The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Portugal Beats Canada
Irrelevant nation wins irrelevant position at irrelevant organization:
Canada’s hopes of returning to the top body of the United Nations ended in crushing disappointment Tuesday when it withdrew from contention, handing victory to Portugal.
The defeat marks a significant embarrassment for Stephen Harper’s government. It is the first time in more than 50 years Canada has not won a campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council.
In Tuesday’s election, Portugal garnered 113 votes in the second round, less than two-thirds of the ballots cast, which is the hurdle for a win. Canada received just 78 votes. As a third round of voting commenced, Canada announced it would no longer seek the seat.
Germany, heavily favoured ahead of the vote to secure a seat, won the other seat up for grabs in an earlier round of voting.
As you can expect the Portuguese responded to this triumph with complete indifference. When I checked the major Lisbon newspaper's site, Tuesday afternoon, the main headline was about - shocker - a Portuguese soccer victory. Bankrupt they may nearly be, but hell if they don't have their priorities straight. Old wise people, they understand only too well that what Cristiano Ronaldo does on the pitch, contributes far more to global happiness than anything UN Security Council has ever done.
Canada, which is a much younger country than Portugal, has responded to its defeat at the UN with all the composure of a teenage girl being rejected for cheerleader. The PMO immediately blamed long-time Harper rival, Lord Iggy of Harvard:
Mr. Harper's office wasted little time assigning blame for the disappointment, placing it at the feet of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
“I would say a big deciding factor was the fact that Canada's bid did not have unity because we had Mr. Ignatieff questioning and opposing Canada's bid,” Dimitri Soudas, Harper's communications director, told The Canadian Press.
“That was a factor that played ultimately against Canada because people outside of Canada were saying, ‘Well, Germany and Portugal have a united front, their opposition and their governments seem to be fully, 100 per cent behind this bid.’
Right. Canada was out maneuvered by a country with a population smaller than Ontario, and an economy smaller than Quebec, but really it was all Iggy's fault. Blaming your opponent is standard operating procedure in politics, but it makes little sense when the politician being blamed has, you know, absolutely no power.
Michael Ignatieff can bitch and complain all he likes but, for the time being, Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister. As such he, not Iggy, is responsible for running the government. Saying that you failed in your goal because the Leader of the Opposition was, amazingly enough, opposing what you were doing, is the lamest excuse imaginable. What did you expect him to do, agree with you? His job is to be a pain-in-the ass for no good reason. Just as one Stephen Harper was once a pain-in-the-ass to Paul Martin. It's how the game is played. Even dealing with the sacred matter of UN Security Council seats.
A more likely reason for Canada's defeat is that Latin America threw its support behind Portugal. Ethnic bloc voting is nothing new at the UN, and better a fellow "latin" nation get the seat that a bunch of snowbound gringos. Such a simple explanation isn't enough to satisfy the Great Canadian neurosis. "But we're the good girl!" Sure you are sweetie, but the boys just happen to like Maria better, it's not because you're ugly, or your Prime Minister has hockey helmet hair. Some, mostly on the Left, have suggested that the current government's foreign policy might have been to blame:
Some observers believe the Harper government's foreign policy is largely responsible for the outcome, including its pro-Israel stance on the Middle East, cutting foreign aid to Africa, and also the move away from UN peacekeeping and toward the Afghan mission.
However, [Foreign Minister Lawrence] Cannon dismissed the idea.
For argument's sake let's assume "some observers" are correct, that Harper & Co's super macho - by Canadian standards - foreign policy is at fault, and not the government's initially lackadaisical campaign for the seat. If this is so, our defeat is a very great compliment to us, and a profound indictment of the UN.
An organization that does not blink at putting Tunisia and Algeria on its Human Rights committee, has a problem with Canada supporting the only truly free country in the Middle East? Good. Better to have Israel's friendship than the support of a few dozen Arab kleptocracies.
Canada is having second thoughts about funding the Swiss bank accounts of various African tyrants? Good. Better that money be kept in Canada, for Canadian NGOs and private citizens to decide how best to help ordinary Africans.
Canadian soldiers are fighting, and winning, a nasty guerilla war in the wastelands of Afghanistan? Good. Canada produces some of the finest soldiers in the world, they are making the peace in a dangerous part of the world, instead of playing ineffective referees, at the behest of bureaucrats ensconced at Turtle Bay.
If Canada was indeed rejected for a Security Council seat because for the first time, in a long time, we have at least partially stood up for our values as Canadians, then so be it. We shouldn't want to be members of club that, for the price of that membership, asks us to forget who we are. Canada, as Laurier observed, is a free country and freedom is our nationality. That basic principle should be in evidence in our foreign as well as our domestic affairs. As has been amply demonstrated over the last sixty-five years, the United Nations has no interest in freedom.
Posted by Richard Anderson on October 13, 2010 | Permalink
And we are supposed to care about the UN? The only reason Canada didn't get the post is because we didn't furnish enough bribes. The UN is and always has been a cesspool of third-world corruption and anti-US cheerleader-ism. Best to shove the whole body off the North American continent. Let the Congo have it. No doubt they will appreciate the UN's cultural propensity for cronyism and theft.
