My first blog on this subject, well over six months ago, mocked Harper and the conservative government's environmental package. In my conclusion, I noted if Harper wanted to trick Canadian's into thinking he was greener than he actually was, all he had to do was throw some money at a few environment/renewable energy projects, brag about it in the media, and bam, his ratings would shoot up.
He did just that, and for a while it looked like he might be cruising toward a majority government. (shudder)
Harper is currently attending the G8 summit. He says he's not going to take the high road on the environment and pledge German-style targets. Nor will he take the American low road and pretend Global Warming doesn't exist. Instead he will try and be a bridge between the two, bringing Europe and the USA together on the issue.
Canadian Public Translation - I, Stephen Harper, am in love with GWB. I will do anything for him, even if it jeopardizes my own political career and proves unpopular with Canadian voters. Someone has to act as cover for America's gross environmental negligence, and protect the oil industry which really runs our neighbours to the south.
A stance of solidarity with Germany would have gotten Harper into the voters good books. It would have replenished his tarnished environmental image. I've said it before and I'll say it again. CANADIANS DISLIKE BUSH. Any time one of our leaders disagrees with him, especially over his more controversial, "You're either with us or against us!" policies, it can only boost their popularity.
But Harper, I forgot to mention the second secret of tricking Canada into thinking you are Green. Had you actually figured it out on your own, you might be on your way back to getting majority poll numbers. It's the world's most common political trick, and its called lying. You figured this concept out when it came to Income Trusts. You figured it out with the Afghan prisoner transfer agreement.
The Liberals understood it with their previous envirnomental programs.
What should you have done?
Tell Canada you are going to attempt to meet the targets laid out in the G8 summit. Hold off on the treaty, perhaps making a stipulation or two. If pressure grows, finally sign the thing, but with no intention of doing anything more than superficially following through on its targets. By the time Canadians have figured out that you've renigged on the deal, you could be well into a second, if not a third majority government.
You've stood up to Bush.
You've painted yourself green enough to hopefully trick enough Canadians into voting for you in the next election.
You've doused the environmental issue that's been plaguing your government ever since you put Rona Ambrose in charge of the file. You've deflated the Liberals biggest critisism of your government.
I'm looking forward to an upcoming Liberal minority government, followed by a Liberal majority not long after.