Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mini Bush lost a big opportunity

No AIDS funding this week, PM says. Oooohhh, the environment is too "politicized." What exactly are you doing with your noticeable absence that has sent a statement to the world and to Canadians? And with your decision to pointedly not make any announcement this week on AIDS policy, an announcement that was supposed to occur? Playing politics? Yeah, think so. And displaying an abundance of discomfort by avoiding the Toronto conference like the plague, situating himself in the far north for most of the conference. His media people are certainly stage-managing him into oblivion.

A lot of Canadians are with people like Stephen Lews on issues like this, and Mini Bush just doesn't get it:
"UN's special envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, spoke about Mr. Harper's absence during a discussion he had with globeandmail.com Wednesday.

“Prime Minister Harper's absence is something that sticks in the craw of many of the conference delegates,” he said. “They are offended by it and insulted by it. I think it was a serious mistake in judgment on his part because he lost the opportunity to set out Canada's policy and the confusion around Canada's position where funding is concerned.”"
This AIDS issue is akin to Kyoto or our foreign policy positioning on the Middle East, Afghanistan. It's an issue that hasn't seen a lot of politics applied until Harper's arrived on the scene. In my view, a miscalculation.