Harper seems to have survived his recent brush with international notoriety and now has about seven weeks to burnish his tarnished image before facing the wrath of parliament again. We do follow Canadian news over here, although it rarely hits the front page as this recent incident did.

The reason for that is obvious: it is so reminiscent of Asian politics! Thaksin in Thailand and Mahathir in Malaysia have both gone the same route, and Harper’s arrogance is well understood in countries that have suffered from similar excesses of ego over the years. The difficulties of mounting a concerted coalition of the disparate opposition parties against such arrogance is equally familiar in this part of the world.

The irony, of course, is that Canada has been wont to look down its northern nose and sneer at the contemptuous politics of Bush and Reagan only to find that they have somehow seemed to rediscover their electoral spine while in Canada we seem to have lost ours. Let’s hope that our American friends treat us with a little more understanding in this embarrassing time than we have shown them over the last few years.