The winds of change?


There is an interesting article in iPolitcs by journalist/historian Michael Petrou headlined: “How Trudeau’s foreign policy could blow up in his face.” “Trudeau hasn’t been blown far off course — yet, ” M. Petrou writes, because, inter alia: “He’s enjoyed a sun-setting political romance with Obama. Visa requirements for Mexicans will be lifted by the end of the year. All indications are that Canada will soon join at least one UN peacekeeping mission in Africa.” But, Michael Petrou writes, “the world shifts under Trudeau’s feet, too,” and he enumerates some of the challenges that might cause the ground to shift, starting with Putin’s opportunistic adventurism, the emerging Turkish-Russian friendship and the potential of a Trump presidency in the USA.

Contributing to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa, winning a spot on the UN Security Council, developing a North American environmental agreement, leading the global fight against climate change — these are all important goals,” according to M Petrou, although many, including me and some of my well informed friends on, would beg to differ, “and if Trudeau has his way, they’ll form the framework of his foreign policy agenda … But, like other leaders before him, Trudeau won’t get to choose which foreign policy issues define his time in office. All he can do is choose how he responds to them. Trouble is brewing — in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Syria and, most alarmingly, the United States. Trudeau will be hard-pressed to avoid it.

It is, as Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said, “events” that derail a government, not its own plans and actions …


Macmillan knew something about the winds of change: it was the title of a famous speech he gave in South Africa in 1960 and, also, it was the title of the first volume (of six) of his autobiography that covered the years 1914-1939. Prime Minister Macmillan’s biography is heavy reading but it would serve Prime Minister Trudeau well to have someone read it to him.

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