By Harvey Oberfeld
July 29th, 2015
Beware of politicians and parties that talk only in generalities or ignore critical issues that can affect foreign investment in Canada , our relations with other countries … both allies and foes … and even our safety and security.
It’s all very well to harrumph that we are an independent sovereign country … but let’s keep it real: our jobs and RRSPs and other investments, even the purchasing power of our dollar are CLOSELY tied to Canada’s participation/co-operation/role/relations with the rest of the world.
It’s very easy to know/see where Prime Minister Stephen Harper/Tories stand on foreign relations: anyone who follows the news has seen it play out quite clearly over the past 10 years. Agree or disagree … at least it’s there.
What about the NDP and the Liberals?
Not so much … in fact, not at all clear enough for me to assess and decide on how I’ll vote.
And I think it’s REALLY important for the NDP and Liberals to come clean and tell Canadians EXACTLY where they stand and what they would do on:
UN peacekeeping or military intervention forces;
UN human rights organization/conferences/participation;
NATO military actions in the Mid-East and elsewhere;
Hamas, Hesbollah, Al Qaida, Taliban;
Sanctions against Russia, Iran, Egypt, Somalia;
Human rights violations/censorship/dictatorships in China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Egypt etc. etc.; and,
Discrimination/persecution against women, gays, religious minorities;
Canada should not … and frankly, cannot … bury its head in the sand on these issues. BUT just try to find out the NDP or Liberal CLEAR stances on any of them!!
The NDP official website (www.ndp.ca) highlights “The Issues” in the upcoming federal campaign as:
“Good jobs; Childcare; Environment; Communities; Retirement Security; and Health Care”.
Pass the apple pie!! I’ll vote for ALL of them!
But as much as I tried, I could not find a SINGLE NDP pronouncement about CLEAR POLICIES on any of the above international topics on their site.
Canadians DO have a right to know where they stand, what their policies will be, what actions will they take, what changes will we see in our international profile and positions???
The Liberal website (https://www.liberal.ca/) DOES at least include under their highlights “What We Stand For” the heading “Repairing the Canada-U.S. Relationshp”.
But there’s not much else on foreign policy, listing instead:
“A new plan for Canada’s environment and economy; Open and Transparent government; Open and Fair Elections; Giving Canadians a Voice in Ottawa; Better Service for Canadians; Evidence-based policy; Restoring Fairness to Canada’s Relationship with Aboriginal Peoples; and, Fairness for the Middle Class.”
More apple pie!! My sugar levels are sky-high.
I believe Canadians want/need a lot more detail on both the NDP/Liberals’ proposed stances on foreign conflicts/participation/policies/issues.
Time for the media to start asking tough questions about these major issues … not just attend photo ops, quote press releases,, and be satisfied with the “Leader clip du jour”.
Well written Harvey.
Media should start asking the new questions and not the old paradigm of borders and division. Then we would have a wonderful discussion. Just sayin.