Friday, November 12, 2010

Help Me Out Bob?

For the life of me, I don't get what the Liberals are doing on the Afghanistan file. Well I do, in terms of wanting to avoid a potential divisive debate, but apart from the politics, it just reeks on the principle front. Here's the problem:
Mr. Dewar was reacting to news from Korea that the Prime Minister will not seek parliamentary approval to allow Canadian troops to remain in Afghanistan post-2011 in some yet-to-be defined training mission. In addition, Bob Rae, the Liberal foreign affairs critic, told The Globe on Friday morning that he was fine with that.

“Whether there's a parliamentary resolution is not a matter of law (or even custom) but a choice of the government,” Mr. Rae said. “In the current circumstance I fully understand the government's decision.”

Mr. Dewar noted that Mr. Rae was in conversation with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon about a training plan. The Liberals have long pushed for Canadian troops to remain in Afghanistan after the combat mission is scheduled to end this summer.


How can Rae sign off, when the mission is "yet to be defined"? Isn't that lack of accountability a recipe for abuse? Why isn't Rae saying we support the training principle, but want a formal proposal that must go through the elected Parliament?

The Liberals have supported continued training, that's nothing new, the broad strokes consistent with the party stance. However, that philosophical consistency falls to pieces when one considers the ambiguity of what "training" entails. It is fair to ask if this is just an end around way to remain in theater, as we wait for the other shoe to drop?

Where are the Liberal safeguards here, to ensure that what the Conservatives have vaguely outlined meets our criteria? You mean, we are left to private conversations between the Conservatives and Liberals, without the light of day, without the most basic of public accountability? I'm sorry, but any democrat can't endorse this process, no matter if one agrees with staying or not. There's a way to proceed, and this is starting to resemble a star chamber feel, that insults the notion of true representation.

First, we have a key foreign policy plank articulated by a useless political hack, which is then followed days later by a strange out of country declaration by the Prime Minister. It would seem the Liberals are feeding this bizarre announcement with our own lack of basic accountability. Bob Rae giving the okay to a unilateral decision, under cover of some procedural precedent is weak, PARTICULARLY because nobody knows what exactly the government has in mind. I don't get it, don't support it and judging by my email inbox, I'm not alone...

UPDATE
BCL: "A Backroom Deal"

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14 comments:

ffibnamol said...

Well said. I 100% agree with you.

Anya said...

I am for bringing them Home ..send Civilians Ignatieff should listen to his Caucus. who are divided
I wrote him a letter and tole him, it is getting so bad, that I will not vote next time if this keeps up.Bob Rae is about as bad.

Steve V said...

Iggy's scrum just now:

"before we even speculate about parliamentary processes, let’s get one question down – what mission does the PM have in mind? If he can’t answer that simple question seven days before Lisbon on a mission we’ve known was ending since 2008, then this is incompetence by improvisation."

That's better...

Kirk said...

I think Rae's a little too comfortable making policy on this on the fly. While both he and Ignatieff have supported the idea of involvement after 2011 they seem to be reading out of two different revisions of the play book with Rae preferring the grand "great statesman" reading and Ignatieff a more "devil is in the details" approach.

At least the Liberals have been more consistent and honest with Canadians overall than Harper who seems to have pulled this decision out of Uncle Sam's hat sometime last week.

CanNurse said...

Excellent blog on this. Thanks! I absolutely agree 100% & have just sent a blistering letter to Iggy and Rae telling them that if this anti-democratic action by them is not reversed, I will definitely not vote for them.
Re Kirk's comment: Kirk said " At least the Liberals have been more consistent and honest with Canadians overall than Harper". That is not nearly enough, Kirk. Not even close. Everyone knows - & knew before the announcement - that Harp would reverse himself on Afghanistan. He has consistently reversed promises, without exception. He lies like a sidewalk & everyone knows it. The Liberals have had any number of opportunities to bring down this PM, particularly in cooperation with the other opposition parties. I think they are focused on a majority gov & it's never going to happen. In the meantime, they are looking less and less like a viable choice. I am both deeply disappointed and angry at them.

Omar said...

That's better...

Yeah, except how many times have we heard Ignatieff offer up this type of semi-tough oppositional rhetoric before with little or nothing coming out of it? I have tried my best to downplay or outright disregard the notion of a Librocon coalition, but this little maneuver makes those thoughts all the more difficult to set aside. And this collaboration with the government comes at the same time the Liberals are launching (yet again) new fund raising strategies! Haha. Good fucking luck.

Dame said...

Since my opinion is we have no rights to be there at all This is saddening me .. get the hell out ...
It is military invasion of a foreign country
.

Jerry Prager said...

Rae is wrong under the charter of righ:t the Queen made us all commoners of a charter, their is no party power can stand against that Trudeau and the Queen did: the Parliamentary Party system was overthrown, and this is the deathroe backlash, we, as chartered commoners, are the we of all, not the we of the Cromwellian elites who have governed since Commonwealth was divided between the merchant generals and the Levelers at the expense of the Diggers: our charter is our equity in the cause of war extensions.
This is another trap of Harper's, co-opting the libs, the closing them on the wrong side of an argument.
This is Ignatieff's field, if he can not see the sense in leading with his strength immediately, grounding the difference in deep knowledge and conviction, if he is not willing to lead there then I am becoming increasingly less certain that I will follow him into the next election. My local Lib is in danger of losing the seat, and I became a provincial Green, but I like our MP so I'll vote for him this time, and hope the greens go talk to the Orangemen about charter constitutionalism about conservation of land and heritage.

Jerry Prager said...

stupid typos

Jerry Prager said...

my local lib is NOT in danger of losing his seat, he is too committed a constituency worker, and loves advocating for people, so I expect to vote for him this time sshhhessh reread before send

Dame said...

besides ... we are Borrowing money for fighting this stupid and unjust war??? generals will never say no since this is what keeps them on the "ladder "

most of the people say No not just in Canada but in all the paricipating countries.. why it is hard to accepthe fact we lost it long time ago ??? It is like Vietnam .

Fred from BC said...

Dame said...

Since my opinion is we have no rights to be there at all This is saddening me .. get the hell out ...
It is military invasion of a foreign country



Wow...

Actually it is an International Security Assistance Force, not an "invasion"...and it was authorized by the United Nations Security Council and implemented by NATO. The real "invaders" here would be the Taliban, since they are predominantly from Pakistan (and of course a few other Muslim countries).

Dame said...

Afhgans in daylight talibans in the nightA.Fred I don't think you have much better definition of them then me.. we can argue if you want to be totally ridicule yourself.. You Mean we are Fighting Pakistan ????We have no more right to be there then theRussians had ... THEY TRIED TO MAKE THEM OVER... with zero result.. We can't bring real democracy for them from outside .
pretty much the same happened in Vietnam.. the menacing communism was the reason after freeing themselves the menace dissipated to nothing.... thechnology natural evolution of the country will bring advancement but not now yet. maybe 50 years from now..
this is a futile wasteful adenture from our part.. dragged into "helping out " the Bush Cheney war- mashine and liemashine ... today it makes zero sense.

Gene Rayburn said...

Hey Fred, is John Walker Lindh from a muslim country?

Keep representing the stupid people out here. That way we know who to avoid when looking for expertise.