Friday, December 23, 2011

Harper government flips and flops on Europe

Yesterday: "Canada could pay into IMF Europe fund, Flaherty says." Hmmm, maybe they should have been a little more open-minded initially. Here in early November was Harper's shortsighted message at the G20: "Harper says no Canadian money for European bailout." Harper was pretty definitive at the time:
"We see absolutely no reason why Canada, or frankly why any range of other countries, would need to contribute to such a bailout," he said following the conclusion of the two G20 meeting in Cannes, France.
"These are wealthy countries … who do have, and have got to have, the means of dealing with their own problems," Harper told reporters.
Was it so difficult to anticipate that this moment might come? Not really. Maybe if they tried some constructive international leadership and engagement on financial issues, their supposed strong suit, instead of waiting until they have to act, things might be a little different internationally. Maybe. Other countries, allies, might appreciate it a little more. But they seem to have staked us out in the role of the international scold instead.

One other thing, there's a crowd at the CBC site objecting to this or encouraging people to write their MPs and demand that no money go to Europe or the IMF. This reaction could have been a political motivation for Harper's initial position. But unfortunately, we're not a financial island, as much as those people would like us to be.