A lot of blame to go around in failed UNSC bid

After losing the second round of voting handily to Portugal in a bid to secure the last of the open United Nations (UN) Security Council seats, Canada announced it would withdraw from contention. This marks the first time in 50 years that Canada has failed to secure a bid to the highest body in the UN.

Stephen Harper’s government had set high expectations that securing the seat would be a primary foreign policy goal.

With 2,000 troops in Afghanistan, fresh off of hosting the G8 and G20 and with the primary competition that happens to be broke and with little influence on the world stage, the bar of expectations rested on the ground. Harper managed to trip over it.

There are several reasons why Canada lost the vote. First and foremost was the government’s incompetence in pursuing the seat.

Canada was late into the game in the campaign and failed to navigate the complicated diplomatic nature of vote swapping to secure the bid.

Additionally, Canada has exhibited a lack of clear direction in its foreign policy aside from unwavering support for Israel.

Instead of making absurd claims on how Michael Ignatieff cost them the election, the government should take the time to understand why they failed so spectacularly.

Fault doesn’t completely rest with Harper. By punching above our weight in Afghanistan and picking up the slack for other developed nations, Canada deserved a seat at the Security Council.

That UN member nations would play politics on the Israel-Palestine issue to block Canada brings further discredit to an organization that is already severely lacking in credibility.

It was a sad day for Canada, but it’s the United Nations that loses out.