10.12.2010 11:56 AM

Bottom line

…the Reformatories shit the bed. I guess year after year of alienating pretty much every other country isn’t much of an international strategy, is it, boys?

What a complete and total failure: it’s epic. Beaten by PORTUGAL.

Comments are open. Let’s see how many Tory Trolls start regurgitating PMO talking points.

(They’ll be the same trolls who would’ve been trumpeting it as a Harper victory, naturally, had we not had our asses handed to us by a country that has fewer people than Ontario, and is geographically smaller than Sakatchewan.)


  1. Sean Cummings says:

    This failure needs to be dissected – if it’s because of our complete support for Israel, then I say the UN can get bent.

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    Why compare the area of Saskatchewan (588,276 square kilometres) with that of Portugal (92,092 square kilometres). Not even close. Portugal is smaller than the island of Newfoundland!


    #110 beats #2! Only in Harperland is this possible!

    And Portugal joined the U.N. 10 years after Canada!

  3. David says:

    Out hustled?

    Is that code for “not greasing enough palms” or”bribes” ?

    I wonder who Iran voted for.

  4. Riley Hennessey says:

    It is really unsettling that we didn’t win the seat. Especially because Martin/Harper both increased our foreign contributions abroad, committed our troops overseas, and because Canada consistently takes part in global issues. We deserve a seat at the table because of our hard work over consecutive governments, Liberal and Conservative.

    I definitely supported our bid and was furious to see nay-sayers use lame partisan attacks to slander Canada’s chances just because they didn’t like Harper.

    But when I see Harper’s PMO come out and blame Ignatieff for Canada’s loss today.. I scratch my head. Seriously? How can they blame Ignatieff for this? It’s petty, sad, and shows they aren’t really focusing on issues, they are focusing on political calculations. I’d like to see Harper accept some responsibility for this… or come up with a better explanation than “blame that guy.”

  5. allegra fortissima says:

    “But if we fail in our bid to land a seventh term on the council, this government would be smart to look in the mirror for the reasons instead of taking aim at a Liberal leader who merely uttered a prophetic observation”:


    Mirror, mirror on the wall…

  6. RW says:

    The collective wisdom of the world was demonstrated today… they completely saw through Harper’s window dressing. When our governing party denigrates international cooperation, politicized foreign aid and eviscerates international agreements they still think they deserve a seat at the “big kids table”, guess again.

  7. James Bow says:

    I find it really laughable that the PMO would try to assign blame to the leader of the opposition for this loss. I mean, because some guy stands up and does his job questioning the government and holding its feet to the fire, the failure to wrest a Security Council seat from Portugal is _his fault_?! Nuh-uh. Leaving aside the fact that you’ve basically said that the leader of the opposition has more international clout than you do, Mr. Harper, it’s your fault for not coming up with responses to those questions which satisfied the voters at the U.N. You’re the guy in charge of this country, the buck stops with you. You wear this and you alone.

  8. Kephalos says:

    Ha! Ha! Ha! This is so absurd. Whadda hoot! Who’s ego is bigger than his whole country? Stephen Harper or Kimmie Yummie of North Kookooran???

  9. James Bow says:

    Further, it’ll be dead easy to expose the hypocrisy of the Harper crew if they try to go after Ignatieff on this. Remember, when he was in opposition or outside of Parliament how Harper went south of the border and badmouthed government policy to our American friends, especially on Fox? Surely what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Or is it only okay to criticize Canadian policy if you’re a Conservative?

  10. Ryan Mallough says:

    “I would say a big deciding factor was the fact that Canada’s bid did not have unity because we had Mr. Ignatieff questioning and opposing Canada’s bid,” Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s communications director, told The Canadian Press.

    “That was a factor that played ultimately against Canada because people outside of Canada were saying, ‘Well, Germany and Portugal have a united front, their opposition and their governments seem to be fully, 100 per cent behind this bid.’

