“Canada appears to have misjudged the moment. And we should face it, it’s becoming a bit of a trend,” wrote Andew MacDougall, Canadian columnist and commentator on Tuesday, in reference to the latest Canadian interference in Saudi Arabia’s internal affairs.
The former Canadian official was commenting in an op-ed published in the Macleans magazine about the spat between Saudi Arabia and his country.
He wrote: “The swings and misses abroad have been coming at regular intervals for Justin Trudeau and his government over the past nine months.”
He listed many “failures in Canada foreign deals” such as APEC summit with the Japanese, trade with China, Prime’s trip to India, the G7 summit, NAFTA, and now the diplomatic crisis with Saudi Arabia, MacDougall argued that Trudeau must pick moments to make points, which should happen specially in the case of “unpopular” ideas.
He added, “if politics is the art of the possible, then surely diplomacy is too. Progressive ideals might be smart, just and worthy, but if no one is buying, then what is there to sell? This isn’t an argument to park Canada’s values. But every country’s foreign policy is a fudge; you have to pick your moments to make your point, especially when your ideas are the ones that are unpopular.”
“Indeed, it may not feel this way from inside Canada, but the reality is that Canada’s values are the ones under attack on the global stage; countries like Italy and Austria have elected politicians who have espoused, in some ways, Trump-like ideas that threaten the liberal global order. And notably, Canada’s rebuke does not seem to have been endorsed by other governments around the world so far. The need to defend our ideals’ shores is more piqued than the need to evangelize,” he said.
MacDougall served as director of communications in the office of the Canadian Prime Minister in 2012-2013, when the conservative party’s Stephen Harper was Prime Minister, only two years before Justin Trudeau took office.