Canada’s Reputation In Decline


elevennevele
#1
I initially commented about this on another forum with my opinion.

http://www.canadiancontent.net/forum...=236589#236589

However I find this to be a very significant issue of Canada deserving of it’s own discussion for thought. We are going from an more impartial negotiator, to one that now takes a Pro-USA ideology in foreign affairs. Something which I find really strange given how much we know the USA to have become despised throughout the world since the changeover to Bush Jr. and the continued failures that country has sown for it.

We are no longer seen as being fair-minded, balanced in our viewpoints and are slowly eroding a reputation as to what we can contribute to issues in the world.

Leadership for our country as to international affairs is no small thing. It determines our security, our trade, and our prestige. It was once a thing Canadians were very much proud of when travelling abroad. It’s a pride that I fear may be lost for our children and future generations of Canadians if we continue down this course.

Neither is it so easy thing to regain a reputation once it is lost. How much are we as Canadians willing to lose regarding our identity on the international stage?


Quote:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/witness

Canada, the good guys? No more.

Carolynne Wheeler, 25/07/06 at 5:21 AM EDT

It's not as easy as it once was to be a Canadian abroad.

There was a time when being a Canadian would instantly bring smiles to the faces of whoever you were speaking to, whether you were travelling in Western Europe or in the Middle East. We were the peacemakers, the good guys.

In recent months though, as Canadian troops have grown more involved in Afghanistan and our foreign policy has become more aligned with that of the United States, our happy maple-leaf passport is not always as welcome as it once was. And if you happen to be a holder of that passport, often those you meet want to let their feelings known, immediately and passionately, whether they're positive or negative -- as if you personally are responsible for every foreign policy decision of the last decade or so.

 
Colpy
Conservative
#2
I strongly believe the idea that Canada was a world "good-guy" exists only in the minds of Canadians.

We have been a part of NATO throughout the Cold War, the closest ally of the United States. We didn't go to Vietnam, but we sold the USA some of the arms they used there. Our companies have been just as nasty and just as irresponsible in places like the Sudan as have those from the USA. Our Great Leader Chretien buddied up to the monster Mugabe, and defended him at the Commonwealth Conference.

Yes, over the last 50 years we managed to take a moral stand on some issues. We were a factor in the Suez Crisis of 1956, but we were (IMHO) on the WRONG side. That was the LAST time we were of any significance in the ME.

We did not cut off Cuba in the 60s. That was moral, and correct.

We did not go to Vietnam with our allies, also correct, but we sold them arms.

We suck up to China, were the regime that rules is the same one that has been the absolute worst group of mass murderers in human history.

Probably the best example of us as a moral broker was Mulrooney's campaign against Apartheit. Hard to believe.....

Most of the time we behave like any other nation.....we do what our leaders believe is best for Canada......we act selfishly in our own interests.

This hardly adds up to a great reputation.

And, as for being a "fair-minded broker" between the fanatics of Islam and Israel, the US and western civilization, I will let Winston Churchill speak for me....

"Only a fool is impartial between the fire and the fireman."
 
wallyj
#3
I think we are on an upswing and have been that for a little over 6 months. It is great to actually stand for something rather than always sitting on the fence.
 
humanbeing
#4
Depends on where you go, really. And who you ask.

Lots of poor people in say, Africa, will give you a less than pleasant comment on Canada (perhaps due to the impact on their lives by Canadian business interests). While for a different reason, you may get a rude remark about Canada from someone in a European country (perhaps for some quirky action by our prime minister), or the States (perhaps for thinking that we all find them dumb). The reasons for liking and disliking Canada and it's citizens are varied and complex.

I think it's important to make an attempt to seperate the Canadians from their government and business interests abroad, just as it important to do so with any people from another nation-state. I know that ultimately, we might be the ones in the greatest position to affect the actions of our own government, but due to many factors this is not always for certain. Just as it is not for certain with other countries.

That's partly why (despite me mostly posting about the atrocities committed by states, ie. Israel and the US) I've never liked the guy who bombs some civilians of another country (or region) because the civilians' state bombed the guy's community and murdered many (just as I've never liked the state that bombed the guy's community to begin with). I feel that it's often people taking things out on, what I feel to be, the wrong targets.