    Should probably point out to Mr. Soudas that not having everyone in the nation onboard is a Leadership Issue. Other nations can work with their oppositions because their minority leaders understand the concept of “compromise for the good of the nation”. And as the Conservatives have pointed out to the nation countless times in campaign ads, it’s about the leader and only the leader – this one is squarely on Harper by their and anyone else’s definition

  11. Annie says:

    Harper knew near the end he was losing and now has some dandy TV ads to say it was all Michael Ignatieff’s fault,…. although he said he did not think the Government deserved it…not Canada as it goes around!!! I take it that Michael has a great deal of power with the UN. (LOL)

    • Ted H. says:

      Yes, that darn Ignatieff sure must have a lot of International influence. After all, if his mere suggestion that the Conservative government has not done enough to deserve a security council seat can result in over a hundred countries voting against Canada’s bid, according to the PMO, maybe he should be PM.

  12. smelter rat says:

    Soudras is already blaming Iggy.

  13. Still Anonymous says:

    The embarrassment is that it wasn’t even close. Here is my guess — Harper is just as rude and disrespectful to foreign leaders as he is to domestic ones.

    Now, why are the Liberals still voting confidence in this bunch?

    By the way, Flaherty just upped his deficit forecast. Again!

  14. Northbaytrapper says:

    This will hurt Harper because this was going to be a campaigning tool. In the reality of things, it means nothing. Unless you are one of the P5 the whole thing is a waste of time.

  15. Dana says:

    Some smart Liberal strategist (if there is one) ought to assemble a nice collection of Harper’s anti-UN assertions from the last 20 years and turn them into a series of radio and TV ads. That is if the LPC can cultivate a taste for blood that didn’t come from its own veins.

  16. Michael Reintjes says:

    Hmmm……My guess is that Liberal partisans will paint this as the ultimate insult from the Philistine Right….Everyone else will be checking the Leafs score.

  17. CQ says:

    This says more about those who voted for Portugal than who’s ever the current Government of Canada. For that matter, how much has Germany done upon the world stage throughout this decade and the last 50 years compared to Canada’s ongoing involvement across all matters?

    • Namesake says:

      yes, by all means, let’s blame the ethnic vote!

      • CQ says:

        Where the heck do you get THAT from? Over 110+ different Countries voting for each of the other two candidates is not an ethnic vote.
        Election monitoring in Ukraine, Aid for Haiti and the Tsunami relief, frontline int’l military participation in Afghanistan with deaths at a greater per capita rate than the U.S. throughout ’02 – ’09, ongoing contributions to Space Development, hosting and bidding on multiple major Sporting Events, twice rescuing Americans stranded at the South Pole…
        Canada (which by-all-means already includes a free and open multiplicity of ethnicities) earned it.

        • CQ says:

          And oh yea, Canada’s largest private Television network, CTV, broadcasted an annual German heritage Oktoberfest Parade – just yesterday in an immediate holiday daytime production effort! That same network doesn’t even openly broadcast our football Grey Cup and/or Giller / Juno / Gemini Awards.

          • Rome says:

            Actually, I’m pretty sure CTV does broadcast the Junos. And, they market it heavily. CTV also owns TSN which broadcasts lots of CFL games (perhaps all?). And, their numbers are on par with NFL broadcasts. They also are the broadcast partner for the Giller. The Geminis rights’ belong to Global.

          • CQ says:

            reply to Rome at 6:04:
            When these national arts awards are aired they are often set for a late night schedule and only changed after a hue & cry. CTV & Rogers’ CityTV broadcast NFL directly upon their main networks not a behind cable subscription wall. And such marquee event things routinely change broadcasters as Global can attest too.

  18. I think we should treat this seriously. It’s a failure of the Ministry of Foreign affairs and we should focus on calling for Lawrence Cannon to resign. Let’s not let Harper make this a partisan thing – it was about diplomatic inadequacy.

    • bc says:

      Jason, that’s a fair comment…IF…you can let us all know what the Portugeses Minister of Foreign affairs did to secure a spot.

      Something tells me you don’t even know what the ministers name is.

      • Namesake says:

        not sure I follow your logic, there, bc:

        given how Cannon was asleep at the switch and let us bleed votes left & right (letting us get kicked out of the UAE for our military base & landing rights one day, signalling we don’t play well with others & don’t care to negotiate; letting another Minister announce a Free Trade deal with Israel which’d piss off other Arab countries, the next — and that’s just _this_ week)…

        all his counterpart in Portugal had to do to win was: nothing!

        • bc says:

          Personally, I’m all for Ottawa pushing back against the UAE. They are trying to leverage serious diplomatic talks to improve conditions for their national air carriers. This is hardly the time for such tactics. How do you know we were the ones not willing to negotiate?

