Monday, July 23, 2007

Harper's Foreign Policy

Sometimes when I criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper for betraying his principles, conservatives remind me that conservatism at least still shapes his foreign policy.

It's pointed out to me, for instance, that Harper stands behind Israel, that he is tough in the War on Terror and that he is --- unlike the Liberals -- a reliable and strong ally of the United States.

But even in those areas Harper is backtracking. He recently seemed to be toying with the idea of extending monetary aid to the Palestinian Authority; he is now hinting he will pull Canada out of the war in Afghanistan; and on his recent trip to Latin America he engaged in Liberal-style America bashing.

And none of this is surprising.

A government that bases its policies on the latest polls instead of on principle can never be relied upon to do the right thing.

Update: Prime Minister Harper is no longer toying with the idea of sending cash to the PA; he is now actually doing it.

2 comments:

Ace said...

1. Extending monetary aid to the Palestinian Authority.

A: Israeli PM Olmert has released 200 Palestinian prisoners. We can also question Mr. Olmert decisioin in the same vein - but there no evidence that Harper is flip-flopping on the issue.

2. He is now hinting he will pull Canada out of the war in Afghanistan.

A: He says if there is no Parliamentary support for the mission, it won't be further extended. This is a fact of being in a minority parliament. But yeah, it's disappointing that he has backed off on promising a permanent commitment to Afghanistan.

3. On his recent trip to Latin America he engaged in Liberal-style America bashing.

A: Colombia and Chile are staunch US allies yet the latter has a Socialist govt and significant Cdn investments. Harper praised these govts for advancing free markets, democracy, et al. Anti-Americanism is huge in L. America for many historical reasons (1848 Mexican war, meddling in Cuba, the Panama Canal, etc).

L. Americans have adopted US models of 18th century republican governance since their independence and it has not always worked. The point Harper is making is that Canada's existence proves local govts. can make their own choices rather than aping the US. That's THEIR choice - not Mr. Chavez's, not ours, not the US's.

Mike Moffatt said...

It's pointed out to me, for instance, that Harper stands behind Israel, that he is tough in the War on Terror and that he is --- unlike the Liberals -- a reliable and strong ally of the United States.

How are these at all conservative ideas? Neoconservative, possibly, but I don't see how these are aligned with classic conservative though from books such as "Our enemy, the state".