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Op-Ed: Canada’s Green leader wins on foreign policy in leaders debate

You can sum up the main three party leaders’ stance on foreign policy: Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes any sort of military participation. New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair wants war under a United Nations mandate. Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, well, who knows what he wants?

But Elizabeth May’s viewpoint is something completely different than what we have seen on the main stage of Canadian politics for some time. Instead of bombing countries or picking sides, May believes this entire battle in the Middle East is intricate and there are many unknown variables. Essentially, we don’t know enough to start engaging in combat missions and sending million-dollar jets overseas.

May began to cite so many things wrong with this global war against the Jihadist movement that you started to ponder: how come no other Canadian politician has talked about this over the years? Because there is no real difference between the three main parties. They want to persist in the welfare-warfare state.

First, May delved into the dubious attack against Libya to take out Muammar Gaddafi. This mission, which left Canadians with a multi-million-dollar tax bill, was engulfed in complications from the start. Why exactly were we eliminating Gaddafi? Who are we helping by doing this? Aren’t the rebels members of al-Qaeda? What’s going to happen after we leave Libya?

Libya has now turned into a rebel-controlled zone with violence and chaos taking over the streets every single day. It’s now shambles. It’s worse than when we decided to bomb the country a few years ago. Who knows who the good guys and the bad guys in the region?

Second, May touched upon ISIS, our new enemy that we must fear as they can be lurking behind every corner, every tree, every building. May, who should be applauded for her blunt attitude, informed the viewing public, and sought clarity from her opponents, that ISIS rebels were our friends in Syria because they raged against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Now they’re our adversaries. Doesn’t something seem wrong with this?

Indeed, the rise of ISIS can be blamed on the United States. It’s a revelation conceded by former military officials and even the Pentagon. This was the only part May didn’t reveal during this segment of the debate. Other than that, May was on a roll and should be commended for her honesty and integrity on this issue.

The Green Party leader, who holds a seat in Parliament, was just as effective as she ran down Bill C-51, the anti-terror legislation that comes with more erosions of our freedoms and liberties than ever before. Anyone concerned about civil liberties should be shaking in their boots about it.

Here is a little bedtime reading of Bill C-51 for you to take a gander at:

– A lack of oversight regarding authorities spying on citizens.

– Constant sharing of citizen information across departments and with the RCMP.

– Limits freedom of expression.

– The creation of a secret police under Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Bill C-51 needs us to reiterate the old adage: “When you sacrifice liberty for security, you get neither liberty nor security.”

Again, other party leaders ignored this fact. Harper introduced it, Trudeau voted for it and finally Mulcair said he would repeal it if he formed government (before he noted he’d just amend it). But he didn’t eloquently outline the real dangers of Bill C-51.

So as Harper and Mulcair awkwardly smiled throughout the two-hour debate (it looked quite painful for both men) and as Trudeau looked like a deer caught in headlights, May was championing a non-interventionist foreign policy and the abolition of a police state that Harper and his cronies so desperately want.

Whether it’s Harper, Mulcair or Trudeau as prime minister, our foreign policy will likely be more of the same: Follow the United Nations, follow the United States and follow NATO. Even if it isn’t in our best interests or for our national security, we’ll always be entangled in battles that place our men and women of the Armed Forces in harm’s way.

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