          What did Cannon do over there to “bleed” out votes?

          But the logic is sound, if Jason blames Cannon for not doing enough, surely he has a concrete idea as to what the Portugese minister did to help secure a position.

          • Shaun says:

            All the Portuguese minister had to do was show up at the UN and he did more than Cannon has done.

          • Namesake says:

            re: “How do you know we were the ones not willing to negotiate” – that’s what was presented in the report on this on The National last night — that the Cndn. gov. position was remaining firm that the UAE carriers had enough access to Cndn airports, and that’s that.

            Turns out the reason “we” were refusing to budge is to protect, ironically enough (given both a previous tiff here, and the concurrent announcement of a Free Trade announcement), was to protect unionized Air Canada jobs, even though this actually cheats consumers, including the 27,000 Cndns. living there.


            Their ambassador’s diplomatic phrasing of this was, “The U.A.E. entered negotiations in good faith on the understanding that a solution would be reached and that constructive ideas would be brought to the negotiating table. The fact that this has not come about undoubtedly affects the bilateral relationship,”



            And even McKay had to characterize this as being “discussions” rather than actual negotiations


            Today on P&P, others were saying the UAE has been a bit blunter in characterizing a complete lack of bargaining in good faith on Canada’s part. And Paul Dewar knows their Ambassador, who told him that he was stationed here a full year before Lawrence Cannon would talk to him, even though there are other issues involved here besides their carriers wanting more landing rights in Canada: there’s also a new requirement for visas UAE citizens to visit Canada, and something about students


          • Jan says:

            I thought Harper didn’t believe in protectionism – why is he protecting Air Canada? Stelmach says that having direct flights from Calgary to Dubai would be useful for Alberta businesses.

  19. Will M. says:

    This is not a good day for Canada, irrespective of party. The UN has rebuffed us and it comes down to our recent foreign policy decisions.

    Harper and Cannon show us they’re not deal makers and carry no international gravitas.

    • Northbaytrapper says:

      If the UN doesn’t like our foreign policy decisions then screw them. If we have to sacrifice what we want to accomplish in the world just so we can sit powerless on a useless panel that watched genocides occur, then screw it.

      The UN security council can toss off. Let’s see what Portugal will accomplish. For that matter, please name me something concrete that was accomplished by any of the past panel……Lebanon, Nigeria, Gabon, Uganda, Austria, etc…

      This will hurt the Tories because Harper invested a lot of political capital into this gambit (which, considering it was a crapshoot to begin with, was rather foolish imo).

      • Will M. says:

        I disagree, Harper invested little into the UN.

        Today’s decision validated that.

        Today in history, LBP won the Nobel Prize. Plot the progression of time versus our world experience.

        Canada has never gone a decade without a seat.

        Today, the world said NO to our country. Those who speak for our country are on notice.

  20. Justthefacts says:


    1. This was a strategic vote at the UN for reform of the UN Security Council. India, South Africa, Brazil, Germany all voted this way – as part of a move to expand the old boys club to better reflect the geopolitical changes since the 1940s. Canada and PM Harper did not support expanding he UN Security Council and was therefore left out in the cold after the votes were counted.

    2. Blaming Israel, Islam or Ignatieff is truly pathetic. If the Grits were smart – they would stick to the facts as noted above, and rise above the silly games.

    A regularly reader,

  21. bc says:

    I can’t lay any blame on Harper, or any Canadian for that matter. I place blame squarely on the UN members themselves.

    Any institution that sees more internation value in Portugal than Canada (despite who the Government is) is out to lunch.

    This just further serves to prove how horribly out of touch and redundant the UN really is.

    Shouldn’t they be busy working away on how water levels are going to rise and drown us all? I’m just amazed BKM and the rest of the merry UN bunch took time from Isreal bashing to actually work on another matter.

    • Jan says:

      bc expresses the Reformatory attitude in a nutshell. Which is why Canada shouldn’t be on the Security Council as long as Harper is PM.

      • bc says:

        I don’t see, and haven’t seen, the need for the UN in well over a decade.

        Not sure why that makes me a Reformer, considering I’m a small C Conservative, and socially Liberal.

        Does it make you feel better to paint with a wide brush?