Posted by: AB Patriot | 2010-10-14 12:03:08 AM
Small, irrelevant and bankrupt as Portugal is, it can still beat the crap out of Canada in soccer and diplomacy. How about that?
Man, it must suck to be Canadian.
Posted by: Cristiano Ronaldo | 2010-10-14 5:47:43 AM
“If Canada was indeed rejected for a Security Council seat because for the first time, in a long time, we have at least partially stood up for our values as Canadians, then so be it.”
What Canadian values?
UNCONDITIONAL SUPPORT to Israel is no “friendship”.
“Unconditional support” in this case is insane and only religious fanaticism could explain such zeal.
This doesn’t reflect Canadian values one bit but the ones of the CPC and a tiny bunch of neocons.
Canadians would support Israel’s right to exist but certainly not every of their actions; some more despicable than others.
Harper would have given an unconditional support and military effort to the war in Iraq.
Canadians? You know the answer.
Canadians’ aid to Africa made them proud.
Not only did the CPC cut most of that but they reshaped it by their religious standards.
The present government had to prorogue parliament to avoid allegation of torture regarding Afghanistan. The present government clearly doesn’t care about how Canadians view this mission.
The next election will confirm if Canadian values have been well served by the present government and their path that led to lose the seat.
-I am not here to parade my religious sentiments, but I declare I have too much respect for the faith in which I was born to ever use it as the basis of a political organization.
Posted by: Marc | 2010-10-14 10:30:26 AM
Frankly this is a plus with the UN being a big minus. Too bad Canada does not withdraw totally from this corrupt organisation.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-10-14 11:01:33 AM
This blogpost went viral in Portugal: http://bit.ly/9VBgiu+
They seem to assume this is a case of sour grapes, but that's because they don't know our Publius.
Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2010-10-14 12:24:02 PM
Family. What can you do?
Posted by: Publius | 2010-10-14 12:57:07 PM
Hey Canadian guys... do you know what is fair play?
We are a small and poor country, in the eyes of the North American eyes...
But in the other hand, we conquer the oceans 500 years ago!
We have the oldest defined frontiers in the world it seems irrelevant for you?
Let's see if you will keep Canada as one nation or it will be divided bettween frenchs and englishes...
Posted by: LUSO | 2010-10-15 3:56:54 AM
After years of KOW TOWING to the USA and their extreme Christian evangelical base, he receives NO support from the Yanks re. Canada's application for one of the rotating UN Security Council seats, that resulted in a humiliating defeat for Harper and his CRAPers.
But that ain't stopping Steve, his cabal of CRAP and their USA Private Prison Sponsors from pursuing a Failed Nixonian instituted policy of increasing the War on Some Drugs.
After having a serious case of whoop ass handed to him by the UN, Harper should look at Portugal's successful model for dealing with the issues of drug use.
Education NOT enforcement has been the key for Portugal having lower rates of drug use than either Canada or the USA.
Can the Rapture come soon enough for Harper and his minions?
LUSO. good to have you on board.
Posted by: jeff franklin | 2010-10-15 7:28:32 AM
Man, it must suck to be Canadian.
Posted by: Nuno | 2010-10-15 8:51:49 AM
From reading some of the comments one wonders why there is is only one way immigration traffic when it comes to Canada and Portugal. For some strange reason there is no flow of Canadians immigrating to Portugal.
Posted by: Alain | 2010-10-16 11:47:00 AM
A more likely reason for Canada's defeat is that Latin America threw its support behind Portugal.
Posted by PUBLIUS on October 13, 2010
That conclusion is incorrect. Canada could have gotten the seat had support come from the US. The US did absolutely nothing to back Canada. The statement "No nation has friends only interests" couldn't be truer.
Posted by: The Stig | 2010-10-16 4:11:48 PM
PUBLIUS has deleted two posts I made concerning bogus refugee claims made by thousands of Portuguese pretending to be Jehovah Witnesses. I suspect his "libertarian" principles of free speech and telling the truth don't apply when it comes to his ethnic group. The WS standard blog has devolved into nothing but a pointless rant vehicle for you and Brock. If you two are the face of libertarianism it's not surprising it's not going anywhere.
Posted by: The Stig | 2010-10-17 7:15:27 AM
Your comments were deleted for being bigoted. As will any future comments of a similar nature.
Posted by: Publius | 2010-10-17 12:58:45 PM
I believe Stig’s comments were no more condonable than what you or he usually serves us with. Much more nasty things written by you or else are still visible on this blog.
I believe the Stig hit a nerve and you didn’t like it.
The extremely offensive matter here is the actual P.M. and what’s last of his pom pom girls. Having their intelligence constantly insulted is clearly not a problem for those people. It’s funny how the ones applauding this isolationist are the same criticising Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy.
Posted by: Marc | 2010-10-17 6:01:54 PM
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