That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

World asks Canada to talk to hand

And, Canada lost the vote. Or, in Michael Johnson sprinting style, we pulled out before we had the chance to lose.

As I say in the last post, this isn’t so much a lost opportunity to showboat our diplomatic finesse, or compel the Permanent 5 to take our priorities on board. Instead, it’s a reflection of the losses we’ve already chalked up in the past few years.

We don’t have international priorities of any coherence to impress on the Council. We don’t have a recent record of diplomatic finesse. I can’t help but wonder whether cocking-up relations with the UAE so spectacularly on the eve of the vote might have been a straw on the camel’s back here. “Canada can’t hold good faith negotiations with a Gulf State? Canada’s Afghan logistics are what now?” It demonstrated our incapacity to manage a relationship, and it certainly won’t have helped us to retain Arab League votes in the General Assembly today.

I’m a fan of the old Pearsonian Legacy. I’d wear Pearson’s face on a t-shirt, Che Guevara style, if someone would only print them. But for Canada to waltz into the UN today and trot out the long-standing legacy as evidence of our international merit in the year 2010, sorry, it’s just coasting on fumes. We need a new and rejuvenated internationalist legacy, and it’s got to begin before we reach for the status symbols.

Anyhoo. Any bets who Harper will pass the buck to? Because it certainly doesn’t stop with him.

1) Ignatieff bad-mouthing Canada. I guarantee we’ll hear that pop out. Which suggests a) that nations of the world listen more carefully to Michael Ignatieff than they do to the Canadian PM, but mostly b) that Harper cannot accept responsibility for his government. Blame the Liberals, blame the newspapers, blame the alignment of the stars.

2) China and Russia. They didn’t bring their friends to the vote they way we thought they would. But they’re unpredictable and malevolent powers anyway, which is why we’re buying these jets, see?

3) Liberals. Not just Canada’s Liberals, you understand, but the whole concept of liberalism. Those European liberals who epitomise it, with their dope-smoking elitist ways, and their opposition to seal clubbing. Europe is elitist and liberal, and it’s clearly anti-Canadian. Just like Toronto.

Any other possibilities?

Filed under: Canada, International, Politics, , , , ,

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October 2010
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