Thursday, December 15, 2005

Harper wasn't joking, he was mocking

Several bloggers, including Skippy the Wonder Dog have made some good points about the controversy about Harper and his comments to a right-wing think-tank in 1997.

Some of Harper's defenders have offered that Harper was joking, when he said. But consider the context and the butt of his jokes. This is some of what he said:
First, facts about Canada. Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it. Canadians make no connection between the fact that they are a Northern European welfare state and the fact that we have very low economic growth, a standard of living substantially lower than yours, a massive brain drain of young professionals to your country, and double the unemployment rate of the United States.
And he said it in front of a rightwing American think-tank.

Now, I'm not sure whether this was joking or not. (There are jokes in the speech, as one would expect.) But I think that saying that this was meant as a joke rather misintereprets the tone. Harper may indeed be looking for laughs, here. But from whom? and at whose expense?

Harper is not joking. He is mocking. And he is mocking his own country before American right-wingers in order to get a few laughs.

Personally, I don't think that's funny.

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