Elections have consequences

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As conservatives nurse their wounds from America's latest election, Canada demonstrates that not all is lost. Ever since the Liberals lost the last election, Prime Minister Harper has been working hard to restore Canada's honor. And this incident at the UN shows how much that means. From The National Post:

Canada under the Conservatives demonstrated a marked shift in favour of Israel in votes at the United Nations yesterday, registering its third consecutive change on more than 20 Arab— and Muslim—sponsored resolutions that are annually critical of Israeli policy, but light on Arab responsibilities.

The switch from the way former Liberal governments voted is expected to continue when Canadian diplomats join those of other UN member states to consider 10 more of the annual resolutions next Tuesday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said in successive speeches that his government would not endorse international resolutions on Arab—Israeli relations that it considers unbalanced.

Arab and Muslim states use their developing world support to produce "automatic majorities" that slot the resolutions into the international record, then cite them to argue they have global support for their causes.

On many of the resolutions, Israel has typically received support only from the United States, a few U.S.—dependent Pacific island states, and frequently Australia —— but now Canada is breaking from its traditional support for the Europeans on most of the issues.

"If this is a shift, and if the resolutions are largely unchanged from previous years, then it will have implications for our reputation around the world, and echoes in Canada as well," warned Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador to the UN under the Liberals, who is now an international governance expert with two Waterloo, Ont., think—tanks.

Heinbecker's right about the "implications" for Canada's world reputation——just not in the way he thinks:To me it shows that with the Liberals out Canada again is behaving as a responsible player on the world stage.

Clarice Feldman   11 19 06

As conservatives nurse their wounds from America's latest election, Canada demonstrates that not all is lost. Ever since the Liberals lost the last election, Prime Minister Harper has been working hard to restore Canada's honor. And this incident at the UN shows how much that means. From The National Post:

Canada under the Conservatives demonstrated a marked shift in favour of Israel in votes at the United Nations yesterday, registering its third consecutive change on more than 20 Arab— and Muslim—sponsored resolutions that are annually critical of Israeli policy, but light on Arab responsibilities.

The switch from the way former Liberal governments voted is expected to continue when Canadian diplomats join those of other UN member states to consider 10 more of the annual resolutions next Tuesday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said in successive speeches that his government would not endorse international resolutions on Arab—Israeli relations that it considers unbalanced.

Arab and Muslim states use their developing world support to produce "automatic majorities" that slot the resolutions into the international record, then cite them to argue they have global support for their causes.

On many of the resolutions, Israel has typically received support only from the United States, a few U.S.—dependent Pacific island states, and frequently Australia —— but now Canada is breaking from its traditional support for the Europeans on most of the issues.

"If this is a shift, and if the resolutions are largely unchanged from previous years, then it will have implications for our reputation around the world, and echoes in Canada as well," warned Paul Heinbecker, a former Canadian ambassador to the UN under the Liberals, who is now an international governance expert with two Waterloo, Ont., think—tanks.

Heinbecker's right about the "implications" for Canada's world reputation——just not in the way he thinks:To me it shows that with the Liberals out Canada again is behaving as a responsible player on the world stage.

Clarice Feldman   11 19 06