Bobbsey Baird’s baffling bombast.

Keeping Canadians in a constant state of embarrassment, Foreign Minister John Baird continues to rack up frequent flier miles and drag Canada’s reputation deeper into disarray. What is diplomatic about baiting the Russian bear? Why does he have to take opposition politicians into harms way in Northern Iraq? Is he really persona non grata for insulting the United Nations in New York?

John Baird is an unusual gentleman. From his quite ordinary beginnings in Nepean, which was then a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario and graduating from Queen’s University down the road in Kingston, he embarked on a career in politics. He became an acolyte of Ontario’s Michael Harris and served in the Harris cabinet. When Harris was defeated, Baird did not like the opposition role and switched to the federal scene. His timing was right to be there for a job in the new Harper Cabinet. The one thing John Baird lacks in his latest job is any training, knowledge or experience in world politics.

In his role as Foreign Affairs Minister, you would expect him to take the lead from his department experts. It seems that he is not interested in what they have to say. The one group he does heed is the Prime Minister’s Office, the ubiquitous PMO. Experts in foreign affairs are ignored. He is the only cabinet member to have both right-wing conservative women’s groups and gay activists mad at him at the same time. The women are still angry about him supporting same-sex marriage. The gay activists are annoyed about him not complaining to the Russians about Putin’s anti-gay laws.

But John Baird seems to like calling out others. He is an equal opportunity insulter. He appears to welcome any opportunity to insult any country that criticizes Israel. He seems to want to face off with the Russians anywhere but across the Arctic Circle. He has set a whole new standard in foreign affairs for Canada. Just do not call it diplomacy.

Mr. Baird and his fellow cabinet member Jason Kenney are often referred to as the Bobbsey twins because of their similarities. Both are portly middle-aged bachelors who seem to be devoting their lives to the far right of the political spectrum. They are zealots and ideologues in their respective quests for political advantage. They relish their roles at the right hand of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

There is meanness and hypocrisy in their political styles that our country would be better off without.


Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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