Many, including one commenter in my last post automatically assume that the announcement today of the Foreign Policy Review is a concerted attempt to deflect attention away from the scandal of the Gomery Inquiry towards something that sheds a more flattering light on our current government.
While I certainly share in the cynicism that naturally comes to that conclusion, I do not believe that this is a completely artificial creation produced solely for the purpose of deflecting criticism.
There have been many signals in the past few months that have indicated that this policy was imminent…. signs that started well before the Gomery Inquiry really got out of hand and started to actually threaten the government.
In November a number of documents were published detailing a vision for Canadian foreign policy going forward. The most concise and interesting perhaps being the “Strategic Planning and Priorities Framework” published around November 23, 2004.
The “Security eDiscussion” on the Foreign Affairs site started on January 24, 2005 and ran to February 25 and gathered opinions from anyone who chose to participate including individuals, instituations, academics and whatnot.
The Departmental Response to that eDiscussion was posted on March 10, 2005 (basically a month ago). (I highly recommend all readers, Canadian or not, to read it… as it gives an interesting insight into the diplomatic thought processes of the Canadian Government)
And now, one month after that response we have the official policy down on paper.
So, before you jump all over Paul, Pierre and his friends for using this as a way to gloss over Gomery, I do think that in this one case, the Government actually deserves a little more credit than that.
Notice I said a little though… I wouldn’t suggest this should change your vote once the government finally collapses and we all go back to the polls. 🙂