Election 2015: Devising new defence platforms (Part 3)

By Steve Saideman

A couple of weeks ago, I was frustrated that the major parties had not articulated Defence platforms so I wrote one for the Liberals and then one for the NDP, and then the Liberals came out with their statement.

I left the Conservative platform for last.  Why?  Because it is the hardest to write.  Why?  Because it could simply be “more of the same” but the government has been beaten up many times over the past nine years for procurement problems and for never developing a significant defence review despite changing world circumstances.

The (imagined) Conservative defence platform:

Under the Conservatives, Canada has acted to defend itself and support its interests in a very dangerous world.  Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the spread of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Iran, and other threats to Canada’s security means that Canadians should continue to support the experienced team that we have put together.  Keeping the proven team in place will also help us build upon the Canada First Defence Strategy.

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Election 2015: Devising new defence platforms (Part 2)

By Steve Saideman

Last week I proposed a Liberal Defence Party Platform since the Liberal Defence Critic had posted one that was pretty thin.  I promised to write platforms for the other two major parties (even I would not want to inflict my French on the Bloc Quebecois and the Greens can just shut down DND and the CAF, I suppose), so today I am self-tasted to write an NDP defence platform.

The good news for me and the bad news for the electorate is that there is no defence section on the NDP website and Jack Harris, the NDP Defence Critic, posted a platform that is also quite vague on most matters, focusing mostly on the quality of life of those in the Canadian Forces and not so much what they are supposed to be doing and with what.  Which means I have something to write!

Again, my take on this is driven by my view of the party’s values and constraints as determined by past decisions.  In practice, that means not undoing the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy ESPECIALLY in the case of the NDP, given that it is likely to win seats in the areas where the ships are to be built.

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Election 2015: Devising new defence platforms (Part 1)

By Steve Saideman

I read what passes for a Liberal defence platform with a great deal of frustration because it mostly criticized the Conservatives (which have earned such criticism) with few suggestions of what the Liberals would actually do if they had the chance to run the government. 

Journalists David Pugliese, Lee Berthiaume, and Ian MacLeod have a nice piece in the Ottawa Citizen that takes the Liberal Defence critic’s platform and other promises to come up with a list of what the Liberals would do on defence:

  • Amend C-51.
  • “Create an all-party national security oversight committee to oversee the 17 government departments and agencies with national security responsibilities.”
  • Reopen the regional Vet Affairs offices that the Conservatives closed.

Except for the middle one, of which I am most curious (since it relates to an on-going project I am doing with Phil Lagassé and Dave Auerswald), there is nothing here that in fact relates to the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces.

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