At one point, at a time I was happier with our stance on world affairs, I think our particular, quirky, role on the world stage was a place most Canadians could agree on overall as our stance in the world once made us appealing and somewhat the envy of many other countries.
Let's face it, the Americans can have a huge influence on most nations in the world, and our status as that geeky kid next door who wants to be accepted so will do almost anything to be part of the "inner circle" even though the closest he gets in to hang in the fringe make our relationship special. Special as in, lock step behind whatever the US says or we'll punish you with unrelated yet devastating tariffs. At least, that's how it works today. The US wants us to put troops in Afghanistan, getting them killed and maimed, ostensibly hunting down Osama Bin Laden, who of course was in Pakistan all or most of that time. Now we're right in there like a dirty shirt bombing Lybia with no clear idea of what the mission is, will be, or may be forced to become. This is toadyism at its worst.
It also leaves the world with a huge void. For a long time Canada was respected across the globe as the pragmatic country that did not unessecarily get involved in armed conflicts, but readied ourselves for the opportunity to teach the world that, with a little help, a peaceful existence could be attained. Canada maintained (sic) its comittment to NATO and if NATO required a job from Canada it was done.
Aside from these aspects, if you examine the Canadian record, we have basically stayed in lock step with America and the UK, with the unfortunate exception we have expressed eagerness to blow the USA and China out of the water as the world's most irresponsible stewards of our own environment, and the biggest impediment to moving forward on anything a step up from the clown show that is our government's climate change policy.
Canadian foreign policy, once a source of pride for many Canadians, has deterioriated to a trick mirror image of America's, the trick mirror makes us look uglier.
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture