Giant avalanches sweeping all before them often start with just a few tiny pebbles tumbling down and no one at first pays any attention: The surprise victory of Ireland over Canada to be voted by the United Nations General Assembly on to the Security Council for the next year may well be such a fateful pebble to set off transformational avalanches on both sides of the Atlantic.
That thunderous impact is likely to be felt far more strongly across Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, despite his eternally boyish appearance has already led his country for six years, desperately scraping home in his most recent parliamentary elections and surviving one embarrassing disastrous bungle after another. At first glance, this defeat should be another one. it does not directly impact on Canada’s wealth or security or the wellbeing of its people.. It is purely a prestige issue. But Trudeau has dug a fateful hole for himself and now he has fallen into it.
For like his father before him, late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin Trudeau is a dedicated liberal internationalist who imagined he could thrive by voicing supposedly principled criticisms of Canada’s two Big Brother partners the United States and Britain while they were led by conservative nationalists Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Of course, as is typical of liberal internationalists and especially so of Trudeau, it was always all hot air with no action that would make any real change or opposition to policies emanating out of London and Washington behind it.
But this time, Trudeau’s fabled charm and luck, which has enabled him to glide on the illusion of power and authority without ever actually having to do anything that required courage, sacrifice or good judgment looks like it is running out at last. The failure to win the Security Council seat is a ringing humiliation for al his centerpiece foreign policies on several fronts simultaneously, It displays vividly to the world that Trudeau’s fake pose of gutsy independence to the United States and Britain deceives nobody.
Canada is seen around the world as a loyal member-state of NATO: And Trump, Boris Johnson and Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are trying to expand the alliance to the Pacific Ocean to embrace Australia, Japan, South Korea and even India.
That is a catastrophe which would complete the dark, insane neo-imperialist vision of dividing the world into two new Manichean power blocs of East and West with the West aggressively seeking to destabilize and ruin the nations of the East under the false mask of upholding human rights in them.
Trudeau has always quietly loyally gone along with that policy. But he thought he could have his cake and eat it too. Ottawa’s sham as a principled, independent peacemaker and pillar of the UN has now been humiliatingly exposed.
This hurts Trudeau on two fronts. His own new rising generation of liberal progressives, especially environmentalists are as disillusioned with him. And the conservative heartlands in Western Canada have always viscerally loathed him and will be given heart to pose a renewed challenge to him.
On the other side of the ocean, the change has already started. Another discredited liberal international leader Leo Varadkar in Ireland was humiliated in the last general election and has just ceded power to a three-way coalition led by the nationalist Fianna Fail Party led by new Taoiseach (Prime Minister), former Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin.
The highly experienced Martin has an impressive track record that includes taking principled stands on Cuba and the Palestinians that have defied and angered previous U.S. and British governments. He is also much more likely to challenge risk-taking and irresponsible behavior by London on Northern Irish affairs than the well-meaning but far from forceful Varadkar.
Canada’s ruling Liberals have always implacably supported the fundamental interests of Wall Street and the City of London behind their worthless facade of fatuous platitudes.
Trudeau’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is a classic example of this: She backed every West European and EU move to undermine Russia whether by imposing would-be crippling economic sanctions (they failed) or slandering the president of Russia as virtually a neo-Nazi. Freeland of course never mentioned that her own grandfather had been one of the most notorious Nazi collaborators in Ukraine during World War II.
New Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has already shown he is prepared to stand up to Britain in defending the “backstop” open border between the Republic of Ireland and the still British-ruled North.
Change is coming in both Ottawa and Dublin, and its repercussions will be felt in Washington and London as well – very soon.