Canada Election 2011: Foreign Policy, Global Governance differentiate Conservatives from the rest

According to WFMC Executive Director, Fergus Watt, responses from the national political partiesindicate clear distinctions on foreign policy issues in the views of the governing Conservatives versus the other four parties. “The Conservatives do not appear to be overly concerned with foreign policy as an election issue, while the other four parties place considerable emphasis on strengthening Canada’s place in the world.”

WFM – Canada submitted questions dealing with foreign policy and global governance issues to the national parties participating in the federal election campaign.

Despite numerous requests, no reply was received from the Conservative Party. However, the responses of the Bloc Québécois, Green Party, Liberal Party and New Democratic Party all indicate a strong interest in multilateralism and strengthening Canada’s role in organizations like the United Nations.

All four of the responding parties spoke of ‘re-establishing’ or ‘returning to’ Canada’s previous, larger and more active role in UN peacekeeping operations and supporting the doctrine of Responsibility to Protect.

When it comes to issues uniquely important to World Federalists – a United Nations Emergency Peace Service and the UN Parliamentary Assembly — it was the Bloc Québécois and Green Party who were most supportive. With regards to UNPA, both parties stated their unequivocal support, whereas the Liberals and New Democrats were, though supportive, more cautiously so. The Bloc explicitly endorsed the idea of a UNEPS, while the Green Party spoke of “establishing a standing UN Rapid Response Force.” Neither the Liberals nor New Democrats answered this question.

The most recent foreign policy review (under the Martin Liberals) and defence policy review (under the Harper Conservatives) have both come in for strong criticism from international affairs analysts. When asked about initiating new foreign policy and defence policy reviews, through a traditional green paper, white paper parliamentary review process, most of the parties talked vaguely about “openness and transparency” in the development of such policy in general. Only the NDP mentioned the need for a new Defence White Paper.

Full details of the parties’ responses, as well as a summary table, are available at
http://www.worldfederalistscanada.org/2011election.html  

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