Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament.
September 2, 2002 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Canadian Prime Minister surprises with pledge to put Kyoto accord to Parliament. Until now, with resistance from the oil-rich western provinces, Canada has been luke-warm on Kyoto. PM Jean Chretien surprised all of us (a pleasant surprise, for many) by making the announcement today at the Summit in South Africa. The PM recently announced that he'll be leaving office in 18 months - leaving him with a lot of power and little accountability - possibly working on his own legacy rather than for the good of his country. So far so good.
posted by stevengarrity (15 comments total)

 
possibly working on his own legacy rather than for the good of his country

Alternatively, "possibly freed to take a long-term view, rather than pandering to the short-term interests of corporations and lobbyists".
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:08 AM on September 2, 2002


Or like Trudeau left power in 84, screwing his hated successor, John Turner and putting the country in financial hole.
posted by Coop at 10:09 AM on September 2, 2002


I always knew Canadians were smarter than Americans. Better taste in beer too.

Kinda makes at least one American contemplate the idea of having presidencies last only one term with no chance for re-election. Once you're in, you should get one four-year term and that's it. This would keep U.S. presidents from using their first term in office politically strategizing for their second term, making plans that are five or six years in forecasting, which necessitates the president's re-election to keep everything they plan on track. Give'm four years and tell the guy to make them count.

Maybe then America's prez would now be doing the same thing with congress that Canada's prime minister is doing with parliament for the Kyoto Accord. It's a major embarrassment to me that our president has practically snubbed the entire rest of the world over environmental issues. My only excuse is "I didn't vote for him" and that's small consolation.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:18 AM on September 2, 2002


This would keep U.S. presidents from ... making plans that are five or six years in forecasting.
Wouldn't this ensure that Presidents, Prime Ministers, etc., would only pay attention to issues with immediate consequences? I'm not so sure that's a good idea.
posted by Fabulon7 at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2002


Wouldn't this ensure that Presidents, Prime Ministers, etc., would only pay attention to issues with immediate consequences?

As opposed to what they're doing now?

I'd say Bush's resistance to the Kyoto accord is a perfect example of thinking about the immediate instead of ten, twenty or a hundred years down the line.

When it comes to immediate versus long term planning there really isn't much difference between four years and eight. Both are fairly short term compared to planning for decades down the road.
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:35 AM on September 2, 2002


Fabulon, it would mean exactly the opposite. Having only one term to prove their worth, a president would be more of a forward thinker. They'd spend their time working on their legacy, and less on re-election, so their efforts would be for the long term and not short term fixes.

In other words, we wouldn't have a president that promised and occasionally delivered 'tax breaks' or 'tax rebates' which only hurt us financially later on. We wouldn't have a president dissing Social Security, because he'd be thinking not just to the next election, but to the next generation. He'd be thinking about how he'll be remembered twenty years from now, not how he'll be competing twenty months from now.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:20 AM on September 2, 2002


...I think it'd make him more honest. *shrug*
posted by ZachsMind at 11:21 AM on September 2, 2002


On BBC they stated that Canada will ratify the accord before the end of the year. They forgot to mention that little bit about parliament approving it first. I wonder if this will be a litmus test of Chr├Ętien's influence on his cabinet
posted by alrob at 1:11 PM on September 2, 2002


I don't think it would, at least not in Canada. The party isn't going to elect leader-candidates who are going to screw over the party for the next election by implementing all sorts of crazy forward-thinking policies. The party is going to ensure its representative candidate for leader of the country will do what is good for the party.
posted by Fabulon7 at 1:24 PM on September 2, 2002


Maybe then America's prez would now be doing the same thing with congress that Canada's prime minister is doing with parliament for the Kyoto Accord.

The senate has already commented on what it would take to ratify the Kyoto Accord, Byrd-Hagel Resolution

Canada's Parliament will not ratify the treaty, Chretien is just trying to pad his legacy.
posted by Mick at 2:26 PM on September 2, 2002


Canada's Parliament will not ratify the treaty, Chretien is just trying to pad his legacy.

Legacy-padding or not, it'll go through. From the globe: "Since all opposition parties except the Canadian Alliance support the accord, parliamentary approval is virtually certain."
posted by D at 3:27 PM on September 2, 2002


So we'll now have Canadians streaming across the northern border looking for jobs too?

Come on down, bring some beer!
posted by Mick at 3:42 PM on September 2, 2002


it would mean exactly the opposite. Having only one term to prove their worth, a president would be more of a forward thinker. They'd spend their time working on their legacy, and less on re-election, so their efforts would be for the long term and not short term fixes.

A one term president has always lead to corruption. With no hope of re-election the president takes what he can. It has happened again and again.
posted by Coop at 5:38 PM on September 2, 2002


Now this tickles me pink!

First he throttles an anti-poverty (and therefore probably anti-big business) protester, and now, a term later, he decides to no longer serve the interests of big business.

Will the insanity ever stop? I hope not! I LOVE telling people that they voted for nothing more than a should-be criminal thug and being able to back it up. :-) Its just so much fun having a hot head with pepper spray up his sleeve than a military man with losta guns at his disposal as prime minister.
posted by shepd at 11:10 PM on September 2, 2002


So there's absolutely no middle ground between being an evil corporate pawn and being a filthy hippie?
posted by Gary at 2:15 AM on September 3, 2002


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