As another example, I cannot stand the idea of simply pointing my fingers at, say, the Americans because of hell that is their government's foreign policy. I realize that there are a lot of just people in the US who oppose certain actions taken by those who wield power within their nation. And I feel most of the other people should not be flat-out blamed either, as they don't necessarily share their government's vision (if they do, it may often be due to other factors that are difficult for the individual to notice or control).

Quote:

We did not go to Vietnam with our allies, also correct, but we sold them arms.

Yup, we were dealing them out during this and a lot of other conflicts.

Canada has quite the stupendous role as a world arms dealer. We will probably sell 'em to you even if you are gonna turn around and use them to murder little kids and their mothers.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#5
The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly. It's leftwing pap and propaganda. If we have a reputation for anything it's stupidity. We had the world by the nuts in the '60's and threw it all away with a grand multicultural experiment. And now whatever problem occurs in the world we're in the thick of it. Coz, gee, some or our 'citizens' are involved. And so lately we've been busy offering free transport to Lebanese who carry our passports but in many cases haven't lived here for 10 or 15 years. It's embarrassing.
 
shannon
#6
We are surely not in decline. We are mearly joining the likes of our close allies and friends; the US, Australia, England ...).
 
humanbeing
#7
Quote:

The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly.

What are you referring to, Tamarin?
 
iARTthere4iam
#8
Canada must act selfishly in it's own interests. That may often mean creating goodwill and trying to bring stability to the world when we can.
We are not some mystical impartial peacemaker. you can't make peace and can rarely enforce it when the participating parties want to fight just like hockey. you stand by and wait for an opportunity to do what good you can and try to be the voice of reason. Reflexive anti-american behavior isn't going to solve problems in the world. Canada can spread good will simply by being Canada. Someone needs to show the world how to live peacefully. Not taking a stance when one is clearly needed is disingenuous and weak.
 
elevennevele
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by humanbeing

Depends on where you go, really. And who you ask.

Lots of poor people in say, Africa, will give you a less than pleasant comment on Canada (perhaps due to the impact on their lives by Canadian business interests). While for a different reason, you may get a rude remark about Canada from someone in a European country (perhaps for some quirky action by our prime minister), or the States (perhaps for thinking that we all find them dumb). The reasons for liking and disliking Canada and it's citizens are varied and complex.

I think it's important to make an attempt to seperate the Canadians from their government and business interests abroad, just as it important to do so with any people from another nation-state. I know that ultimately, we might be the ones in the greatest position to affect the actions of our own government, but due to many factors this is not always for certain. Just as it is not for certain with other countries.



Yes, I agree with things you have to say and I agree a reputation will vary from place to place. I’m sure now there are people in the USA and Israel who are more appreciative of Canada. In some cases with the USA, in as much as they can ‘use us’.

However it is very true that the leader of a country is very much a part of the perception that country has. Especially when the country is a democracy and the leaders position is one of votes from the pubic.

The easy example is the USA. There were many more things I admired about the USA pre-Bush. They had become a technological leader and they were (at that time) beginning to influence the world towards a change of moderate politics. There were some troubles of course by nothing like a world in chaos as we have today. Some will point to the trade towers as a catalyst, but knowing that FBI agents were taken off and warnings ignored, and how it was handled, it never had to happen this way.

People in the world recognized that Americans didn’t have to share in the fault. There didn’t have to be ‘collective punishment’ with a view to the USA. That changed however when they voted Bush in twice. So Americans do share fault in what is happening. Decades may go by and it might be very hard for any real forgiveness from the rest of the world.
 
elevennevele
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarin

The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly. It's leftwing pap and propaganda. If we have a reputation for anything it's stupidity. We had the world by the nuts in the '60's and threw it all away with a grand multicultural experiment. And now whatever problem occurs in the world we're in the thick of it. Coz, gee, some or our 'citizens' are involved. And so lately we've been busy offering free transport to Lebanese who carry our passports but in many cases haven't lived here for 10 or 15 years. It's embarrassing.


Canadians have influenced change in the world. You obviously don't give us enough credit. Even our multicultural society results in even the citizenry acting as micro ambassadors telling people in their home countries about our society, our way of life, our way of democracy. Harper, for taking a position of ‘picking sides’, is going to even create ethnic tensions at home. Soon anger will result in people making mistakes with one another and a new brand of cultural hatred will emerge in our own Canadian Society.

