Trudeau’s bid for UNSC seat less successful than Harper, and more costly

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on June 18, 2020

Yesterday Prime Minister Justin Trudeau failed to secure Canada a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Canada lost out to Norway (130 votes), and Ireland (128) votes with Canada, only securing 108 votes.

Trudeau tried to buy back the loss today by saying the UNSC seat was “far from the only way” to ensure Canada’s voice is heard on the world stage. That is true, but it doesn’t take into account how much effort was wasted in pursuing a spot on the UNSC.

Last night, an old tweet from the Liberal Party resurfaced of them criticizing former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for failing to secure a UNSC seat, where he garnered 114 votes, six more than the Liberals did.

Out of context, it isn’t a big deal that Trudeau didn’t get a seat on the UNSC. Other countries lobby hard for the position, so being voted in is never something that anyone can guarantee. 

The issue for Trudeau is he wanted the UNSC seat to be a significant part of his legacy, and that was made clear by the billions of dollars he spent on foreign countries over the years trying to build up his reputation ahead of the UNSC seat vote.

Not only did Canada spend a lot of money on foreign aid spending leading up to the UNSC seat vote, but we also alienated some of our closest allies

The Liberal government had Canada vote in favour of a resolution co-sponsored by North Korea, Zimbabwe, and others, condemning Israel as the “occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem” which is not only a hit at our ally Israel but also a complete lie. 

This vote was suspected as being a way of making inroads with anti-Israel countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, but at the same time, it may have also damaged Canada’s standing with pro-Israel countries. 

Trudeau seems to have landed himself the worst of both worlds by taking a shot at our crucial ally Israel and angering them and their other close allies, but also not being anti-Israel enough for many of Israel’s enemies to care. 

Even though Prime Minister Harper failed to gain a UNSC seat, at the very least, he did not allow Canada to debase its values in its pursuit.

It is also impossible to talk about Trudeau’s failure to win the UNSC seat without mentioning his disastrous India trip if the Prime Minister is confused on why Canada seems to be not taken seriously on the world stage, look no further than an attempt at foreign relations.

The UNSC seat by all measures isn’t even worth anything outside of symbolic value, so Trudeau fumbling hard on this public relations gamble turns the failure from no big deal into a vulnerable area of attack that the Liberal’s oppositions are likely to exploit.

Trudeau set himself for failure because regardless of the outcome on the UNSC seat, the vote opened the door for criticism of his foreign policy is purely image-focused. If he did gain the seat, it became apparent over time that it was a worthless prize purchased with piles of cash and dignity. 

Losing the vote may have actually been the better of the two outcomes in the long run as failing on the vote is one embarrassment but holding the seat could have led to many more than just one. 

Regardless, Trudeau will now have to figure out a way of replacing the UNSC seat with some other foreign policy success to fill the void in that area of his Prime Ministership.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

One response to “Trudeau’s bid for UNSC seat less successful than Harper, and more costly”

  1. Colleen Thomson says:

    I believe his next gamble is to go for The Nobel Peace Prize.