We no longer live in an era where ‘naive niceness’ is sustainable.
Crises have a way of throwing all assumptions out the window.
Effective leaders know how important it is to asses new information, and respond accordingly.
Failed leaders simply double-down over and over and over again.
Unfortunately for Canada, the Liberal government is taking the second approach.
The Liberals bet heavily on increasing globalization, increasing our dependence on China, distancing ourselves from the US and our Western Allies, keeping the military underfunded, and using ‘soft power’ to influence massive global institutions, while ensuring Canada remained further dependent on foreign trade.
All of that has been demolished.
Globalization is being reversed at a massive pace, with the CCP Virus having woken people up to the danger of being reliant on essential goods from foreign lands.
China has gone fully authoritarian, crushing democracy in Hong Kong, engaging in cultural genocide against the Uighur’s, and picking fights with nearly every country in the world, while kidnapping two Canadians and repeatedly threatening Canada. The CCP is also rapidly building up their military, engaging in one of the largest arms-buildups ever seen outside of a world war.
Institutions like the WHO – which Canada sought to ‘leverage,’ failed miserably in their biggest test, with Canada’s connections to that organization making our CCP Virus response worse, not better, likely costing thousands of Canadian lives (contrast to Taiwan, which is not even allowed in the WHO, who handled things amazingly).
And foreign trade has contracted dramatically, with countries (rightfully) realizing how many of the endless promises of ‘free trade’ turned into nightmares when a crisis hit and leaders had to finally prioritize their own People. There is simply no chance that the level of foreign trade increases in the long-term after this crisis, as nations will seek to become more self-sufficient, at least in key products related to national security and health security.
In short, the world is moving in completely the opposite direction to what the Liberals have been pushing.
After many years of betting that a naive niceness would carry the day, that bet has been decisively lost.
That’s why Canada must toughen up, and toughen up fast.
We can no longer just ‘hope for the best.’
We can no longer think that being ‘nice’ to everyone means they will be nice to us.
And we can no longer delude ourselves into thinking that ‘soft power’ is a substitute for the ‘hard power’ of economic strength and a respectably-equipped military.
The future is a more divided world, more self-reliant nations, and security through strength.
Canada must recognize this, and push for leaders at all levels who are tougher, more realistic, and more focused on strengthening Canada as a nation, rather than getting nice headlines in the foreign press.