It must be the rarefied atmosphere in Davos, so high in the Swiss Alps. It could also be the company of so many of the world’s leaders, political, industrial and academe. With his toupee firmly in place, our Prime Minister is ready to read the riot act to the World Economic Forum. He gently chides the world leaders for their economic bungling. He tells them that in Canada, we know just what to do. Canada can penalize those who cannot fight back.
Why Mr. Harper chose such a remote forum in which to announce that he would take more money from impoverished seniors, was not clear. He was certainly safe from having enraged Canadian seniors rising up and rendering him into a crushed mass on the floor of that august stage. Not many Canadian seniors can afford the lift fees at Davos at its peak season.
But if you think Canadians back home are puzzled at Mr. Harper’s choice of topics for these world leaders, the world leaders are equally puzzled by him. He has no message of interest to them. He barely gets polite applause.
The Prime Minister and his staff seem to have no clear understanding of what the World Economic Forum in Davos is about. That breaks a cardinal rule for people giving speeches and their writers: you have to know your audience. These people have not come to hear the old conservative economic bromides. They are here to be challenged, to hear new ideas, to see if there are solutions. They are deeply concerned about the world economic situation and have no interest in the same old conservative ideology.
The Davos participants must be shocked by the threat from Mr. Harper to force through the pipeline to Canada’s British Columbia coast from Alberta. This twinned pipeline is to take oil-sands crude to ocean tankers for shipment to the Far East. To threaten to ram this pipeline through the Rockies and native lands to the coast, without proper consideration or precautions, comes as a shock to any caring person.
Mr. Harper needs to look out the window of his Davos hotel suite. He needs to see the majestic beauty of the Alps, the challenging ski runs on the Junkerboden and the fact there is a world out there where people care about people, not ideology.
Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry
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