Do Canadians have a realistic view of their place on the world stage?

Do Canadians have a realistic view of their place on the world stage?

By Shachi Kurl, Executive Director

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest on the international stage of all?

Canadians do like to preen and take pride in our international standing. But at the risk of being labelled traitorous, I’d say we’re more a nation of cheerful deadbeats than of caring doers when it comes to meeting our obligations to, and expectations of, our foreign allies. Even this past week, as we highlighted our role in NATO.

Polling from the Angus Reid Institute shows four-in-five believe our reputation on the world stage is either “very good” (42 per cent) or “good” (41 per cent). It also shows more Canadians believe that our international standing has improved in the last decade – while fewer believe it’s worsened – than they did a few years ago.

Much of this is political. Self-perceptions of Canada’s international reputation took a hit during the Stephen Harper years, driven by the former Conservative prime minister’s stances on pipelines, the Paris climate accord, and his professed friendship for Israel.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site, where it was initially published.


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