First of all, I think we made the right call on Star Wars, for the reasons previously discussed. But the PM’s handling of this has been a little awkward, to put it mildly. Now that we finally know Canada won’t be a part of missile defense, a few questions need answering. The first three are either asked or hinted at by Paul Wells.
20 Questions for Paul Martin
1. Did you try to telephone George W. Bush with the news?
2. Is the president taking your calls?
3. Was this handled better than Chretien’s decision to not send troops to Iraq which your advisors heavily criticized? If so, how?
4. As Stephen Harper asked in question period today, what exactly are we saying no to?
5. Can you specify what aspect of BMD led you to reject it?
6. Were there any conditions under which you would have joined BMD?
7. Paul Cellucci says that Canada has given up its “sovereignty” and will no longer have a say on missiles coming towards Canada. Is this true?
8. When did the government arrive at this decision?
9. Earlier this week, government MPs said the House would be informed when a decision was made. However, Codi Rice and Cellucci were called two days ago with our decision. Phrasing this in the form of a question: What the hell?
10. I hate to use the f-word, but you’ve previously been very much in favour of BMD. I know on same sex marriage you were previously “divided” but on this one you were squarely in favour. Is this a flip-flop? If so, please explain the reasons for flip-floping.
11. Bill Graham, the Minister of Defense, has said there would be grave consequences if Canada didn't join missile defense. Do you still feel these consequences will happen and, if so, what will they entail?
12. Has Bill Graham changed his position on missile defense too?
13. Did Frank McKenna’s announcement on Tuesday that we’ve joined BMD have anything to do with the timing of the announcement?
14. Speaking of which, now that we’ve said “no”, what did Frank McKenna mean?
15. Why didn’t you wait a week to see what the Liberal Party’s grass-roots had to say about the issue at their policy convention next week?
16. In the throne speech amendment, you agreed to hold a vote on missile defense. Why isn’t this vote being held?
17. How did you let Jack Layton lead the national debate on this issue?
18. I take it George Bush likely won’t be cheering on the L-20 idea, right?
19. It’s worth asking again: What exactly did we say “no” to?
20. Mr. Martin, how did you solve the Mexican peso crisis? (courtesy of Neil Finkelstein)