Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Resolute Ally In The War On Terror -- A Commentary

From The Wall Street Journal:

Canadians are with us in Afghanistan. We should be with them on free trade.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been fielding questions for more than 30 minutes in a meeting with the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal's New York office. Up to now his answers, on everything from war to how to confront an economic tsunami, have been delivered in the low-key monotone of a plainspoken Western Canadian conservative.

But the mention of Canadian and American political opposition to free-trade agreements with Colombia has sparked a change in the PM's unflappable manner. For a fleeting moment, what sounds a lot like frustration emerges. "I'm not going to say it's a perfect government, but we have a government in Colombia that is democratically elected, that has increased democratic norms, that has taken on the insurgency, that is moving that country forward economically and politically. And it is in a hemisphere where we have an increasing number of real serious enemies and opponents."

Read more ....

My Comment: A glowing tribute to PM Harper from the WSJ .... but he does not get the same treatment back home. While Canada's present financial and economic condition is the envy of the world (banks are solid, budgets have been balanced until this year), this has not translated to political success for Stephen Harper. His minority government is very weak, and the opposition parties are unified to stop and/or limit much of his political agenda. Polls indicate that in the next election the Liberals will form the next minority government .... and Stephen Harper will be out of a job.

As for the Canadian commitment to Afghanistan? It runs out in 2011 .... and Canadian soldiers are going to come back home.

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