Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lame Duck British PM Lectures: Canada Ignores

Gordon Brown, who was never elected as Prime Minister of Britain and is so far down in the polls that he never will be, is lecturing the G8 countries on what needs to be done. He's not happy that Canada isn't going along with the plan:

And he hinted that international regulation of markets would be necessary, putting him at odds with countries like Canada and Germany, which would rather retain national regulators.

“I think that every country in the world is now having to look at its regulatory systems,” he said. “Let's be clear: If nothing changes as a result of the events in the financial crisis, then the world will be a more unstable place, and growth will be unsustainable. So things have got to change.”

The interview made it strikingly apparent how far out of step Mr. Harper's government has fallen from Western European and U.S. views, especially on climate change and international aid.

Mr. Brown outlined a “growth strategy for the world” consisting of African development funding, investments in climate-change reduction and reform of global institutions to create a worldwide regulatory framework.

While those ideas have won the broad support of the major European nations and of U.S. President Barack Obama, and are likely to set the agenda at the Italian summit today, they also differ sharply from the agenda of Mr. Harper's government, which has moved away from African aid, avoided a major role in carbon-emission reduction and shunned the notion of international regulatory bodies.
The tone of Doug Saunders' article in the Globe is that this is a bad thing. If Harper sticks to his guns and away from the peer pressure to conform, it'll be the first thing he's done this year that I would whole-heartedly approve of.

The western countries are starting to look like suckers. China sends aid to Africa but expects things in its interest, such as mineral rights, in return and doesn't lecture them on human rights. China also ignores climate change rules and grows at 9% every year. They must shake their heads at bankrupt western countries who call for more stimulus. (On loan from China itself.)

I like how Harper is taking a step back and being cautious about this madness.


  1. International regulatory bodies turn me off. Climate change is far too ethereal to create such a regulatory body and accountability would be an ongoing concern. I'm highly skeptical it would achieve what Brown hopes it would. England may be cool with giving up their sovereignty to Europe, then the world but I would rather take a cautionary stance like Harper's.

    BTW... welcome back!