Canadian Expediency Sinks UN Bid

Canadian Expediency Sinks UN Bid

As published in the Hill Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

It’s Time to Democratize the UN by Eliminating the Veto of Powerful States

The United Nation’s organizational character is worth noting as Canada’s latest rejection becomes memory. The UN actually functions like a corporation where the five permanent Security Council members (China, Russia, France, UK & U.S.) possess a veto like that of majority corporate shareholders. Any resolution that displease this nuclear quintet may be arbitrarily vetoed and erased from history; thus rendering global consensus irrelevant. Ironically, the will of weaker states was allowed to prevail in Canada’s 2020 case; albeit for cynical reasons.

Undoubtedly, many of the nations who rejected Canada’s UN bid have been negatively affected by the international behaviour of Canadian industries left free to police themselves. The mining sector’s conduct in Latin America and Africa and Canada’s indifference to Palestinian statehood have damaged the nation’s image.

Both Trudeau (2020) and Harper (2011) failed to gain a temporary Security Council seat, for quite similar reasons although these prime ministers are personally very different. However, they do share an oligarchical sensibility featuring reflexive hostility and contempt for even the most reasonable critics. These men prefer that the public accept a mainly symbolic role in democracy and leave serious matters to those who understand the value of expediency and the superior wisdom of the wealthy.

Such arrogance requires a marketing democracy where politicians employ public relations advisors to manufacture needs and consent through advertising techniques. It need not be like this. Developing historical and political literacy is one way to understand power and resist its corrosive influence on public affairs.