Friday, April 18, 2008

Bob Rae continues to frame his narrative today

The Conservatives are just not up to the job in Foreign Affairs matters.

This week has proven them to be bumbling incompetents and Rae is proving to be quite effective in highlighting their stumbles. Rae is quickly reminding us of why Harpie held off for as long as possible in holding that Toronto Centre by-election:
The Tories have blundered on the international stage once again with a Calgary MP's comments comparing the Beijing Olympics to the infamous Nazi Games of 1936, Liberal Bob Rae said Friday.

Rae, his party's foreign affairs critic, said the comparison by Ron Anders, along with his description of China as the worst human-rights abuser in the world, sends the wrong message and will damage already-strained relations with China.

"This government's gaffes keep growing by the hour," said Rae. "The Conservatives seem determined to not only diminish Canada's reputation in the eyes of the world but also to do serious damage to some of our key international relationships."

Rae said Prime Minister Stephen Harper must start holding his MPs to account for their remarks.

"If we want to make real progress regarding human rights, we must engage China, not insult it.

"This government's penchant for engaging foreign governments through the media shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the basics of international diplomacy." (emphasis added)
It does smack of amateur hour, doesn't it? There are ways of saying things that do not inflame, that require tact and yes, diplomacy, to achieve your aims.

Why the Nazi remark was not exactly the stuff of effective diplomacy:
Rae said this is another blunder following Bernier's widely condemned public comments about the need to oust a local governor in Afghanistan.

"Now we have a senior government MP and chair of the Veterans Affairs committee further damaging our already-strained relationship with China by comparing its government to Nazis," Rae said. "Such a comparison trivializes one of the most horrific regimes mankind has known."
This is exactly the kind of thing the Liberals need to be doing more of, defining the Conservatives in exactly the terms they are offering up. There's no exaggeration or stretching required here. This is all about Bob Rae crystallizing for Canadians that hey, this is not the way to go about doing things. It's unreasonable and out of line with the tone that Canadians expect to see from their government. We are not accustomed to being a bull in a china shop on the international scene, nor do we want to emulate the Americans in that regard.

Must be tough to be a political party that has to constantly be afraid of what its MP's might say at any given moment, hey? Heh...