Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

Broken Telephones at DFAIT*

Posted by JJ in Vague Check, Crossroads of Culture (Thursday July 27, 2006 at 3:34 pm)

In the wake of the Canadian government’s lacklustre rescue operations in Lebanon, there is no shortage of government policies to be reconsidered. Poor communication with Canadians in Lebanon was a serious obstacle, though the problem (whether understandable or not) wasn’t confined to Canadian efforts. But the evacuees have a suggestion, and the Liberal Party of Canada thinks it’s a valid option for the reworking of official communications:

But for many Canadians in Lebanon, one of the few sources of information is relatives back in Canada.

Many Lebanese-Canadians have expressed frustration that the government chose not to take advantage of these unofficial lines of communications and make details of their plan for evacuating Canadians available to the public as soon as possible.

Liberal Consular Affairs Critic Dan McTeague agreed with this criticism.

After all, there’s no more reliable means of communicating complex instructions than by broadcasting them publicly and having people watching them call their friends and pass along the message.

Consular Affairs Critic Dan McTeague was formerly employed (before the beginning of his mindnarrowingly insider political career) as the kid who stood behind that chubby kid in the schoolyard (you know, the one who talked about sex) yelling “Yeah!” encouragingly and offering authoritative confirmation of the details by way of his Swiss friend’s father. Which helps to explain the origin of his position on the unborn, same-sex unions, and rap.

That he panders shamelessly, that is; not that he learned it from the chubby kid (who is, the Frosty Wonk is told, quite the 50 Cent fan).

Look forward, under future Minister McTeague, to a major innovation in AIDS education — the chubby kid getting federal funding for his “condoms” bit.

*DFAIT-Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian Foreign Service

2 comments for Broken Telephones at DFAIT* »

  1. One might point out the absurdity of having dipomats organize an evacuation in the first place. This is a definitively military responsibility in every other government I care to think of. Diplomats talk; uniformed types DO stuff, when actual stuff needs being done. It’s really quite a simple division of labour - and God knows we don’t like our Generals TALKING about things, now do we? So why are we surprised that the diplomats mucked-up the doing?

    PS - I thought DFAIT was blowed up, and sprinkled back to earth as FAC (Foreign Affairs Canada) and ITC (Int Trade Canada)? Or have they been re-metabolized?

    Comment by quetico — 7/27/2006 @ 9:54 pm

  2. I’d write something on DFAIT’s dance with death, but bureaucratic reorganization is more a spectator sport and this is a politics blog.

    Try here:

    Comment by JJ — 7/28/2006 @ 4:31 pm

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