The Canadian government's handling of climate change is part of a pattern. Domestic political calculations here in Canada - rather than any high-minded sense of Canada's international obligations - seem to drive the Harper government's foreign policy decisions.
A few friends of mine with some background in behavioural analysis spent a bit of time around Harper recently. From what is admittedly a very small and contextual sampling of our PM's behaviour, the sense conveyed to me was that of a man who was very comfortable and clear-eyed; one friend raised religious conviction as a potential underpinning for this unwavering righteousness in the face of everything that's coming to light.
Rob Ford is a man whose bellicosity grows in tandem with his sins - he truly is the Hulk Mayor. His supporters, his Ford Nation, are unwavering in their loyalty - one wonders if anything, even being tied with a murder, would change their minds or simply entrench further into their belief that he is the hunted representative of the common person.
There are spots of compromise and shared solutions on the political horizon, and a great many more when looks beyond, but there is a more immediate emerging picture of angry people focusing on besting their opponents or stripping them of power, title and entitlements (whether it be the inherited wealthy or the welfare bum, the unionist or the spin doctor).
We have taken to defining ourselves not by what we bring to the table nor what we stand for and who we stand with, but by who and what we stand against.
When your neighbour becomes your foe and compromise is seen as defeat, you've lost sight of the shoreline.
It's not the sea of troubles without we should be most concerned about, but the storms brewing on our own soil that present the greatest threat to the House we've built.
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