An excerpt of a monologue delivered on The CBC Program "Rick Mercer Report" on Nov. 21, 2006:
There's no doubt about it: The major economic superpower on the block these days is China. So it's no surprise that a lot of people freaked out when they heard that the president of China wouldn't even meet with Stephen Harper at the APEC Summit.
But before anyone starts to think that Harper's screwed up one of the most important economic relationships that Canada has, let's be clear on one thing: It was the president of China who asked Harper out in the first place, and then when Harper said yes, China said no and then they said yes again.
It's like China asked Harper out on an Internet date but then changed its mind once he showed up and didn't look like his picture. Hey, that's no swimmer's build! Then when China realized how shallow it would look, it agreed to a date, but drinks, no dinner. Clearly, China is a very fickle mistress.
Now, to be fair, the Liberals were masters at this relationship.
Chretien spent more time in Beijing then he ever spent in Alberta. But that was then, this is now and Canada is definitely off China's Christmas list. Not that Christmas is legal in China -- but you get my point. And so what has the Harper government done that was so bad'
Believe it or not, they've been too critical of China on human rights.
Basically, a bunch of Tories went off to Vancouver and met the Dalai Lama, and China went crazy.
And you know what' Who cares' Last time I looked, Canada was a free country. And the Chinese economy can grow as fast as it wants to, but that does not change the fact that we can meet with whoever we want. We can worship who we want, vote for who we want. Heck, for the time being we can even go out and get married to who we want.
So China's little hissy fit is their problem, not ours. And sure we'll do business with China, but we're not going to act like China. Harper has done nothing wrong here; in fact, when it comes to China, for the first time in a long time, Canada's done something right.
Excerpted from Rick Mercer Report: The Book, Toronto: Doubleday, 2007