The Harper government's response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis smacked of empty gestures from a country that has become increasingly marginalized on the world state, two retired Canadian ambassadors charged Sunday.
We're not an empire. We're a party pooper who locks themselves in the bathroom if they don't get their way.
Our opinion isn't taken seriously on the world stage - when we have an actual opinion, instead of speaking points designed for partisan interests at home.
Our military has been crippled. We're on the verge of a high-ranking silver surge and due to poor internal supports for veterans, don't have the capacity to properly replace them.
Besides, after so much time focusing on the need to firewall Canada from troubles at our shores, what appetite do Canadians have to put boots on the ground somewhere else again?
The saddest part is that our current government probably doesn't even see the big picture emerging, the aggregated negative impact of their self-serving approach to Canadian policy.
That would be too much like committing sociology.
What we should be doing it ensuring we're in the conversation as closely as possible. Understand the nuance behind the positions being taken by all parties, get to the psychology informing their decisions and messaging both.
We should be doing our damndest to show the strength of a pluralist democracy, leading by example - which means the opposite of partisan nonsense like this.
And above all we should be taking a page out of Pearson's textbook and, in conjunction with international partners, getting a host of highly-trained observers on the ground to see first hand what is going on.
The sub-text to this becomes clear at the strategic level; if Russia uses violence in Crimea, they're going to hurt high-profile representatives of the rest of the world, inviting an unkind response.
But they aren't listening to me.
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