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Akaash Maharaj: Harper Is But Mad North North-West

Posted on Wednesday, December 19 at 02:00 by Akaash

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Akaash Maharaj: Harper is But Mad North North-West

Maclean's Magazine's Aaron Wherry has offered the view that Stephen Harper's "recent tendency towards violent and unpredictable mood swings" has "seemed particularly untethered" during debate (for want of a better word) in the House of Commons over the Atomic Energy Commission Ltd (AECL) medical isotope crisis.

Though Wherry jocularly hints at a more organic source for these antics, in my commentary as a member of the Maclean's 50, I suggest that Harper is obviously but mad north-north-west.

My full commentary published at the Maclean's web site is below. The original article and companion commentaries are available by clicking here.

* * *

Stephen Harper's penchant for manufactured outrage is, perhaps, more comprehensible in light of the inexorable ooze of revelations seeping out of the AECL fiasco. He is "but mad north north-west".

An independent expert panel twice recommended that the government confirm the AECL's serving interim Chair as the permanent incumbent, and it made those recommendations under both Liberal and Conservative administrations. Harper, however, instead appointed a former Alliance fundraiser to the post.

The current crisis over medical isotope production erupted because - as everyone including the AECL concedes - the AECL failed under Harper's partisan appointee to adhere to nuclear safety regulations. He has since quietly resigned from his post.

By contrast, the person whom Harper publicly derided - from the libel-proof perch of the House of Commons - as a Liberal shill bent on endangering the health and safety of Canadians, was actually a non-partisan career civil servant who is legally compelled to enforce the regulations the AECL had violated.

The reason Harper does not sustain his tantrums is that his outbursts are nothing more than the oldest of political ploys: when caught in an indefensible position, attack instead, and hope that the collective mind of the media wanders before the truth emerges.

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