John Baird and his brigade are in the Ukraine this morning. Tim Harper writes that it's interesting to examine the composition of the group:
The delegation on the ground in Kyiv Friday includes Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, an unelected Conservative senator and a couple of Conservative MPs, including Ted Opitz, who could use a few more votes from constituents of Ukrainian heritage to build on his mighty 26-vote victory in Etobicoke Centre in 2011.
There are no Liberals or New Democrats in the delegation because, according to Jason MacDonald, the prime minister's spokesperson:
Justin Trudeau’s comments on Russia and Ukraine — for which he has apologized — means there is “no role for the Liberals in this government mission,’’ and the opposition NDP “wouldn’t pick a side.”
Jean Chretien -- like Stephen Harper -- could get nasty at times. But he wasn't afraid of his political rivals:
Chrétien occasionally had opposition MPs aboard foreign trips and he led a number of Team Canada trade missions that brought together premiers of all political stripes — from Manitoba’s Gary Doer to Ontario’s Mike Harris and Alberta’s Ralph Klein — for a common goal. No fistfights broke out.
Baird's trip to the Ukraine has the same objective as Harper's recent trip to Israel -- he's buying votes back home. Conservative foreign policy does not look out on the world. It looks inside -- to the voters back home. Theirs is a small world and they are small people.
They are the Munchkin Brigade.