John Diefenbaker's Poor Decisions In The Cuban Missle Crisis

695 words - 3 pages

In a democracy, government should be run based on the citizens, not of the leaders; personal opinions of members of the government should not change how the country is run. However, often times, the views of a government official get in the way of how they run their country. However, Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, let his personal feelings hinder him from making good decisions for Canada, especially during the Cuban Missile crisis. Diefenbaker neglected to assist the U.S. during the Cuban Missile crisis because of his frustration with the lack of consultation from the U.S., his distaste for President Kennedy, and his strong sense of nationalism.

Prime Minister Diefenbaker was greatly frustrated with the fact that the U.S. had chosen not to consult Canada about their plans for the Cuban Missile crisis. He was frustrated because it showed a lack of respect, it did not allow Canada sufficient time to prepare, and he was not sure of the U.S. was simply overreacting. This showed great disrespect to Canada as Canada was the U.S.’s biggest ally. Through Canada’s commitment to NORAD and NATO, Canada deserved to be consulted. Consultation was necessary as Canada was the only country in the western hemisphere that shared a close military alliance with the U.S. While the situation was being monitored in Cuba, the President had time to consult Canada, but chose not to, as he saw Diefenbaker’s government as a ‘trivial slide show’. This crisis had serious implications for all of North America; Canadians found themselves at the brink of nuclear war without their consent and helpless to influence the course of events. Canada had no opportunity for to offer its own view of what they thought to be the most reasonable response or to be persuaded by the validity of the American one. Therefore, a cabinet could not sensibly agree on an adequate course of action. Furthermore, Diefenbaker, fearful that the U.S. was overreacting, suggested turning to the UN for assurance, as was a typical Canadian response. However, his suggestion was tossed aside by the Americans, as were all suggestions made by him in an effort to change the course of...

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