Friday, June 5, 2015

Big Steve makes headlines in Russia

Big Steve Harper has got some notice in Russia thanks to his hard line on Russian membership in the G7. Mr. Harper opined the other day that Russia doesn't belong in the G7 "under Putin" because Mr. Putin is a nasty dude. Or something.

Sounds like Big Steve is advocating for regime change in Russia.

The Kremlin response to Mr. Harper's ruminations was remarkably level-headed. What with the recent findings of genocide against the native population in Canada by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Russians could have gone off on all manner of finger-pointing and name-calling tangents.

Instead, they merely regret Canada's unfortunate lapse into Cold War rhetoric.

The G7 was once comprised of the seven biggest economies in the world. Canada has long left that fold. The influence of the G7 over global economic policies remains formidable but is fading fast. We still belong in the G20, but certainly not the G7.

As far as Russia is concerned, under Putin they have a lower unemployment rate than Canada, a bigger economy than Canada, and a far better debt to GDP ratio than Canada, in spite of the spurious sanctions imposed since that so-called "annexation" of Crimea.

I have a hunch that the history books a hundred years from now will feature several chapters on the leadership of Vladimir Putin.

Harper is unlikely to be much more than a footnote.

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