December 20, 2003


Martin off to bad start with George Bush (PAUL STANWAY, December 20, 2003, Edmonton Sun)

So, the first time Paul Martin chats with U.S. President George Bush, the new PM bugs him about Iraqi reconstruction contracts for Canadian companies and then lectures him on how to deal with Saddam Hussein.

I don't know about you, but if I were Bush I'd be thinking twice about calling back. The holier-than-thou pomposity evidenced by Martin during his 15-minute telephone call to the White House has, sadly, become ingrained in the world view of many Canadians.

The Americans have provided the bulk of our defence for 40 years. The U.S. is our largest trading partner by a mile and the source of much of our prosperity. We consume American culture with as much gusto as we consume American products, and because of this self-inflicted inferiority we feel the need to define ourselves, mostly, by an alleged superiority to the Americans!

Call back? One doubts he'll think once about it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 20, 2003 4:42 PM

At least he's not french-canadian...

Posted by: Scof at December 20, 2003 6:15 PM

They are all french now,mon ami.

Posted by: M. at December 20, 2003 6:30 PM

If one were inclined to give Martin the benefit of the doubt, one might call it "The Chretien Effect"--or Syndrome, to which it is, of course, related.

Such an effect takes time to dissipate. Quitting cold turkey calls for resolve, but could have dislocating ramifications, and might even be fatal, if the country is weaned too rapidly. Patience, and timing, is required corresponding to the depths the polity has sunk. Think the bends.

One hopes that Martin has the skill (as well as the cojones) to raise up "The True North" at the correct speed. With this in mind,expecting him to jettison the by-now expected Canadian pomposity regarding those morons south of the border might be a trifle optimistic, and lack the level of realism required for this delicate operation.

Looking at the bright side, however, the White House did accept Martin's initial phone call.

Patience, then. And remember that Martin's greatest asset, if he plays his cards right, is his predecessor.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 21, 2003 7:16 AM