The Promotion Of Democracy Within Canada’s Foreign Policy Objectives

1458 words - 6 pages

Canada, as a nation, presents an interesting outward appearance in terms of its global role and stance. Canada is often trapped within a three way power dynamic amongst middle powers, intermediate powers and satellite powers. This being said, Canada’s forgine policy objectives are constantly changing and calling in to question the promotion of democracy within its ideals. This paper looks to support the promotion of democracy as a key foreign policy objective in Canada through its presence as a soft power, the intentions of its political parties and the uses of democracy in foreign affairs — in respect to the United States — while incorporating the principles and values that define the ...view middle of the document...

For example, “security objectives were highlighted following the 9/11 events, and Ottawa did successfully negotiate a ‘smart border’ agreement with the United States” (Michaud 434). The valued ideal of security was given high regard, reflected in the policy that was enacted given the close proximity that is shared between Canada and the United States. It was an immediate issue that stood to have long-term effects if not effectively handled. This only reinforces Canada’s desire to remain a cool front, while ultimately supporting its own interests against other global actors in a seemingly democratic fashion.
The nature in other areas such as past Canadian prime ministers reflects greatly on the lengths at which democracy remains constant throughout leadership changes. Previously, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin’s, reluctance to embrace American ideals in light of the war in Iraq and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System rejected based on the ‘Canadian values’ that were evident both at home and portrayed to the outward sphere. Although a value-based foreign policy has been called into question, Canadians “live in a democratic society, where the values and principles [they] stand for must form a critical part of [their] activities in the international arena” (Michaud 435). A differentiation must be made between those values which are supported by the larger public population in contrast to those which need to be established to ensure national security, economic and political prosperity on the global stage. Foreign policy and its notable change as well as fluctuation throughout history reflects the motives of various political parities and their time in power — “broader studies of foreign policy have found that changes from one governing party to another are not consistently related to changes from one foreign policy orientation to another in any of the western liberal democracies” (Bow & Black). When focusing on their current prime minster’s values and government, Harper brought forth a different ideal from electoral platform to party once in power. Unsurprisingly, “this is consistent with the well-established argument that political leaders in modern liberal democracies are generally constrained from pursuing radical policy changes by the need to hold together diverse political coalitions and by the anticipation of resistance from entrenched bureaucratic interests and processes” (Bow & Black). The outcomes of different party choices have established precedence’s for practices that have work, or fell short, and added to the history and dynamic of the country.
Harpers ideals in regards to foreign policy tend to be very narrow minded with distinct interests, which reflect the nature of the conservative party. It is aid that “the relationships between the department of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minster’s office is perceived as not very harmonious;” (Michaud 443) potentially indicating a break in the origins at which the use of values are...

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