Foreign affairs are generally a side issue, in the sense that not many Canadians vote based on issues outside of our borders- obvious exceptions factored in. However, it is also true that Canadians have largely taken for granted our international "reputation", primarily because it has always been in tact and accepted. There is a certain quiet pride surrounding how we think others perceive us. What yesterday did is challenge our assumptions, somewhat of a wake up call, demonstrating just how far we’ve fallen. The seat is symbolic, and a shrewd opposition can weave a coherent narrative to show real DAMAGE, caused by this group of amateurish ideologues, who clearly can’t play well with others. That this "style" can directly overlap to domestic relationships, only serves to validate the argument.
The Liberal now have an opening, THEY can return Canada to our previous stature, they can undo the damage to our reputation. There is no question, yesterday represents a colossal embarrassment for Harper and this government. Practicalities aside, the imagery is clear and this rebuke stands out in striking fashion. Again, I don’t think this issue will dominate our national conversation, but it will provide another useful avenue for the Liberals to draw real distinctions. The issue will also lend itself to the "we need a change" narrative, Harper as an obstacle, a complete and utter failure on the world stage.
For those sceptics, I would simply point to the government’s reaction and tactics here, if one actually believes there is "nothing to worry about" from their perspective. There is a certain objective vulnerability here and it will be exploited in the next election.