Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Joe Clark : Look Beyond the U.S.

Former Progressive Conservative Prime Minster, Joe Clark [Globe & Mail, Foreign policy: Look beyond the U.S.] talks about Canada's role in the world:

There can be no doubt about the importance of the United States to Canada, so Canada-U.S. relations have to be a dominant priority of any Canadian government. But they should not be the dominant international priority.

When Canada has been most effective internationally, it has been because we pursued two priorities at the same time: a close friendship with the United States and an independent and innovative role in the wider world. Those are not opposite positions; they are the two sides of the Canadian coin and both must be given attention or we debase our currency.

...

Our strengths as a society are real, substantial. And more relevant than ever now, in a world that grows more turbulent and complicated. Managing diversity, bridging differences, setting an active example of respect are valuable assets again. We Canadians have the luxury, skill and imagination to help lead the world's response to deep tensions which, clearly, cannot be calmed by bombs and dollars.
Well worth the read.

[H/T, Cowboys for Social Responsibility]

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4 comments:

PGP said...

Sounds to me like re-hashed Trudeaupean gobledegook!
When you have to listen to Joe Clark to get IDEAS you are in serious trouble. The notion that Canada holds a higher moral ground because of pacifism or socialist aspirations or because of some naive egalitarian mindset is ludicrous and completely false.
Our enemies openly laugh at this kind vapid commentary and will be only too happy to use the weak minded and weak willed as tools to achieve their own stated goals of bringing down our society.
Wake up and smell the coffee.

Jim said...

The notion that Canada holds a higher moral ground because of pacifism or socialist aspirations or because of some naive egalitarian mindset is ludicrous and completely false.

No, it's the idea that you need not buy into corrupt dictatorships or bomb countries into oblivion to make a point.

Our enemies ...

Bah. Our enemies ... sounds to me like re-hashed Republican gobledegook.

Trevor said...

>>>The Progressive Conservative government of 1984-93 worked closely with the United States, and achieved major breakthroughs, notably on free trade and the environment. At the same time, we disagreed sharply on other contentious issues -- Cuba, Nicaragua, the way to fight apartheid, the authority of the World Court, the Palestinian right to self-determination, and the Strategic Defence Initiative, the so-called "Star Wars" in which president Ronald Reagan believed so avidly, to which prime minister Brian Mulroney said, "No, thank you." <<<

In each case Canada was right and Reagan was wrong. I have a feeling that in each case Harper would have blindly followed Reagan.

>>>Canada is running on the fumes of our reputation, on what we used to do, not what we do now.<<<

Joe is right again. I suspect that with Ambrose as the president of the COP (Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) our reputation will continue to slide. If she and the Conservative party were honorable she would resign as the president immediately so she could be replaced by someone from another country who might actually DO something.

I miss Joe.

BTW former PM Kim Campbell was on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday. It was pretty clear that she does not think highly of George W. Bush, supports multilateralism, the UN and would not approve of any country blindly following the US like a lost puppy. Of course Campbell, like Clark have nothing in common with Harper and co.

I always find it interesting that almost every politician seems so much more intelligent once they are out of office (Joe Clark, Kim Campbell, Preston Manning, Bob Rae etc.). I guess at that time you can finally think for yourself again.

Jim said...

I always find it interesting that almost every politician seems so much more intelligent once they are out of office (Joe Clark, Kim Campbell, Preston Manning, Bob Rae etc.). I guess at that time you can finally think for yourself again.

Can't agree more. That Liberal MP from LaSalle—Émard (can't remember his name) was quite impassioned in his recent speech in the House. If the Liberal Party gave that guy a chance, he'd make one heck of a leader. ;)