        • Tired of it All says:

          BC she’s trying to point out that the Government of Canada and Canada are inseparable at the U.N. What this government does, counts against how U.N. members view the country. Your initial postulation is a reduction of the complexity of an argument typically seen in ConBots, who when confronted with complexity, point at Michael Ignatieff and say: “SEEE? SEEEEE? He’s Satan.”

          • smelter rat says:

            @Consistent…give me a break. Do you seriously think the majority of UN delegates have a clue who Iggy is, or care what he says?

  22. Em says:

    Totally agree, Jan.

  23. Nuklhd says:

    So – either the world listens to Michael Ignatieff and gives him more credibility than Stephen Harper, or the Reformatories foreign policy objective of poking the UN in the eye with a sharp stick didn’t work.

    Doesn’t look too positive on the PM either way.

  24. Marc L says:

    I fail to see what the big deal is, and why Portugal’s nomination is an embarassment. Among the other non-permanent members are Uganda, Gabon, Nigeria and Lebanon. If this forum was somehow a reflection of a country’s world standing, what are they doing there? The problem is that Harper trumpeted this as some kind of great undertaking, and then lost. That was stupid. But the nomination itself? Hardly anything to be embarassed about when countries such as those are also elected.

  25. je m'appelle says:

    Losing an election for the council seat? Not a huge deal.

    Blaming the opposition? Priceless.

    Can we PLEASE have an election and get these right-wing religiously biased failures out?

    Canadians called; they want their country back.

  26. smelter rat says:

    You like the Taliban? Seriously?

  27. eattv says:

    You know you got your ass handed to you when your only resort is to put all of the blame on the guy you’ve been calling “ineffective” for years.

  28. Scott Tribe says:

    Maybe the moral of the story is that international countries might notice you’re not that serious about the UN when your Prime Minister stays at home to campaign at a Tim Hortons on the same day President Obama is making his first major speech at the UN about climate change.

    THAT might have something to do with it.. and cutting off aid to African donor countries without warning.. and sabotaging climate talks in general.

    THOSE might be the reasons Harper didnt get his seat, rather then Iggy having the power and influence to change everyone’s mind internationally with a 2 paragraph observation on Canada at the UN under the Conservatives (that no one else in the world even knew about until Lawrence Cannon started ranting about it to said ambassadors, who were calling it “weird” that a Canadian foreign minister would openly attack an opposition party leader at a supposedly international pitch for getting this Security Council Seat).

  29. Tceh says:

    Canada is a backwater thanks to Harper. Lay this at his door where it belongs.


  30. MetaKaizen says:

    Harper at the UN Security Council……..Just Visiting.

  31. Jon Evan says:

    hello Warren,

    Alienating other countries by Harper cost the UN seat that’s for sure.
    Now am I a troll? Yes, I’m old and I suppose I look like one, but the loss here is not for Canada but Israel. You know that.
    You didn’t tell us how Harper alienated other countries Warren. I protest because you spin it all too negatively. In truth it’s positive but only if you are for Israel!


  32. allegra fortissima says:

    “Prime Minister Harper ruled without Parliament – To avoid criticism, the Canadian leader Stephen Harper uses once again a simple trick: he sent his parliament on forced leave…” (Handelsblatt, 06.01.2010)

    “Canada drastically reduced climate goals – Scandal in the Canadian Parliament…” (Der Spiegel, 05.06.2010)

    “Greenpeace warns of oil catastrophe in Canada – Canada’s Prime Minister in Berlin: Activists protest against exploitation of oil sands” (Greenpeace, 08.05.2010)

    “Arctic Canada is playing a war of nerves – In late August, Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, went on tour in the Arctic, while Russian President Vladimir Putin did the same on the other side of the North Pole… It should be seen more than a coincidence then that the Arctic is the subject of multiple lusts… (Le Monde, 08/09)

    Finally I found a Stephen Harper quote – did he really say this (just asking):

    “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society… It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.”

    Does anyone seriously believe that foreign politicians and diplomats don’t read newspaper articles and statements like this???

  33. Ottlib says:

    “The Reformatories shit the bed” I have not seen a better description of what happened today anywhere else.

  34. Eric says:

    I really think that both Harper and Ignatieff should be ashamed for attempting to use this issue as vindication of their policies. All Canadians should be disappointed that we did not win the seat on the Council.

