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Justin Trudeau has undone decades of Canadian diplomacy through his foreign policy failures.
While the Prime Minister speaks highly of his desire to engage with the rest of the world and be a global leader on issues like the environment or human rights, the result of his handling has had the opposite effect.
In theory, Trudeau might see himself as an internationalist but in practice he is nothing short of an isolationist.
Whether you’re talking about India, China, Saudi Arabia, or even the United States, respect for Canada has fallen on all counts.
Under the Liberal government’s leadership, Canada has barely escaped from a trade war with the United States only to drown in back and forth trade sanctions with China.
Not only has Justin Trudeau and his team damaged our dignity as a global player but they might have compromised Canada’s role as a middle power.
In international relations, a “middle power” is a state which does not have the same means as a superpower but is still able to wield authority and influence over global affairs.
For a while, Canada was seen as the supreme example of a middle power. Today, Canada has never been so alone.
The cooling of relations with allies and competitors alike is not only playing out on the complex chessboard of international affairs but it is being seen in the personal interactions between the Prime Minister and other global leaders.
Whether it’s his awkward meeting with Donald Trump, the frozen relationship with China’s Xi Jinping, or the faltering friendship with India, leaders around the world have distanced themselves from Canada’s prime minister.
How could we have fallen so far from our past securities?
I think at the root of these failures is Trudeau’s own conception of Canada as a “post-national” state. If Canada is indeed such a thing, then we have “post-national” interests.
On it’s own it might sound noble and even moral to pursue some form of common global good, but in reality the endeavor leads a state into undermining itself at every opportunity. The fact is that Canada is very much a nation and has to deal with other nations, overlooking this fact is just political folly.
The question remains whether the ailing relationships are irreparable or if they can be redeemed. Any future Canadian government will have an uphill battle to fight so that Canada can win back its former prominence and respect.