Conservative Diplomacy and Canada's 'Place' in the World

Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Hamas, and potential Iranian nuclear activity – on each of these three leading international issues today, Canada has been outspoken and steadfast. The views of Harper’s Conservative government are not shared unequivocally across the Canadian populace, but nonetheless as Canada’s representative voice internationally these are the views and opinions that shape Canadian interaction on the global stage. Both Harper and John Baird, Canada’s current Minister of Foreign Affairs, have come under sharp criticism lately for adopting a loud voice on international matters which has at times resonated with tones of arrogance. The Conservatives’ foreign diplomacy has certainly sparked heated debate in media and public circles. Some applaud their decidedly different form of Canadian politics, while others question their purpose and resolve. Whichever side of the debate you may fall, it’s important to situate current Conservative diplomacy in its proper context by reflecting on Canada’s international contributions of the past.

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