Internal bickering 1, common sense 0 – Canada to not have seat on UN Security Council by Keith Beardsley – Cornwall Ontario – October 12, 2010

Cornwall ON – The news just in from the United Nations is that Canada has withdrawn from its quest to seek a seat on the UN Security Council.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?

Keith Beardsley is a senior strategist for True North Public Affairs in Ottawa, as well as a blogger and political analyst. He can often be found running or cycling on his favorite bike trails.

Jason Setnyk Choose Cornwall Schnitzels


  1. Maybe if Mr. Harper and the Reform Party would try putting Canada first, instead of the multi-national oil companies and Alberta, it would give us all an example to follow.

  2. Is anyone still surprised at this? I saw this happening long ago..

    We have a moron for a PM, we have a moron wanting to take him on..

    Time to vote a completely different party where everyone can try to get on the same page again instead of all this “he-said-she-said” BS we’ve been getting from our government these days!!

    Shame on both Harper, and on Ignatieff for this.. Shame on everyone else playing their partisan crap as well!! Oh, where’s Guy? Oh he had to run away as usual because he’s gagged by the most transparent government we’ve ever had…. blah blah blah…

  3. Come now, Keith, the Cannon-Ignatieff spat is merely a sideshow, which had absolutely nothing to do with Canada’s humiliation at the UN. For that, Mr. Harper has sole responsibility thanks to his misguided foreign policies–unqualified support for Israel in the troubled Middle East, cutting aid for Africa, and gross irresponsibility on climate change. In addition, Mr. Harper is a johnny-come-lately in valuing the UN, and, hypocrite that he is, doing so on the coattails of Lester B Pearson and his successors. Before his sudden conversion, Mr. Harper thought the UN was useless and said so.

    As to Ignatieff’s gaffe, none of the UN diplomats had heard of it. Besides, taking cheap partisan shots on international has been Mr Harper’s stock in trade from the beginning. Laurence Cannon’s puerile and predictable line after the UN vote was no doubt handed to him by his boss.

    So the world gave its verdict at the UN today: Canada’s prime minister is a nonentity, a waste of time, and deeply damaging to Canada.

  4. Is funny how you massage the message to your own requirements

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