Friday, 1 February 2019

Trudeau the Second

Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Most Canadians don’t realise that their country enjoys an exceptionally positive international image. Comparing with other members of the Anglophone Five Eyes clique which once regarded itself representative of western civilisation, Canada is generally trusted and liked by the rest of the world. Though a core member of the “Western bloc”, Canada at least tries — or tried — to be relatively fair and independent minded most of the time.

Canada’s reputation is not by accident. It’s the result of a reasonably consistent tradition crafted by a generation of liberal and sensible (liberal and sensible weren’t contradictory terms back then) politicians, iconised by the charismatic Trudeau the First who befriended Castro while the CIA was making dozens of assassination attempts on the “defiant” revolutionary. By bravely refusing to join Bush II’s “coalition of willing” to plunder and destroy Iraq, Jean Cretien quietly continued liberalism with Canadian characteristics. Statesmen like them helped Canada to straddle a delicate divide for decades, while maintaining a respectable degree of sovereignty. That’s no small feat considering who its neighbour is.

Building trust and respect takes decades. Destroying them takes no time. Trudeau II is working hard at that.


Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie


加拿大的聲譽並非偶然,也不是一朝一夕的成果,而是上一代「自由卻不胡鬧」的政治家努力耕耘的結果。當年風采不凡的杜魯多一世與古巴的卡斯特羅為友,不顧中情局多次嘗試暗殺卡斯特羅的努力,令美國極為不滿。自由黨獨立特行的傳統延續到克雷蒂安(Jean Cretien)。他當總理時頂受了巨大壓力,拒絕參加布什二世組織的「伊拉克搶掠團」,維持了加拿大頗高的自治風格,很不容易。