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Discussion Forum

Conclusion: The World We Want

Thank you for participating in the Dialogue on Foreign Policy. The interactive web site is now closed. The Minister's report will appear on this web site once it is released.

This Forum is bilingual, and participants post messages in their language of choice.

Shape foreign policy?

Contributor: moderator

Date: 2003-04-14 13:27:53

This web site will remain open until May 1st to receive Canadian views on
how our future foreign policy should be shaped. The Minister's paper sets
out 12 questions, and the web site adds question 13 which asks about the
paper and Dialogue itself. Please answer the questions, if you have not
already done so. Do your friends, family, co-workers know about this
opportunity to have your views heard? The forums have been very lively and
quite informative on some topics, however is it possible now to focus more clearly on shaping Canada's foreign policy, along lines of the questions in the Dialogue paper?

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Shape foreign policy?

Contributor: cfallon

Date: 2003-04-17 16:52:53

Three Pillars

The 3 pillars are fine, but how a government puts them into action is not clear at all. As you have seen, virtually all of us can agree to those 3 pillars, but our understanding of how they would be put into place would be radically different.


Security is a very important issue. There are not many credible threats to our security - save terrorism. Our main security issues actually involve the security of our allies, not ours. We disagree with our principal ally, the US, on the security risks that WMD, rogue states and terrorists pose to the US. Consequently, we have decided not to assist the US in Iraq which I consider an abrigation of our alliance.
I would urge the government to reconsider this position.


Our prosperity is derived from continued integration with the US economy. We should pursue economic integration with the balance of the Americas, as well.

We should not do business with dictatorships. We can no longer put profits over people. A particular example is Cuba. We cannot turn a blind eye to its repressive regime just to get at their nickle deposits and cheap resorts.

Globally, we should campaign to eliminate agricultural subsidies. We cannot tackle all trade issues at one time and this should be our priority. If we are serious about eliminating third world poverty - or trying to - this would be the best starting point.

Culture and Values

We are the shining example of how all cultures and creeds can thrive together in freedom. We are a model for the world.

Freedom is the most important condition for living. Canada has fought overseas and lost many of its best people in defense of this notion. Now is not a time to reject freedom in favor of "stability". For example, Iraq under Saddam was never stable. Regimes that build prisons for children are not regimes that Canada can abide.

We should not be ashamed of freedom.

The UN

Canada must press for some reforms to the UN, particularly the security council. While I find it odious that we would reliniquish our decision making to the UN and its mostly despotic membership, it would probably be impossible to scrap this institution altogether. Some reforms I would like to see:

1) Move the UN from NYC to a city that could use the economic spinoffs. For example: Bagdhad, Kandahar, Quito, Harare, etc.

2) Reconstruct the funding mechanisms. The US and Japan should not be asked to foot 45% of the UN bill. At the very least, veto-wielding security council members should equally contribute to the UN budget (say, 10% each). At best, all countries should contribute the same amount - that way, they are legitimately eqaul partners.

3) Reform the security council. At the very least, vetoes should be eliminated. At best, permanent memberships should be eliminated. In between those two, the make-up of the council should reflect new realities - not the outcome of WWII.

I hope this helps.

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