So, I see, in an article from Reuters, that “India summoned Canada’s ambassador on Friday and said comments made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over protests by farmers near Delhi were an interference in its domestic affairs and would seriously hurt bilateral ties … [this latest issue started when] … Trudeau, speaking to the Indian community in Canada, said this week that he was concerned about the farmers, most of them from the Sikh-dominated Indian state of Punjab, camped out on the outskirts of Delhi in a protest against farm reforms … [he was, yet again, out looking for Sikh votes rather than considering Canada’s vital, strategic interests, and, predictably] … The Indian foreign ministry said in a statement that comments on “issues relating to Indian farmers constitute an unacceptable interference in our internal affairs.”“
Now, two points:
- India is a rising great power. It is the obvious Asian counterweight to China, especially for trade. India wants what Canada exports but it can find many of the same things in Australia, Brazil, Chile and Denmark. It doesn’t need Canada;
- Gratuitous comments about another nation’s internal affairs is a long standing diplomatic “no, no.”
So, what can we conclude from this?
Well, first: Justin Trudeau is stupid. He’s not just stupid, he’s an ill-disciplined child who cannot resist grabbing the candies in the supermarket checkout lane.
Second, serious strategic thinkers like Louis St Laurent and Lester B Pearson knew, 70 years ago, that India was going to be a key player in Asia and in the world. They set about establishing and maintaining excellent relations with it. Leaders from John Diefenbaker through to Stephen Harper worked to maintain at least friendly and usually warm relations with India. It’s a big country, almost 1.5 Billion people and still growing. It is the wold largest democracy. Does it have problems? You bet. Do America and Britain and China and Canada, too, have problems? Yes, in spades. Do you hear Narendra Modi commenting on, say, Canada’s failure to provide clean water drinking water to First Nations, some of which have waited for 25 years? No, because Prime Minister Modi is a grownup, he’s a thoughtful political leader who doesn’t go around making enemies where he doesn’t need them … he has enough already and India and Canada share one antagonist: China.
But Canada, it appears, doesn’t need friends in Asia. Canada doesn’t need to export more to India. Canada doesn’t need to practice proper, polite diplomacy. All Canada really seems to need is for a few more Sikh-Canadians to vote Liberal. That appears to be our national interest. That’s where this started. Prime Minister Trudeau was out shilling for a few Sikh-Canadian votes and he stepped into a gig pile of diplomatic doo-doo because he just can’t help saying and doing dumb things.
But let’s be charitable. While I reiterate that Justin Trudeau is stupid, and I assert that most of us knew that in 2015, but many of us were just tired of Stephen Harper, then, and many of us were tired of good, sound, boring government with balanced budgets and all that sort of thing, so many of us, almost 40% of us, overall, decided that “heart” mattered more than “mind,” and, as noted editorial cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon said …
… many of us (enough of us, anyway) voted for the not very bright spoiled child.
So, we, Canadians, got what so many of us wanted, the photogenic kid with great hair and a famous name became our leader and then … ethics violation after ethics violation, scandal after scandal, proven blackface and allegations of groping, conflict of interest, attempted obstruction of justice, even a public accusation of something verging on bribery in the WE Charity Scandal. But he has failed, over and over and over again. He fails in social policy; he fails in policies towards First Nations; he failed to contain his deficits and to give us a balanced budget in 2019, as promised; he failed in securing Canada’s borders, first against illegal migrants and then against COVID-19; he failed to deliver on his defence policy promises; he is failing to deliver vaccines; and he screwed up relation with India in 2018 and now he’s done so again. He is a monumental failure as a political leader and, given the ethics violations, blackface and groping allegations, as a human being. But, it seems to me that he just cannot help himself. He lacks self-control; he’s still, emotionally, that kid in the shopping cart, screaming for a candy. He never grew up. The Conservatives were right in 2015, weren’t they? He’s just not ready and bing prime minister of a G-7 country is not an entry level job.
So, my question to the mostly young Canadians living in and around e.g. St John’s, Halifax, Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Winnipeg and Vancouver is: are you going to keep voting for a proven failure just because he’s not a conservative? Or are you going to grow up? Are you going to put Canada first, ahead of your petty, adolescent prejudices, and vote for candidates that are honest, principled and who think before they speak?