After boastfully declaring that he would enhance Canada’s place on the international scene, Prime Minister Trudeau failed in his bid to secure a United Nations Security Council seat.
Canada’s place in the word has been effectively eroded in his watch.
Foreign policy matters, so Trudeau is right in drawing attention to it in his mandate. Canada has had a record of being a good global citizen and offered the peaceful model of a tolerant cosmopolitan society with an independent hybrid legal system inside a bilingual framework. This was an admirably attractive image to countries around the world, and it opened avenues of influence to those mired in various forms of tyranny. In addition, the lack of an imperious past gave Canada an advantage over countries like France and Britain, Russia or the United States.
But under Trudeau, Foreign Affairs in Canada became a wing of the virtue-signalling mill, more interested in projecting progressiveness than in achieving policy ends. Ironically for an image-infatuated regime, there was not much consideration of the consequences of incessantly projecting wokeness. And consequences, there have been.
Take our relations with China, soured from the start by the prime minister’s wokeness. Aggravating relations for the sake of promoting human rights might be a worthy objective, but publicly shaming the proudly authoritarian culture of the Chinese Communist Party for not being progressive enough about the number of women “sitting at the table” was ridiculously unwise.
The much-touted “strength in diversity” morphed into self-righteous Canadian cultural superiority. The blunders resulting from it are too long to recount here but consider the trip to India, the largest democracy and the second most populated country in the world.
Select the condescending cultural appropriation in the incessant dress up that earned Trudeau the country’s scorn. Select the insulting arrival without calling on the Indian prime minister right away. Or bringing to India an Indo-Canadian chef to cook Indian meals for the Trudeau family. Any of these deliberate actions alone would have caused sufficient damage to relations with India without inviting a would-be terrorist assassin, an enemy of the Indian State, to a Canadian reception.
And so, the image of the hip and virtuous leader that media and voters in Central and Eastern Canada largely hold of our prime minister is not what leaders of other nations see. Many who have encountered Trudeau in international dealings have not been impressed. Former Australian prime minister Malcom Turnbull described Trudeau in his memoirs as “flaky.”
Politics may be, as Kenneth Minogue once wrote, “a theatre of illusions.” It projects images and sounds to an audience and typically entertains them. But to those who work in the business of crafting their own performances and producing similar entertainment, the illusions are less impressive. Flashy socks impressed the Davos crowd but had no effect on Turnbull, who expected skills, persuasive policies, and ideas.
Absent persuasive skills, power and bribery could do. But Canada has extraordinarily little of the first and not a lot of the second. Influence for UN positions is pushed in pledges of contracts, donations and grants, which brings us back to credibility. Those who are experienced in politics know that integrity lies in the space between what one says and what one does.
Prime Minister Trudeau is (much like Barak Obama, though significantly less articulate) prolific on saying, and not terribly good at doing.
The self-proclaimed feminist has elbowed a female parliamentarian in the chest, groped a young female reporter, yelled at a black female parliamentarian for holding divergent views, and fired from cabinet and evicted from his party the only indigenous female cabinet member for upholding the law and acting on her conscience.
After proclaiming indigenous affairs to be the central preoccupation of his government, in front of a crowd of Toronto faithful, Trudeau publicly mocked Aboriginal women calling to attention the lack of potable water in their community. Earlier this year aboriginals across the country rose in discontent, blockading highways and railroads, demanding progress. Thousands of aboriginal children in Canada still cannot access clean running water.
After proclaiming Canada to be a model of multiculturalism and tolerance for minorities, Trudeau was found to have donned blackface makeup more times than he could count, denigrating people of colour, declared Canada to be a genocidal state, tacitly supports the fantasy that Canada was founded as a racist state, and has recently condemned national institutions and the federal police for being systemically racist.
That Trudeau received less votes less than Harper in pursuit of the same U.N. objective is a heavy humiliation, largely self-inflicted. Almost single-handedly, Trudeau has torn down the image of Canada, for itself and for the world, as a tolerant model.
Why would other states support this Canada on the world stage?