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It seemed like a no-brainer, but one wonders how these will be received by the citizens of those countries. Sure, Canada wasn’t willing to back you in the war, but now that the hated tyrant crawled out of a hole, alone, bewildered, and blinking like a sleepy vagrant, we’re with you all the way! Now, about those contracts for rebuilding Iraq…
Of course, Canadians remember that Martin supported Chretien’s decision not to join the coalition that invaded and occupied Iraq, but the American public, to judge by the headlines that had appeared on Friday, is blissfully unaware of that fact.
When Martin announced his new cabinet, he made sweeping changes, bringing in 22 fresh ministers and retaining only 16 from Chretien’s government. One person who kept his job was the foreign affairs minister, Bill Graham, who vigorously defended Canada’s decision not to go to war without the blessing of the U.N. The American public probably didn’t notice that either.
U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci probably did take note of the fact that Martin created a new portfolio, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, supposedly akin to the American Office for Homeland Security, and he may report that back to Washington. This may even make the papers somewhere in the States. What will certainly not be reported (because it is very dull) is that the person in charge of it, an intelligent woman name Ann McLellan, in her previous two portfolios (justice, health) made a lot of noise but accomplished very little.
To top it off, the new prime minister appointed one Scott Brison to assist him “in developing an integrated approach to Canada’s multi-dimensional relationship with the United States.” Mr. Brison was a sitting member of the newly created Conservative party (a merger of two older parties) only a week before Martin became prime minister. Some even considered him leadership material. Then to everyone’s shock and surprise he crossed the floor and joined the ruling Liberals, saying he had no desire to be a member of a “conservative debating club.” No doubt this local Jim Jeffords will put his stamp on the face of Canada’s relationship with the U.S. — whichever face that happens to be, on any given day.
It is true that what might seem inconsistent in one country might make perfect sense in another. There is nothing wrong with Canadian politicians doing what is right for Canada, even if American don’t understand it or approve. The problem is, many Canadians seem to have lost the ability to decide what is good for them…beyond the next American election, that is.