We have contributed to international laws and norms and while they don’t wave a Canadian flag everytime the United Nations puts into action our contributions, the contributions are there and have impact. Things which do help to make the world safer by bringing other countries in line with certain standards of human rights and conduct. It’s not perfect and people here I’m sure will find faults, but it was better than where we are going now as a nation. We are running risk of losing that capacity as a player on the world stage. Don't you even know our own history?

If you think our voice is so small now, our ability to influence change in the world will only diminish further. Why was it so important to the USA to have us as part of an Iraq invasion? It is because of how much leverage it would have lent to the legitimacy of such an action. They would have wanted us to put our international reputations on it. Harper would have done it. He sent a letter to the USA apologizing on behalf of Canadians (which he has no right to speak for me) for not having involved ourselves. Can you not imagine the mess our involvement would have caused us?

I loved going to Montana and Wyoming. Now I can’t even think to go down south even though I know there are good people there. I just can not lend my support given what I know them do be doing during these times. There is honestly a quiet boycott of the USA in the world. The countries heads don’t speak of it but the negative sentiment exists and people are quietly supporting it.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#11
Eleven, you give us far too much credit for our contributions. You're a nationalist and I like that. In the US they'd call you a patriot. We are a small player and it is in our trying to be bigger than what we are that we've risked our future. Not smart. We have big problems to solve in Canada, and if you're aware of our history, you'll know a lot still has to be done to placate First Nations communities and redress past wrongs. If anything this is what Canada is known for on the world stage: struggling, impoverished aboriginal enclaves; and an English minority in Quebec bravely trying to assert its rights in an overtly French society. All the while being citizens of a country that likes to lecture others on human rights.
 
humanbeing
#12
Quote:

However it is very true that the leader of a country is very much a part of the perception that country has. Especially when the country is a democracy and the leaders position is one of votes from the pubic.

Yes I know, and I admit it. I just think it is important for people to see past it. Doesn't mean most people actually do so, of course.

If most people actually did, it would probably result in revolutions.
 
iARTthere4iam
#13
We had a much better reputation when we fought for freedom in the secong world war. We were brave and smashed Nazis, not winey and wavering.
 
fuzzylogix
#14
Those were scary times----

The scariest thing about world war 2 was that the Nazis were SO bad that they made the US and UK look GOOD

Now THAT is spooky!
 
iARTthere4iam
#15
It's easy to look good next to a maurading band of fascists and imperialists gobbling up countries.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#16
Canada's reputation will decline most precipitously where it counts most. At home. I notice a repeat tonight of CTV's withering segment of W-Five. The program examines Canada's shockingly dysfunctional immigration system. Criminals routinely dodge the department's laughably cast net and cheat, assault, rape and abuse Canadian citizens. And they do it with impunity in a country that swaggers about the globe measuring others' records on human rights. I'm surprised these boldly tightassed and lecturing Canucks aren't tossed out on their keisters.
What is happening in this country and has happened for years is despicable. Something anyone who values Canadian citizenship should be ashamed of.
 
Toro
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by humanbeing

Quote:

The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly.

What are you referring to, Tamarin?

He's right.

Nobody cares about Canada's opinion in the Middle East because Canada cannot do anything one way or the other.

The idea that Canada has any real influence on world affairs exists only in the minds of Canadians.
 
tamarin
Conservative
#18
Exactly. I consume newspapers like pigs do swill. Hey, there's a visual for you. I commend the numerous Canadians who have written local and national papers to say the very same thing.
 
shannon
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Toro

Quote: Originally Posted by humanbeing

Quote:

The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly.

What are you referring to, Tamarin?

He's right.

Nobody cares about Canada's opinion in the Middle East because Canada cannot do anything one way or the other.

The idea that Canada has any real influence on world affairs exists only in the minds of Canadians.

At least it feels good to know we now have a leader who doesn't side with the terrorists.
 
Gonzo
#20
We never had a leader who did side with terrorists.
Canada is not a military superpower. We shouldn't pretend to be by taking over operations in Afghanistan. Canada should be peace keepers. Pearson had it right. The United Nations Emergency Force was Pearson's creation, and he is considered the father of the modern concept of peacekeeping. His peaceful ways would soon lead to his nomination for secretary-general of the United Nations. He led Canada in the right direction.
 
