Mark Collins – Canadian Election and Defence: Three Major Parties All Suck

Excerpts from a very solid editorial at the National Post:

The Choices Before Us, Part 2: Defending Canada and its Interests

Notable differences in tone and rhetoric aside, the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats all treat defence more as a federal jobs creation program — a shipyard here, an aircraft repair contract there — than what it truly is: the government’s solemn, fundamental duty to protect its territory and people.

This election, sadly, has not altered the trend. National defence has been mostly treated as economic stimulus and a way of asserting a party’s values. When it comes to defending Canada and its interests abroad, there are few real signs of serious thinking to be found in any party.

…Canadians don’t expect much support for the military from the Liberals or NDP. But they had been led to expect it from the Conservatives: there are few issues where the gap between Tory campaign promises and their accomplishments in office have been so wide.

But for all their failures when it comes to the military, the Tories still retain one key advantage over the opposition parties: they see the world as it truly is…

Both parties [Liberals and NDP] promise to return Canada to its supposed ”traditional role” of peacekeeping, a role… that has largely disappeared in the present [it’s now “killer peacekeeping“]. Their embrace of these and other discredited myths fatally undermines their credibility on military and security matters…

The Liberals pledge they’d invest the “savings” derived from not buying the F-35s into the desperately starving Navy, but it’s hard to take that seriously: even if they didn’t buy F-35s, they’d still need to buy some kind of new jet, as they themselves acknowledge, at roughly the same price: there would thus be little “savings” to invest. Given the habits of Liberal governments past, you will forgive us for thinking “investing” in the Navy sounds a lot like sprinkling money on flippable ridings. The NDP, too, promise to focus on the Navy … and “focus on industrial and regional benefits to support our shipyards.”..

Jobs!  Jobs!  Jobs!  Sigh.  Sigh.  Sigh.  My views:

F-35 and Canadian Election: Liberals Loose With Fighter Costs

Canadian Election: Liberal Party’s Defence Platform: Some Tory Song, Just…

NDP Defence Platform Leak: Real Boots for UN Peacekeeping (but do they know facts?)

Canadian Election: Conservatives’ Defence Platform–Bluster Not Substance, Micro, Micro
[note RCN and Great Lakes]

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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