Canada: Force of Evil

Well, not really evil, but not as good as we'd like to think that we are.

An Environics poll in January revealed Canadians' conviction that their country stands out as a positive force in the world. Nearly two-thirds of respondents thought our global role had grown over the past 20 years, with peacekeeping and foreign aid being identified as our greatest contributions.

Those beliefs mask reality and the crabby eye-rolling of foreign policy scholars infuriated by Canadians' persistence in holding onto a mythology that has lost authenticity: We really don't do peacekeeping any more (our combat mission in Afghanistan's civil war is something else); our foreign aid remains well below the 0.7 per cent of gross national product we committed ourselves to more than 25 years ago, and our world influence has become a pale, flaccid thing.

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