1: “For tough times ahead, we need a few good men”

[“Stephen Harper is proving to be one of Canada’s most politically astute and strategic prime ministers. He has yet to make a fatal mistake.” OAS: A rare blunder for cagey PM, Mar. 3, London Free Press]

Some will say that Canadian Prime Minister Harper has not yet made a fatal mistake in his terms as minority and majority leader of the Federal Conservative party. They might be right.

However, I think his fumbles will - one day soon - catch up to him.

Michael Warren writes, “He will need all these (his) skills, and more, to handle the fallout of his controversial pledge to reform Canada’s Old Age Security (OAS) program.” (OAS: A rare blunder for cagey PM, Mar. 3, London Free Press)

Fumble 1 (related to OAS) - A month ago, while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland PM Harper promised substantial reform to the OAS so, supposedly, it would be “more sustainable for generations to come,”

Of that Warren says, “Within hours of his speech, objective and respected voices maintained OAS doesn’t need reform. It’s already sustainable and will be well into the future.”

["Parliament Hill, where Canadians discuss matters, sometimes": photo GH]

Harper was cagey in one way; in a recent column I mention that he likely knew some would consider his news to be more like a bomb than a blessing, so he put a Swiss mountain range and lake between himself and his constituents.

In another way, the distance he put between himself and his countrymen make him appear more a fumbler than cagey. Why not address issues about Canadian old age security in Canada first? Why drive all the way to Switzerland? Was he trying to inform the rich about how best to handle the aged, or trying to impress the wealthy with his fiscal prudence? If so, perhaps he succeeded royally (I don’t know how world economic leaders think), but back at home he came off looking un-prime ministerial, like a misguided, disingenuous back bencher.

Good grief, when I feel embarrassed on behalf of a Federal Conservative PM, you know things are bad.

More to follow.


Please click here for more about OAS bungling.

Please click here to read my weekly column about the affair.


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