I think not
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy

I strongly believe the idea that Canada was a world "good-guy" exists only in the minds of Canadians.

You might have a point in todays day and age Colpy, but there was a time after WWII when Canada was a middle power exerting influence. That influence has waned over the decades because your military has shrunk to a force less than that of the NYPD. Military muscle has political clout, sad but true nonetheless. Just look at Australia, everybody pays attention to what they have to say.
 
shannon
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Gonzo

We never had a leader who did side with terrorists.
Canada is not a military superpower. We shouldn't pretend to be by taking over operations in Afghanistan. Canada should be peace keepers. Pearson had it right. The United Nations Emergency Force was Pearson's creation, and he is considered the father of the modern concept of peacekeeping. His peaceful ways would soon lead to his nomination for secretary-general of the United Nations. He led Canada in the right direction.

What's good about our present leader is that he did not remain neutral in this recent ME conflict. He did what was right. We need to remember that Canada has listed Hezbollah on it's list of terrorist organizations.
 
Gonzo
#23
Listing Hezbollah as a terrorist is good. This was done in 2002.
 
elevennevele
#24
I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m more of the opinion that our international presence if of greater importance to the world than some here would like to believe. Especially in terms of our contributions to international laws, and how we ‘were’ seen to be able contribute in situations of international dispute. We were a median indicator to what was seen as fair. We just keep screwing it up now. Especially now (ain’t that right Mr. Harper).

Quote:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../National/home

Former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Allan Rock:

Mr. Rock said the government's shifting position in the region has not done "grave damage" to Canada's international influence, but that the international community is watching "very closely what we say and how we say it."

Whenever I have traveled abroad, there was always a respect for Canada that was expressed. I dearly do not want our country to lose that with a government that decides to be ‘amateur night’ with our reputation.
 
Andem
Free Thinker
#25
Out of the countries I have been to recently in Europe, Canada has an overall good image in the minds of the people.

-Switzerland
-Germany
-France
-Netherlands
-Denmark
-Poland

My Experience: Overall, Turks don't seem to respect Canada.. but seeing as they are the most racist and extreme population in what some perceive as "Europe" (which Turkey technically is not -- minus 3% of total land). I would say that the overall view of Westerners including all of Europe and Germany and North America by Turks is very bad.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by elevennevele

I’m sorry but I’m afraid I’m more of the opinion that our international presence if of greater importance to the world than some here would like to believe. Especially in terms of our contributions to international laws, and how we ‘were’ seen to be able contribute in situations of international dispute. We were a median indicator to what was seen as fair. We just keep screwing it up now. Especially now (ain’t that right Mr. Harper).
Quote: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../National/home
Former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, Allan Rock:
Mr. Rock said the government's shifting position in the region has not done "grave damage" to Canada's international influence, but that the international community is watching "very closely what we say and how we say it."Whenever I have traveled abroad, there was always a respect for Canada that was expressed. I dearly do not want our country to lose that with a government that decides to be ‘amateur night’ with our reputation.

Quote has been trimmed
Allow me to say that Alan Rock is a complete moron. The instigator of the 1.5 billion dollar inaccurate, useless list of Grandpa's duck guns has screwed up everything he touched, never had an original thought, and his greatest achievement to date has been avoiding drooling on his own shoes.

Sorry, the guy's name just makes me see red.
 
athabaska
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by tamarin

The idea that a small player like Canada has some vaunted reputation for being an international power broker is silly. It's leftwing pap and propaganda. If we have a reputation for anything it's stupidity. We had the world by the nuts in the '60's and threw it all away with a grand multicultural experiment. And now whatever problem occurs in the world we're in the thick of it. Coz, gee, some or our 'citizens' are involved. And so lately we've been busy offering free transport to Lebanese who carry our passports but in many cases haven't lived here for 10 or 15 years. It's embarrassing.

Agreed. Canadian nationalism is embrarassing. There is nothing more annoying than those Canadian nationalists at a party who corner some American and then proceed to tell them who all the Canadian actors and singers are.

I like the nature and geography of Canada. That exists whether a political entity called 'Canada' remains real or not. Hopefully nationalism will go the way of the Do Do bird.
 
iARTthere4iam
#28
I am sooo glad Alan Rock is gone. It's unbelievable that he could have been the ambassador to anything. Dodged a bullet there.
 

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