Adam Daifallah’s Conservative Foreign Policy
What, in your view, are the principle flaws in the liberal internationalist philosophy that has guided Canadian foreign policy for much of the past 20 years?
The main flaw was the reluctance to take bold, principled stands. We were too concerned with not offending anyone. This occasionally resulted in Canada being isolated from its allies. We gained a reputation for being indecisive. We didn’t necessarily side with adversaries on purpose, but it sometimes looked that way.
Another flaw was the way we believed the myth that Canada was a world leader in peacekeeping when, relatively speaking, it wasn’t contributing that much for many years. The peacekeeping obsession also led to an overshadowing of Canada’s heroic past military contributions, particularly in the two world wars.
In recent history, a wide range of conservative thinkers (Burke, Strauss, Kissinger, Waltz) have influenced markedly divergent western foreign-policy agendas (Nixon, Thatcher, Major, Mulroney, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Cameron). What, for you, are the principles that should define small-c conservative foreign policy?
Respect for democracy, freedom and human rights. Countries that respect those three values are allies and friends, and those that don’t should be opposed.
How do you imagine these principles being implemented by Canada over the coming eight years?
We can already see it now. The foreign policy of this government has a strong moral foundation, which differentiates it greatly from predecessors. Prime Minister Stephen Harper refuses to kowtow to the UN, promotes freedom in the Middle East, comes out strongly against dictators, etc. I expect the Tories to continue down this path and speak out for Canadian values whenever possible.