Monday, May 26, 2008

Bernier Wiser Than Stephen Harper and Conservative Caucus in the End

"The caucus is behind him 100%. We Think He's a Doing a Marvellous Job."
- Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai today (May 26, 2008) just after 5 PM on Don Newman's Politics

Well I suppose Maxime Bernier would be comforted to know that Stephen Harper and his caucus were so confident in (at the same time so blind about) his handling of Foreign Affairs. What does it say though when all the Conservatives are so confident in Bernier's ability, refusing to countenance the idea he could be fired, that it's Bernier in the end who had to break the news that he's not up to the job.

Bernier was put into a file everyone knew he was ill-prepared for and uninterested in. From the very beginning he's bungled it so badly with unforgivable error after unforgivable error. He didn't know who the President of Haiti (a country who we have had a long relationship with) was. He made brazen comments about removing an Afghan governor that in turn embarrassed Canada and Afghan President Karzai and forced an embarrassing retraction that no Canada wasn't publicly trying in interfere in Afghan affairs. More recently he promised a Canada C-17 that didn't exist to be provided embarrassing Canada again. In Bernier's defence though when I was a child my father said I could have any car I would like, so I said I would like a Ferrari and so my father obliged. The Ferrari now sits on my bedroom dresser, so perhaps Bernier was really referring to a model C-17 that he would offer as a symbolic gesture. Unfortunately for Bernier the rest of the world didn't take it that way so it was terrible error for him to make for such a serious national disaster so, once more, Canada was seen as having one of the most incompetent foreign ministers in the western world.

Now we learn he also had zero regard for confidential documents which is what many Liberals were afraid of. Even then Stephen Harper didn't fire Maxime Bernier. Bernier instead resigned. What does it say about Stephen Harper's judgment that he put Bernier in this portfolio and even after so many mistakes he refused to fire him in the end?

I think it says that as bad as Bernier's judgment is, Stephen Harper's is worse.

UPDATE: This story has now made the main page of, something that happens probably about once or twice a year in Canadian politics. Last line of the story: Stephen Harper quoted as saying "I don't take this subject seriously." Once again great optics for Canada on the world stage with Harper in charge.

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