Canada: A Client State

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jerrym
Canada: A Client State

Chrystia Freeland's proclamation that "to rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state,” is both Orwellian and a Trumpian alternative fact reflecting the reality that Canada is in its fourth Harperite term. The proposed 70% increase in defence spending of the Liberal government is aimed at meeting Trump's demand that NATO members increase their defence spending to 2% of their GNP or face his wrath. The $62.3 billion rise in military spending over 20 years, including an increase from 65 to 88 fighter jets at an alleged (when have military procurements ever not surpassed their estimated costs?) cost of $15-19 billion and 15 combat ships for $56-60 billion  do very little to address the modern problems of failed states and terrorism. 

Canada fits the definition of client state perfectly: "a state that is economically, politically, or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state in international affairs". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client_state) In fact, Canada has been a client state (or colony) since Confederation, either of Britain until WWII and the US since. 

With the regard to NATO, the US through NATO has now requested Canada contribute soldiers or RCMP to train Afghanistan soldiers and police. The US usually do not make these requests public unless they have already got a yes answer. After our previous experience in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq what could possibly be go wrong?

The increased role and funding for NORAD seems to also meet no military needs in a post-Soviet world other than once again meeting Trump's demands.

Nothing illustrates the extent to which Canada acts as client state, while pretending otherwise, than its proposal to move military pensions and the Coast Guard under the military budget after many decades of being placed elsewhere in order to help in the process of increasing military spending along with the above increases on the books from .99% to 1.4% of GNP. This at best accomplishes nothing other than make us look closer to Trump's 2% of GNP demand and allowed him to tweet a boast that his demand has forced Canada to increase military spending 70%. The accounting shift for military pensions and the Coast Guard could even lead to reductions in funding for these as generals never consider these expenditures core military activities. This accoounting shift has been approved by other NATO states because many of them are already doing the same thing. 

Proclaiming that one has no intention of being a client state, is exactly what client state governments do. Fully independent governments don't need to pacify the natives with such statements and the dominant state does not object to such statements as long as the client does what is demanded because it recognizes the client state must attempt to retain some credibility with its own population. 

jerrym

Economically, the story is no different. Pierre Trudeau was right: "Living next to you (the US) is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."

Unfortunately, Trump is anything but a friendly, even-tempered elephant. He has grunted that Canada needs to make adjustments to the NAFTA agreement to make it more favourable to US interests with regard to lumber, steel, automobile and airplane manufacturing, as well as threatening to rip up the trade deal, and Justin has spent months trying to prove that Canada has been a good trading partner, to absolutely no affect. 

All Justin's contortions to meet Trump's demands fulfills the third component (in addition to the militarily and economically) of the clent state definition: Canada is politically subordinate. 

Rev Pesky

What the author of the article has proved is that if you make the definition of 'client state' broad enough, you can include everyone but the United States.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

But Rev, don't you agree that Canada has always been a colony, first of Britain and then of the U.S., and never a truly independent state? That is certainly the way it looks to me.

Of course, Canada has been formally an independent state since the Statute of Westminster was passed by the British parliament in 1931, but de facto it has always deferred to its colonial master.

Rev Pesky

From an old lefty's point of view, a client state is a state that doesn't develop its own bourgeoisie. By that definition Canada is not a client state. It has its own well-developed ruling class, banking system, and industrial infrastructure. In fact, recently 4 Canadian banks were listed amongst the ten 'strongest' banks in the world.

One of the points about the local bourgeoisie is that they act in their own interest. A client state is typically a state with no, or a very weak, bourgeoisie. A state which operates in the interest of some other independent state.

The Canadian bourgeoisie has similar interests to that of the USA bourgeoisie, but that doesn't make Canada a client. They can diverge, and in fact today's news has a headline with just such a divergence. Here's the headline from the Globe & Mail: U.S rebukes Canada over Chinese deal

A client state would never be out there making its own deals with other countries.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I find it funny when people that I believe would never, ever say "my neighbour pushes me around and I TAKE IT, because I'm a coward and I do what I'm told" are in a huge rush to suggest of all other Canadians that our neighbour pushes us around and we TAKE IT because we're cowards and we do what we're told.

TBH, it feels like being goaded.  Are we not man enough? 

Are we nothing more than "cucks"???  ARE WE CUCKING????

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I find it funny when people that I believe would never, ever say "my neighbour pushes me around and I TAKE IT, because I'm a coward and I do what I'm told" are in a huge rush to suggest of all other Canadians that our neighbour pushes us around and we TAKE IT because we're cowards and we do what we're told.

TBH, it feels like being goaded.  Are we not man enough? 

Are we nothing more than "cucks"???  ARE WE CUCKING????

I'm not sure what "people" you might be referring to, but it does seem to be aimed at me. My only response is that facile analogies between individuals and countries are almost always unhelpful and misleading. You should know better, Magoo.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'm not sure what "people" you might be referring to, but it does seem to be aimed at me.

No, it wasn't aimed at you at all.

But there does seem to be a contingent who want to both assert their autonomy and pride, while also saying "we're all bowing and scraping before the U.S.", and I can't help but think that those people -- not you! -- are just trying to embarrass the rest of us into agreeing with them, in a show of macho.

jerrym

Mr. Magoo wrote:

I find it funny when people that I believe would never, ever say "my neighbour pushes me around and I TAKE IT, because I'm a coward and I do what I'm told" are in a huge rush to suggest of all other Canadians that our neighbour pushes us around and we TAKE IT because we're cowards and we do what we're told.

TBH, it feels like being goaded.  Are we not man enough? 

Are we nothing more than "cucks"???  ARE WE CUCKING????

The comment concerns whether Canada is a client state or not and is specifically related to the actions of the Canadian government, not Canadians in general. However, I'm pretty sure you knew that but would prefer to engage in a personal attack rather than discuss the issue. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Don't take it personally, jerrym.  I've said it before, and I can't promise I won't say it again.

jerrym

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Don't take it personally, jerrym.  I've said it before, and I can't promise I won't say it again.

As they say in law, when the facts are on your side, attack with the facts, when not attack the person. As typical, you don't analyze anything, but engage in trolling by misrepresenting what others say. Don't take it personal. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
As they say in law, when the facts are on your side, attack with the facts, when not attack the person.

That's good advice!

And I took it.  I'm not "attacking" an individual (so, you're off the hook here).  I'm quarreling with the silly-ass idea that any time we don't cross swords with the U.S. it's because we're bowing our heads and doing their bidding.

Let me put it another way:  if Canada (or, Canadians) don't disagree with the U.S., that's not, in and of itself, evidence of weakness or unmanliness or servitude.  But what say you, jerrym?

jerrym

I was describing a pattern of behaviour that has repeated itself throughout our history with both Britain and the US, not any single time that is reflected in the current situation. You are free to disagree with that. Beyond that, I don't have the time to waste to keep going back and forth on this. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Good call, jerrym.  Keep your powder dry.