Harper, Harris–what’s the diff?

Not a dime’s worth, apparently, beyond the fact that the one is federal and the other provincial. The one’s from out west, the other’s from up north. Our “new Conservative” PM is well known for his penchant for recycling right-wing failures from other hardline Conservative governments-that-failed. Apparently, in Harpoland, the fecal matter falls up–just as in BushCo’s Amurrica. And my, how the sewage flows uphill here in Ontario lately–more specifically, all the way from Walkerton to Parliament Hill. Meet the New Tory, same as the Old Tory (not to be confused with the respected Red Tory, now alas a Dead Tory).

A certain failed premier of Ontario is obviously the template for the “new Conservative” Harpo. His latest environmentally dubious recycle? None other than a goober from the late and unlamented Mike Harris regime:

Guy Giorno, a principal in the now-disgraced “Common Sense Revolution” led by former Ontario premier Mike Harris, is moving to the top of the Stephen Harper “org chart”. News reports say he is replacing Harper’s chief of staff Ian Brodie, who was implicated in the spurious leak about Barack Obama’s views on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The leak damaged Obama’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for US President.

Giorno is a lawyer expert in corporate lobbying. While working for Harris, he had a reputation as a taskmaster who closely controlled what the premier and his caucus did.

Linkage added.

“Closely controlled what the premier and his caucus did”? Hmmm. Sounds an awful lot like Karl Rove.

Only while Karl Rove was only apparent as a bulge on Dubya’s back during debates, this guy outed himself with a blast from the ol’ blunderbuss:

In 2002, Toronto’s NOW Magazine reported on a meeting in that city by a what proved to be a short-lived industry front group called the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions (CCRES). This organization was formed to oppose the Kyoto agreement on climate change. Giorno worked with lobbying firm National Public Relations, which set up the organization. The CCRES folded less than a year later.

“There were speeches by coalition organizers, and a particularly passionate Ontario energy minister, John Baird, made his anti-Kyoto rallying cry,” reported Greenpeace campaigner John Matlow. “Needless to say, the audience was very receptive.” Baird went on to get elected federally and to become Stephen Harper’s environment minister.

Matlow reported that two days later, Giorno exposed his hand “by sending every MPP at Queen’s Park an e-mail suggesting what they might say in op-ed news pieces or letters to their constituents about Kyoto. Then Liberal and NDP members, for whom the missive was obviously not intended, were sent a second e-mail that read, ‘Unfortunately, materials from the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions were sent to your office in error in a previous e-mail. I do apologize for any inconvenience.’ “

Oopsie. Well, I did say they were environmentally dubious!

Nothing like showing your hand to the opposition. Too bad the latter didn’t run with it–something like the Democrats under Dubya, I’m sorry to say. (Yes, we have cowardly oppositions in Canada, too. The Yanks haven’t monopolized that yet.) There was blood in the water after Mike Harris bowed out, but nobody made mincemeat of the Tory government; we suffered through another five years of the same under Ernie Eves, whose only saving grace was that he was blander and more superficially diplomatic than nasty Mike. Damn, we coulda had a non-confidence V-8…Damn, we could have one NOW!

BTW, A Creative Revolution has a hilarious take on it, in which they speculate that these neckless wonders of Torydom might be the Canadians blamed for everything by South Park. Hey, I’m willing to let them take the blame if you are!

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