Time For Canada To Show Leadership For The World
On the international stage, the Americans are not only pulling back, they seem to be abdicating their preeminent role. They're taken a back seat in Libya and have been conspicuously silent on Syria and Bahrain. Obama is not only withdrawing troops from Afghanistan but is actually talking about reconciliation with the Taliban. Iran seems to be able to act with impunity. And, even among Republicans, there seems to be a growing isolationism. Say what you want, this is not the sort of leadership the world needs.
Canada faces none of this. Our budgetary deficit is coming down faster than anticipated, and in any case, it was never of the magnitude of Europe and the US. People forget that before the economic crisis, the biggest problem we had was our low estimates of the surplus! If oil prices continue to stay high, and if the world economy stays relatively healthy, then Canada will again face rising surpluses.
If there ever was a time to jettison our reticence for leadership, it is now.
And we’ve taken some good first steps. The Harper government has continually taken a principled position on the Middle East and has supported Israel when it counts. Canada was the first to announce a boycott of the Durban II and Durban III conferences. We forced the Francophonie and the G8 to change closing statements on the Middle East. We were amongst the first to recognize the rebels in Libya.
But it’s time to go much further...