Thursday, February 16, 2006

On poor opposition

Bill Graham claims that the Libs will vigorously oppose the Cons during the next Parliament. And it's hard to argue with that sentiment given his tough response to Harper's appointment of Michael Wilson as U.S. Ambassador:
"I think I would say this is a very good choice, if that's Mr. Harper's choice. I think Mr. Wilson will bring a lot of integrity and be a great representative for Canada," said Mr. Graham, who noted that Washington is one of the foreign posts where a political appointment can be helpful.
Okay, so maybe Graham isn't exactly holding Harper to account for the choice. But could that be because Wilson speaks to the values that Graham would want reflected as an opposition leader in any event? Well, here's Wilson's position on the Iraq war:
Mr. Wilson suggested the Canadian government's position could have been: "We did our best [to achieve United Nations' support] in the Canadian tradition, but in the end we have to back our friend and the country on which we rely the most."

Although Canadians strongly supported Canada's decision not to join the war, Mr. Wilson said governments driven by polls are abrogating their leadership responsibilities.
In sum: Harper has appointed as Canada's lead envoy on U.S. relations a man whose idea of "leadership" is to do what Bushco says, even if that's contrary to both the will of Canadians and an international consensus. And in Graham's role as leader of the Official Opposition, he considers that a "great" choice.

In the article on Wilson's past positions, Jack Layton is cited as the only leader looking to get some answers from Wilson before he's sent to represent Canada. And judging from the Liberal response, Graham has no less explaining to do than Harper as to why Wilson is supposed to be a "very good" choice to defend Canada's interests.

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