    • Michael Bussiere says:

      Neither of them are using it as vindication. Harper failed to achieve his top foreign policy priority, and Ignatieff did his job as Opposition leader. Harper is now failing to take responsibility for this disaster. Personally, I don’t think the man can actually help himself. Perhaps something is pathologically wrong here.

  35. Michael Bussiere says:

    It’s worth delving into our fine MP’s international career, namely one Lawrence Cannon from the Pontiac, Qc. I will summarize: zero! The man is an ok constituency guy but is only in Cabinet because he is from Quebec, and only Foreign Minister because of God-knows- what tactical reason.

    I take back the statement about being an ok constituency guy, We have a multi-million dollar highway project, Economic Action Plan sign blaring from the middle of a field 16 months after he and Harpie announced the dough. How in god’s name is that going to be finished by March 31?, Sign’s nice tho, ya bastards!

  36. Just curious do you think the media and opposition ignored the facts that the previous contests for UN seats were NOT a contest? What if the media and opposition were not being honest in giving out the facts, is it possible?

    Next month Germany will attempt, once again, to secure a non-permanent seat for two years on the UN Security Council. For the first time, the German government will be up against two competitors, Canada and Portugal. Eight years ago, only two countries were vying for the two seats allocated to the so-called Western group, and the same situation applied eight years before that.

    The two-year seat is the Security Council’s economy class, if you will. Unlike the five permanent Security Council members — the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain — a non-permanent member has no veto. But Germany is also dreaming of traveling in first class at the UN — in other words, securing a permanent seat. The vote on the non-permanent seat, which will take place in mid-October, is a small step in that direction.


    H/T Gabby Conservative poster

  37. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Lawrence says it was his decision following a recommendation made by our ambassador to withdraw our candidacy. Makes me wonder who took the decision on how Canada would vote…if present trends are retroactive, perhaps we also forgot to vote for ourselves!

    (I hope they didn’t put the Minister in charge of giving our UN delegation an after-the-vote pep talk.)

  38. Cam says:

    Don’t think it’s been said yet,

    Congratulations Portugal.

  39. JH says:

    Earth shattering and certainly worth having an election over LOL!

  40. Kevin says:

    Canada AM this morning, Sec of State Peter Kent was on, blaming Ignatieff for the loss. The interviewer asked “Do you really think Mr. Ignatieff has that much power?”. SoS Kent couldn’t run away from that one fast enough! LOL!

  41. Steven says:

    Blaming Ignatieff and the Liberals is consistent for a party that is led and dictated to by a leader who has, as Lawrence Martin and others have pointed out, a viscreral, fetish-like, paranoid hatred of the Liberal Party of Canada (Laurier, King, St.Laurent, Pearson, Trudeau, etc. ) and its supporters ( no less than one quarter of Canadian voters, even in the worst of times for the LPC).

    Cannon, like the rest of the Tory MP’s and Senators were or have degraded themselves to being Harper-PMO sock puppets.

    Let’s get on with an election to clear the air! It takes no more than half an hour to vote and the information comes to your door, television, internet, etc. for free.

  42. ktron says:

    September 22, 2010 – Ibbitson*:

    “Portugal is more active in peacekeeping than either Canada or Germany, has a much better environmental record and it wins support among smaller nations, who want to see someone like them on the council. Other Portuguese-speaking nations ? former colonies, all ? are working on its behalf, with Brazil being particularly helpful in Latin America and Angola and Mozambique working the African vote.”

    “As part of the Canadian government?s campaign to land a two-year appointment to the council, Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the General Assembly on Thursday. Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon will be twisting arms in New York until Sunday, with Bev Oda (International Cooperation), Jim Prentice (Environment) and Peter Kent (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs) providing backup.”

    Gosh and golly – with a lineup like that putting in real face-time in New York, how could they possibly have failed?

    * http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson/a-gamblers-guide-to-canadas-push-for-the-un-security-council/article1719653/

  43. james Smith says:


    Don’t come here for a while & look wa happens.

    Please tell me what did “Consistent” call him/her self in the past I do wonder?

    Smile, this is the only life you get

  44. Rick T. says:

    What is the big deal.? It’s the UN a lost cause if there ever was one.

    The reason we lost and were never going to win was the European Block voted for their own and the Arab Block hates us.

    Cannon should be fired for getting us into this mess and bragging before the vote that we would win.

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