Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Harper Has Made Canada A Pariah

In spite of protestations to the contrary from the PMO, Canada losing the vote for a UN Security Council seat belongs entirely to Harper.

Harper is the man who snubbed the UN gathering on climate change for a photo-op, not to mention avoiding the World HIV/AIDS conference in 2006.

It's not like Harper has exactly engaged with the UN since the day he stepped into 24 Sussex - in fact, he's probably been single handedly the most destructive PM for Canada's image on the world stage. Whether it has been his ongoing upbraiding and insulting of China at every turn, or the race-baiting and fearmongering the HarperCon$ have been playing at home, none of this is secret to the outside world - and I find it hard to imagine that these have not played into this latest embarrassment on the world stage. (Not to mention the awe-inspiring attendance at his recent address to the UN assembly ... )

[Update 13/10/10]
Consider the following quote:

Mr. Harper's office wasted little time assigning blame for the disappointment, placing it at the feet of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

“I would say a big deciding factor was the fact that Canada's bid did not have unity because we had Mr. Ignatieff questioning and opposing Canada's bid,” Dimitri Soudas, Harper's communications director, told The Canadian Press.

“That was a factor that played ultimately against Canada because people outside of Canada were saying, ‘Well, Germany and Portugal have a united front, their opposition and their governments seem to be fully, 100 per cent behind this bid.’

Basically, what the HarperCon$ are claiming here is that Ignatieff has far more power and influence than the Prime Minister himself does. That being the case, it's clearly time for Harper to step aside.

[Update 15/10/10]
One more summary of all the pissing matches that Harper has gotten into on the world stage.

Surely Canada did not expect China — with whom the Harper government got off to a very poor start in its first mandate — to be enthusiastic about its bid. No amount of fence-mending on the prime minister’s part can change the fact that he initially led the least China-friendly Canadian government in decades.

And then what about Russia? Over the past four years the Conservative government has repeatedly framed it as a potential aggressor — literally poised to invade Canada’s airspace at the drop of a hat — the better to justify its military spending choices.

One can also wonder whether, having just locked horns with Canada over a transaction tax at the recent G8/G20 summits and lost, France was inclined to go an extra mile on its behalf at the UN.
Moving on to North America, the decision to impose a visa requirement on Mexican visitors to Canada has not endeared it to that country. Moreover, since 9/11, Ottawa has spent as much time trying to stand apart from Mexico in security-concerned Washington as consolidating its links with its NAFTA partner.

Finally, Canada does not support the quest of emerging powers such as India and Brazil for a permanent seat on the Security Council; in a vote based on national self-interest it would have been naive to expect support from either quarters.

... and Harper wants to lay the blame for losing our bid for a security council seat at the feet of Michael Ignatieff???


Mercedes said...

Now why does this remind me of a former PM visiting China, preaching democracy and then turning around and looking at the Terracotta Army statues standing silently at attention, and commenting "they'd make good MPs?"

Anonymous said...

Good blog, your concluding paragraph is right on.