… to watch Prime Ministre Justin Trudeau playing the obsequious sycophant to various third-world despots as he tries to curry favour and bribe them into voting for Canada’s bid to secure a worthless, powerless, temporary, second-class seat on the United Nations Security Council.
He has seemed oblivious to the fact that he’s bragging about Canada’s “human rights” and ‘equality” to politicians who are happy to have laws that criminalize homosexual behaviour and that he’s willing to enter a “partnership” in Africa’s oils and gas sectors even as his cabinet tries to shut down Western Canada’s energy industries and as his own country is in a political and economic crisis over pipelines. And then he bowed and scraped to the foreign minister of the mass-murdering Iranian regime, only a month after it shot down a civilian airliner, killing 57 Canadians.
This is all in pursuit of the ambitions of a few Laurential Elite insiders who are still campaigning against Stephen Harper. They remember that Prime Minister Harper’s government’s bid for a UNSC seat was rejected (2010) largely because Canada was perceived to be too close to Israel and because Prime Minister Harper was perceived to be too different from superstar US President Barack Obama, and not serious enough about climate change. Team Trudeau is hell-bent on proving that it is “better” than Team Harper by winning that seat (the other contestants are Ireland and Norway).
My guess is that Canada will fail again because the few hundred million dollars in
bribes aid it has promised to spread around Africa is not going to make much of a dent in the anti-Canada campaign that I suspect China is waging to continue to punish us for the Meng affair, amongst other things. China is, I believe, using Canada as a bit of a whipping boy to send a message to the rest of the world about the benefits and costs of dealing with China … on its terms.
In fact, I rather hope Canada loses. Not because I enjoy seeing my country rejected. Not even because I would enjoy seeing Justin Trudeau humiliated, but I admit that would be nice. I think that losing the bid for the worthless, second class Security Councils seat might persuade our diplomats that we need to rethink our role in the UN.
The United Nations is a marvellous idea and it’s an important institution. But it is also a deeply troubled organization. It is corrupt. It is badly managed. It is poorly led. It is badly organized. It is in dire need of reform.
The bad leadership and poor organization begin at the Security Council.
The United Nations is a creature of its time … and its “time” was the mid-1940s. The war was almost over and diplomats and politicians and bureaucrats and even a (very) few statesmen (and even fewer women) were trying to plan an organization that, as its Charter says, aimed “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war … [and] … to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small … [and, further] … to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained.” They built the United Nations. Had they not done so in 1945 we would be working on it today.
But it wasn’t all sweetness and light. President Roosevelt had been intent on dismantling the British and French empires because he believed that imperial overreach and envy had been partially responsible for the wars of the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th. Britain, however, was intent on keeping its empire and part of its plan involved getting France, weak, beaten, bedraggled, worthless France, a seat on the new Security Council. Russia was, equally, concerned about the new empire it was building on the ruins of Eastern Europe and it insisted that the “division” of the UN into regions (which finally happened in the 1950s) must include Eastern Europe as a separate one, guaranteeing it, Stalin thought, a permanent hand on the levers of power:
Latin America wanted a ‘group’ of its own that did not include the USA. America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand and (in the 1950s) the British colony of Belize were assigned to a global “Western European and Others” group. These and other compromises that seemed to make adequate geopolitical sense in the 1940s and ’50s are not, necessarily, what the UN needs, in the 2020 and beyond, to achieve its lofty aims.
The UN is beset by problems: corruption, bureaucratic inefficiency, organizational ineffectiveness and poor leadership being amongst the big ones. It needs reform.
The BEST role Canada can play FOR the benefit of the United Nations is that of a fierce, independent, principled reformer. That would be real leadership.
Being a vote-buying toady, which is what Justin Trudeau’s Canada has become in the year 2020, is not leading, it’s just brown-nosing.
To be the leader than Canada can be, that I believe Canadians want their country to be, the first step is to withdraw from this pointless political “beauty contest;” who cares if Ethiopia, Iran and Senegal like or petty bribes and glad-handing?
The second step is to decide what changes are possible to the UN and to fight, hard, for those changes in the United Nations General Assembly and in other fora, like the G7 and the CPTPP where we also have a voice. I have my own ideas about some of the things that need changing, But I think that professional Canadian diplomats are well aware of both the problems in the UN and the (limited) possibilities of effecting meaningful change.
But before Canada can take either of those steps, there is one thing that must be done: Canadians must toss Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party on to the political dung heap where both belong. Then, the Liberal Party must revive, resurrect and rebuild itself back into the great national institution it once was. That can only happen when the influence of both Trudeaus, Pierre and Justin, père et fils, is purged and the ideas and ideals of e.g. Wilfred Laurier, Milton Gregg, Louis St Laurent and John Manley prevail, once again.