I often disagree with my friends at the National Post editorial board, and they have it wrong again today. It's a given they're a little misguided (after all, they do occasionally publish my ramblings online, which doesn't speak well of their judgement) but they're particularly off base with this most recent editorial offering.
When outside Canada, MPs of all stripes are expected to defer to the policies of the government of the day, at least in public. But since the summer, both Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his party’s foreign affairs critic, Bob Rae, have sought to score political points back home by taking digs at the Tories while on foreign soil.They start with "on foreign soil" as where they draw the line (if phoning reporters back in Canada on your flight home, consult the moving map to make sure you're in international airspace before you dial). That would be disagreeable enough, but they confuse the issue by providing an example of unacceptable foreign policy disagreement that was made on Canadian soil: Ignatieff's comments on the government's UN security council bid.
Canadians Stand With You
Wall Street Journal | 3/28/03 |
By STEPHEN HARPER and STOCKWELL DAY
Today, the world is at war. A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet Prime Minister Jean Chretien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations.
This is a serious mistake. For the first time in history, the Canadian government has not stood beside its key British and American allies in their time of need. The Canadian Alliance — the official opposition in parliament — supports the American and British position because we share their concerns, their worries about the future if Iraq is left unattended to, and their fundamental vision of civilization and human values. Disarming Iraq is necessary for the long-term security of the world, and for the collective interests of our key historic allies and therefore manifestly in the national interest of Canada. Make no mistake, as our allies work to end the reign of Saddam and the brutality and aggression that are the foundations of his regime, Canada’s largest opposition party, the Canadian Alliance will not be neutral. In our hearts and minds, we will be with our allies and friends. And Canadians will be overwhelmingly with us.
But we will not be with the Canadian government.
Modern Canada was forged in large part by war — not because it was easy but because it was right. In the great wars of the last century — against authoritarianism, fascism, and communism — Canada did not merely stand with the Americans, more often than not we led the way. We did so for freedom, for democracy, for civilization itself. These values continue to be embodied in our allies and their leaders, and scorned by the forces of evil, including Saddam Hussein and the perpetrators of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That is why we will stand — and I believe most Canadians will stand with us — for these higher values which shaped our past, and which we will need in an uncertain future.
Messrs. Harper and Day are the leader and shadow foreign minister, respectively, of the Canadian Alliance.
L'AQUILA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper was forced to apologize publicly for attacking his political rival Michael Ignatieff at the G8 over a quote that was wrongly attributed to the Opposition leader by a senior Harper aide.
At a closing news conference here today, in French and in English, Harper was defending the relevance of the G8, when he launched into a stinging rebuke of Ignatieff.