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...
BCL: "A Backroom Deal"