Current Music: “State of the Union,” Rise Against

Ok, I lied. I’m not actually listening to State of the Union, but it is a good song and it became wedged in my head when I decided to post this. So I’ll pop in the requisite link and get on with the post. Be warned, there are dirty words in both song and intro.

So where was I? Right, I was at Inkless Wells, the fantastic blog by Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells (though unless I’m missing something, the blog is slightly less fantastic since the RSS feed went AWOL. Maclean’s is kind enough to link to this handy page but neither my Firefox Live Bookmarks nor my Bloglines reader can seem to detect a Wells-only RSS feed).

In any event, Wells threw out a great little idea today that I think is worth repeating. Said Paul:

Why brief Parliament only about Afghanistan? In Poland, the government delivers an annual address to Parliament on foreign policy: goals, state of play, progress, setbacks. It’s like budget day, but for another file. Of course they’d do that in Poland, where foreign policy has always been an existential question (will the neighbours permit the country to remain whole and sovereign?). In Canada it would serve as a handy reminder that there’s a whole world out there, which will take an interest in us whether we take an interest in it or not.

When you think about it, this really is one of those forehead-slapping “duh” things, isn’t it? Major corporations have to provide annual reports to their shareholders, why doesn’t the government have to communicate to its shareholders taxpayers people the same way? If you stop to consider how much is spent on foreign affairs between the foreign affairs deparment proper, CIDA, International Trade and who knows what other departments, it’s kind of amazing we don’t ask for more information…

… you know, on Haiti or whatever.

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