When the G-7 invented itself back in the '70's, it was an exclusive club for the seven biggest economies in the world. Canada squeaked in, but just barely.
Today Canada sports the 11th largest economy in the world but remains in the G-7, while four countries that have sailed by us in terms of their economic clout (Brazil, Russia, India, China, the "BRIC" countries) are not in the club.
It's not that their economies don't cut it; it's that they don't "share our values."
We are the Nations of Virtue. It is important that members share the values of the Alpha Dog, which our Mr. Harper excels in doing. The G-7 flirted with permitting Russia into the club, back when Boris Yeltsin held the big chair at the Kremlin, but the infatuation cooled off rapidly once Putin came to power. Unlike Boris, Putin was never keen on taking instruction from Washington, and after the Kiev coup (or the Crimea "annexation," take your pick) they stopped inviting Putin altogether.
Big Steve's got an election coming up later this year, and he's pulled out all the stops in wooing the million plus Ukrainian-Canadian vote. He doesn't actually provide any meaningful assistance to the Poroshenko regime, but he's hoping to win those votes with a lot of tough talk against Putin.
Here's his most recent rant;
"Mr. Putin runs an entirely different system … he runs an economy that is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates. It is not at all like our economy, it doesn't share our interests, it doesn't share our values, and so I think we need to have discussions where we can really rally the shared interests of the Western democratic world."
I especially like that bit about the Russian economy being not at all like those in the Nations of Virtue. Instead, it is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates. Here's a few recent stories Mr. Harper obviously missed:
From the US Department of Justice, a press release announcing that Bank of America has paid a $16 billion fine for financial fraud for events leading up to the collapse of 2008.
From Reuters, the story of a six billion dollar fine against four too-big-too-fail banks for "brazenly cheating their clients" by manipulating foreign exchange rates.
From Financial Times, this tale of a $2.5 billion fine against Deutsche Bank, for manipulating the interbank lending rate to its advantage.... and there are plenty more stories where those came from.
And we haven't even touched on how the oligarchs won the day with the odious Citizens United ruling!
So, assuming that Mr. Harper is correct when he claims that the Russian economy is dominated by oligarchs and criminal syndicates, he's obviously wrong about it being an "entirely different system."
In fact, that would make it pretty much a mirror image of our system!