Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

Foreign Dependencies

Posted by JJ in Doubletake/Doubletalk, Crossroads of Culture (Friday August 11, 2006 at 2:05 pm)

It’s not every day that Canadian politicians fall over themselves to speak of bi- (or even multi-) partisanship. That’s why it’s nice to hear Liberal MP Wajid Khan explain his new post advising his political rivals in the expected terms:

Khan has said he sees no problem with working for the prime minister because the crisis in the Middle East transcends political affiliations.

But there’s just one problem:

“It is not Liberal or Conservative, it is a Canadian issue,” he said. “It is, going forward, what Canada can do? How can we go forward, medium and long term? That is what we are going for.”

No, it isn’t. Canada isn’t any country’s father, mother, or legal guardian; and the idea that it’s somehow the responsibility of Canada when Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Iran can’t play nicely is a load just wide enough to stay out of the UN’s doors. If there are people who left those countries to live in Canada who think that they have a right to fight old enemies by proxy in or through the country, it’s about time they were disabused of the notion.

It’s not a Canadian issue that these countries are incapable of negotiating peacefully rather than striking, retreating, and playing the victim like a child at his worse. And much as Canada needs more children, it prefers the kind that eventually grow up. The United Nations isn’t supposed to be a club where little kids ask bigger kids to protect them from one another — it’s supposed to be a meeting of equals.

You can’t make peace for other people any more than you can grow up for them; and Canada must be careful not to further succour the hurt dependency theory of third world countries. Victimizing people isn’t productive, and at some point, that crying kid has to learn to suck it up, play properly, and take responsibility for his role in the matter.

Now wouldn’t it be nice if Canadian politicians took a non-partisan stand on things that actually were Canadian issues?

1 comment for Foreign Dependencies »

  1. Oh, I don’t like this post at all.

    1. Countries that don’t play nice certainly ARE our responsibility, when Canada participates in a global political economy that continues to fund their kleptocrats and petty tyrants - be it directly or indirectly. Not to mention the legacy of Imperial & imperial UK-US meddling we’ve supported directly and indirectly in that region, which is largely to blame for the current state of things. WRT Iran, for example.

    2. Furthermore, more bi-partisanship wouldn’t be nice to see at all. The parliamentry system is by nature ADVERSARIAL. This is no tragic drawback: it’s what makes the system work, by giving voters the clear choices congressional systems don’t. We deserve to hear alternatives to the government’s foreign policy, and Khan is failing spectacularly in his duty as a member of HMLO to provide one.

    The only place for bi or multi partisanship Canadian politics is 1) on the ground rules of constitutional and parliamentry process that precede policy debate, and 2) in the national unity governments of wartime… which are themselves, by their very multi-partisanship, a mark of the authoritarianism of democracy-at-war; unfortunate, however necessary it may be. So… unless Khan is calling for the suspension of democratic politics (!), he should get back to critics’ business, thanks.

    Or better yet, let him resign his seat and join the Public Service types at Fort Pearson, where such “non-partisan” advisors belong.

    Comment by quetico — 8/17/2006 @ 2:30 am

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