Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Glass-house nation building

At the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Paul Martin has pledged to create the Canada Centre for Peace and Democracy -- its purpose is:

. . . to serve as a concrete symbol of Canada's dedication to supporting Palestinians in their nation building (. . .) Canada has already allocated over $36 million this fiscal year, as part of its enhanced program of assistance for the Palestinians, to supplement the growth in volume of our assistance and to supplement our diplomatic presence with a broad-based facility that can support our activities in Gaza, the West Bank and throughout the Middle East. (PDF file from

Martin's announcement comes as Ariel Sharon remains gravely ill and the uncertainty and tension of the political situation in Israel is palpable. Aside from the bad timing, Martin's plan is as presumptuous as it is arrogant.

Canadians strive for 'peace, order and good government', but our current ruling party hardly embodies these noble goals -- yet it feels competent to pass along its vision of democracy to a fledgling Palestine.

Liberals would say the goal is to establish democratic principles and infrastructure prior to the formal creation of a Palestinian state. They would tell us that if Canada can work with Palestinians to create the foundations and the institutions -- democracy will follow.

Canada, under the Liberal Party, is a country divided. We are 'a nation of minorities', we are fractured regions competing for papa's money and attention; we are independentt nations wanting to secede and disrespected citizens angry and sometimes bitter that although our votes don't count, our taxes sure do.

The Liberal Party's handling of Quebec and Alberta over 30 odd years are enough to show that they have no place in nation building. Add to that the stench of corruption and incompetence still clinging to this stale government -- and Canadian should know that this initiative is not the right thing -- not now -- not under this flaccid and tainted administration.

Under the Liberal governments of Pierre Trudeau (1980) and Jean Chretien (1995) we had referendums on Quebec sovereignty. The second mightn't have been necessary, but for the fact that in 1982, Trudeau patriated our new constitution -- without Quebec's ratification. What other democratic nation would be so intent on having a new constitution that it would consider going forward without full participation from its provinces? If it took twenty years to negotiate a resolution satisfactory to all parties, it would have been better than the limbo the framers have left for Quebeckers and for the rest of Canadians who look on helplessly. All because another Liberal Prime Minister wanted a legacy. Brilliant.

Western alienation isn't taken as seriously by the Liberals because despite rapidly growing populations, the provinces in the west still don't have enough seats to hold political sway. Albertans in particular seem to feel isolated and the only appeasement the Liberals offer is in the person of Anne McLellan. Even a Liberal strategist was said to have told a reporter "Alberta can blow me." Alberta's alienation is hardly an effective and positive representation of democracy.

If the Liberal government can't lead by example -- which obviously it can't -- it also loses credibility because of its failure to support Israel at the UN. If Canada is going to take a hand in promoting democracy in a new state of Palestine, certainly goodwill toward its neighbour is important, but the trust of Israelis is paramount -- Canada can't offer a positive role model on this front either.

"We will continue to press for the kinds of [UN] reforms that will eliminate the politicization of the United Nations and its agencies and in particular, the annual ritual of politicized anti-Israel resolutions." - Prime Minister Paul Martin, November 13, 2005
Despite that assertion, Canada's voting record has not improved, and the attitudes about sensitive issues like Jerusalem remain rigid and one-sided:

  • Canada holds that any actions taken by Israel to enforce its laws, or assert jurisdiction over the Holy City are illegal saying Israel has no jurisdiction over any part of Jerusalem. In 2005, Canada withdrew all passports that had "Jerusalem, Israel" as a place of birth.
  • In April 2002 Canada accepted the "Jenin massacre" hoax as fact, and has not apologized.
  • Canada has called upon Israel "to cease obstructing the movement of the staff, vehicles and supplies of [UNRWA]." Canada supports this "free movement" even after wire service videos show UNRWA ambulances being used to transport terrorists, and an admission by UNRWA's secretary-general that some of their paid employees might be Hamas members. Canada has never called for UNRWA to end its involvement in terror.
  • Canada says Israel has obligations to Palestinian Arab refugees, with no obligations to displaced Palestinian Jews for the same period.
  • Canada has re-stated calls for the prevention of all acts of violence by Israeli settlers, with no call for an end to offensive Palestinian violence against innocent civilians.
  • Canada accepts the idea of a Palestinian state without insisting the PA end terror.
Israel is a fragile nation in the midst of great hostility. Its government is in a state of suspended animation with Ariel Sharon's condition uncertain, and his successor unclear. Iran's enmity and capabilities are both heating up, and Paul Martin wants to inject himself into this volatile mix.

How can the Liberal Party of Canada be a credible nation-builder or peace broker with their credentials? To be an example to developing nations, Canada must be free of scandal and able to demonstrate that its own electorate is up to the task of holding government to account. The only way to do that, is to extract the Liberals from their grasp on power, and start rebuilding our own battered democracy. That can't happen with Paul Martin as Prime Minister.



Canadian Sentinel said...

Just caught this post as I'm prepping to leave for work, but I'll certainly read the whole thing later and come back.

For now, I would state that from everything I've observed about the Liberals since 1993, they're not nation builders at all. Nearly lost the '95 Referendum by letting the separatists control the agenda. Then they proceeded to use national unity as an excuse to commit AdScam and everything. And now Quebeckers have come to the realization that the Liberals offer them nothing but cavalier disrespect, exactly as the Liberals have always offered the West, particularly Alberta.

The Liberals are divisive, pitting province against province for political gain in the short term.

Now they are bending over backwards yet again for the "Palestinians", who still refuse to accept Israel's right to exist and apparently await the next opportunity to launch yet another massive assault on Israel. I doubt "Palestine" will ever stop the hatred or change significantly as long as people like the Liberals keep siding with them.

Gotta go now. Will look back in later.

SpaceNeedleBoy said...

PMPM wants a pet project to work on after January 23. Creating this new boondoggle - ostensibly an independent non-profit society but with lots of government slush fund money (clearing throat, "grant money") - will give PMPM and his close pals a forum for bad-mouthing the British, the Americans, the Australians, the Israelis, etc.

Time will tell..

Candace said...

Check this out, C, it might be interesting

Canadi-anna said...

Thanks for the link Candace. I don't know if I can make it, but it sure would be fun!

Tim said...

Well said, Canadianna. The corrupt Liberals are giving our money to the corrupt PA. It makes perfect sense from their point of view. The PA is a fellow traveler for the Liberals. The PA resort to demagoguery to remain in power - so do the Liberals. The PA steals money from their own people to feather their own nests - the Liberals have Adscam et al. The PA casts their neighbour as an evil imperialist occupier - the Liberals do likewise with our American neighbour ...