It might be easy to forgive a minority government for lack of conviction, but our Liberal government has already made it clear in previous majority incarnations that they are captive to paranoid nationalist sentiment - regardless of whether the issue demands heartfelt and true leadership. Instead, the Liberal government continues to shirk responsiblity. Look no further than the issue of national defense.
In a world that poses serious security threats to Canadians, we would expect that our national government would take to its proper duty and address vulnerabilities to our dominion. So what of missile defence? How does the current governments attitude really comply with its responsibility to the nation? How can this government turn its head on missile defence?
I would expect that the U.S. response to this cavalier Canadian attitude will further erode our important relationship. Too bad. This is not the time or place to play politics. A missile launched over the heads of Canadians - no matter if it is directed toward New York or Washington - is of grave concern for the population below its path. And who is to say Toronto might not be in its vector? No, I should think we should pay heed to the fact that there are ballistic missiles that could threaten Canadians as much as Americans. We should view continental security as the important foundation of Canadian defence interests. And we should use missile defence as an important leg of an incresingly integrated security and defence infrastructure shared with the United States.
Prime Minister Paul Martin is clearly a creature of politics - not nearly the bold leader we need now. But this seems to be a consistent problem in Canada. I would anticipate that the U.S. will continue to call Canada to stand up. Again, Canadians act like irresponsible citizens. The U.S. Ambassador is right to warn us that we risk our soveriegnty of defence - but we have long been doing that. I hope that behind the curtains real Canadian involvement is being promoted and executed.