After its humiliating rejection at the UN last week, the Harper government wasted no time in signalling it didn't plan to pay the slightest attention to the judgment of the world's nations.
Perhaps it is too much to expect some humility -- or even a moment of reflection -- in Ottawa after the international community declined for the first time ever to grant Canada's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.
Like a kid who can't get along with the other kids in the sandbox, our prime minister promptly implied he never wanted to play with them anyway, that he wasn't interested in winning "based on popularity." Meanwhile, Conservative commentators suggested Canada's rejection by the world's nations amounted to a "moral victory."
After Wednesday's events in Ottawa, I want to comment on one version or account (yes, the dread "narrative") which was dominant in the reporting. It's the "unprecedented chaos, lost our virginity/innocence, never gonna be the same, demise of Canada as a Peaceable Kingdom" rendering.
The Peaceable Kingdom isn't even a Canadian phrase. It was used by U.S. Quakers in the 19th century. Literary critic Northrop Frye applied it here in the 1960s and it was popularized by Toronto historian and city councillor William Kilbourn. When I challenged him on its usage, he scoffed, "Don't you recognize irony, man?" It was sarcastic, or at best an aspiration far from reality.
This piece and its updates were first published at The Intercept, and is reprinted here with permission.
TORONTO – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, "converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau."
I'd forgotten why I find the Clintons so objectionable but Hillary got me back up to speed this week with an interview on foreign policy. She wanted to dispute Barack Obama's four-word summary of his approach, as reported in the semi-official journal, Foreign Policy: "Don't do stupid s---." He was responding to journalists on Air Force One who said he doesn't have a foreign policy. Later references paraphrased it as "Don't do stupid stuff," with a nudge/wink on "stuff." Hillary disagreed: "Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle." I'm here to say I think it's a great one.