Harper ends Canada's Stint on the World Stage
Oct 14th 2010 | Ottawa | from The Economist
His country’s commitment to UN peacekeeping missions, for which a former Liberal prime minister once won a Nobel prize, declined sharply under the previous government and has not increased under Mr Harper.|
So why bother to seek a Security Council seat? The Conservatives seem now to realise that strong links to the United States are no longer enough in a changing world. Canada is still a big UN paymaster. As host of the G8 summit this year, it pushed for more aid for maternal and child health in poor countries. But its overtures to China and India came too late to sway the vote.
The snub has handed Mr Harper’s opponents a club with which to beat him. Jean Chrétien, a former Liberal prime minister, noted acidly that “In Canada, we have to realise that what you do has consequences.” Pollsters say the public attach little importance to a UN seat. But this was supposed to be a year in which Canada would figure large on the world stage. It started with the winter Olympics in Vancouver and the economy’s swift recovery from recession, and continued with hosting the G8 and G20 summits.
It seems to have ended early.