Re: the Nexen takeover by CNOOC. Before he came to power, Stephen Harper showed very little interest in any serious discussion of foreign policy apart from expressing total and unqualified support for Israel.
His statements were actually more like expedient sound bites used simply to attack the other parties, and were intended for domestic consumption because that was all he cared about.
He had to influence the voters at home because he needed a “strong, stable majority Conservative government” more than he thought he needed a sensible foreign policy.
Remember before? Mr. Harper wasn’t going to be in a rush to do business with China because he wasn’t going to sell Canadian values out to the almighty dollar. Didn’t quite work out that way, did it? Fast forward and now he is in China proclaiming loudly in his best Conservative rhetoric “Canada is open for business, so invest.”
A Prime Minister says that to you what would you do? Probably the same thing the Chinese did; take him at his word and invest, why not?
Then he turns around and tells the world, “Well, actually, we didn’t mean that. We’ll let this one go, but you can’t do that again.”
It makes us look like we don’t know what we’re doing. Which really is the whole point; if you just act on your conservative instincts, (We’re open for business!) before you put the effort into thinking through the logical consequences and outcomes of your actions, you are going to have to make good on your promises and may regret having shot your mouth off to the wrong crowd.
When he campaigned against Michael Ignatieff, Harper framed the idea that having international experience and perspective was un-Canadian, and that was a bad thing. I wonder what he thinks now?