Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't blame Ignatieff...U.N. Security Council Seat lost

So Canada had to withdraw from the voting after receiving a mere 70 votes, on the second ballot, after receiving 114 on the first ballot, in a bid for a seat on the Security Council at the United Nations.
And also, Canada has been forced to withdraw from a military base, strategically important according to the defense minister, in the United Arab Emirites, because Air Canada is blocking their airline from flights in and out of Canada...
And then, like a petulant child, the spokeperson for the Prime Minister is on CBC's Power and Politics, arguing that Michael Ignatieff is partly responsible for the negative reception to Canada's bid for that Security Council seat....
Shortly thereafter, former U.N. representatives, along with Ed Broadbent, all demonstrate some of the reasons for the failure to secure that seat:
  • the Harper government's lack of action on global warming and climate change, a stance that makes "island states" nervous given their potential demise with rising ocean levels;
  • Canada's withdrawal of funds from some African states in favour of Latin and Central American states;
  • the general move away from progressive positions and attitudes that has characterized the stance of the Canadian government when bidding for a Security Council seat (votes Canada has secured in the past) 
  • an unbalanced position with respect to Israel and the Middle East which some see as "unfair."
And the Canadian government has been advised by the man who actually sat in the Security Council, on Canada's behalf, to speak to all the members of the U. N. and listen to their reasons for voting as they did this time. "And listen to their reasons"....
Wining and dining, and smoozing on Canada's behalf, is no substitute for policy that is respected by the world community.
The P.M.'s surrogate mouthed platitudes like "principled policy" based on "Canadian values," "policies that we would not compromise" as the defence of the government's posture...and ordinary observers are prompted to wonder, out loud, if principle has not trumped enlightenment and engagement and statesmanship in this case.
Yesterday was not a good day for the government of Stephen Harper. Perhaps a few more days like that one, and we will be into an election and their future can be archived into the history books.

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