Cornwall ON – The news just in from the United Nations is that Canada has withdrawn from its quest to seek a seat on the UN Security Council. It is a real shame that we can’t be there and you better believe the blame game will be in full swing before this day has ended. But, I have to wonder how much damage we did to our own cause leading up to this vote.
You would think that when Canada seeks to win an international position that our politicians in Ottawa could put their bickering aside and speak from the same page. Why can’t they put the good of Canada ahead of partisanship?
Instead, we become our own worse critics when the Leader of the Official Opposition in a minority parliament criticises the Prime Minister’s motives and Canada’s qualifications for the job. What happened to speaking up for your country on the international stage? Did Ignatieff think that foreign embassies here would not send his comments to their respective governments? Did he not think that as the leader of a party that one day might form the government that his opinions would not be weighed by governments that had not yet decided how to cast their vote? For someone who claims to have such an international background, it was a dumb move.
Not to be outdone, we then had our Minister of Foreign Affairs smack the opposition leader for his stance on this issue while the minister was speaking to a room full of foreign ambassadors. There is a time and place to engage in this type of political fisticuffs, but that wasn’t it. It certainly left the ambassadors with the impression that Canada was a house divided on this issue.
Wouldn’t it have been better if our leaders or at least their Chief of Staffs had discussed this issue in advance? They could have at least tried to reach an agreement to promote Canada’s interests and avoid trying to score cheap political points against each other on this issue? Why couldn’t we have presented a united front?
Perhaps it’s a sign of the times when Canadian politicians can’t put aside their differences and join forces to promote Canada on the international stage. But, I still have to ask, whatever happened to putting Canada first?